Current State of Progress and Plans

We want to warmly thank you for the support we received from you during this last year!

As you know, we have had a very moving year concerning the establishment of the school. We did not manage to start the school in September 2014, as we had planned. Now, and since half a year, we have a team of lawyers supporting us in the application process of our school. Last autumn, we revised our application for the licence of our school, yet again with their help.Since then, we have a good contact towards the school authorities, and got positive signs towards the approval of our school concept.

Next steps:
What we still lack for opening the school is the building. During last year, we made several drafts for a transitional building and were in contact with the authorities in what concerns the permissions. Tamera is in a process of changing it´s official land use plan (a PIER- Plano de Invervenção em Espaços Rurais- Plan of intervention in rural areas) and this can still take some years. During this time, we are not allowed to build any new buildings on our land. Also not – what we had hoped for- a temporary school building made of building modules. Unfortunately, the county of Odemira cannot put any of the former school buildings, vacant due to the closure of smaller schools, at our disposal.Now, and since some time, we are visiting grounds and buildings in the close surroundings, to find a good place for the Escola da Esperança. In the moment, we are in negotiations about a building in our neighbouring village, Relíquias. There are still many obstacles to be overcome (licensing of the building as a school, aptitude test by the school authorities, etc.). We hope to find a clear space within the next months. This will be the decisive point as to whether we will be able to start the Escola da Esperança in September 2015 or only a year later, in 2016.

Interim solution: Homeschooling
Fortunately, since last September we have found a possibility to school our children here with us in Tamera, in the frame of homeschooling. That enables us to already put in practice many elements of the open learning space: in the beginning of the school year, with big financial support of parents and friends, we were able to equip the learning space in order for it to correspond with the needs of all ages until the 6th grade. In this space, the parents, supported by some internal teachers and an external Portuguese teacher, accompany the daily learning of their children.  Additionally, the children have chosen different Internships and projects that are accompanied by specialists from Tamera and the surroundings.

Finances:
Through the financial support of parents, friends and sponsors, we managed to raise 50 000 Euros already.With most of this amount (as mentioned above) we bought educational material which support independent and individual learning and paid the salaries of the external teachers. This way we could already set a cornerstone of the open learning space for the primary and are in process of expanding the educational material for the secondary.  The rest of the money is set as a reserve fund for the buying or renting of a school building. The Tamera community has covered the costs for the lawyers and the running expenses.

At this point, we want again to warmly thank all those who supported us financially!

Networking and Education Symposium: We want to hold the next International Education Symposium once the Escola da Esperança will have started operations.

For some time, in Portugal newly dedicated initiatives in the area of education have been emerging. Innovative people, teachers, and parents are getting together, new projects emerge and networks are created (for example the Rede da Educação Viva). Since the 2013 International Education Symposium in Tamera, we have been expanding our contact to pedagogically interesting projects in Portugal. more...

We greet you warmly from the blossoming Alentejo of Portugal.
May more and more children in the world be able to keep their joy of learning until their adult age. And may this joy help all of us to establish a future worth living for the next 7 generations.

The team of the Escola da Esperança