Home » SDE Facilitators Training Program Overview

an action potential for a new education paradigm is here …

training is experiential and co-creative, leveraging tools for self-organization …

the learning community our hearts yearn for …

Self-Organized Learning Environments (SOLE): Facilitators and Founders Training

Egypt ’18

We come to live and play together, as education changemakers, rebels and companions in a journey of learning and unlearning. Together,  we self-organize, co-create and embody the new learning community we wish to see in the world – to be culturally rooted and globally connected!

The Self-Organized Learning Environments (SOLE) Facilitators and Founders Training program is a co-creative, experiential training and a launch pad for a network of Self-Directed and Self-Organized Education projects held in Egypt.

It is for social entrepreneurs and changemakers who want to create (or already have) education spaces (like micro-schools and homeschool groups) and communities that put ideas and concepts of Self-Directed education, communal learning and self-organization into practice.

The program is also directed at parents, teachers, facilitators of children’s activities and education enthusiasts who are looking for new, crazy ways to re-imagine how “education” is organized and conducted, and reclaim our natural “learning” capabilities.

Click to expand the panels below to know more details about the program

Click to expand the panels below to know more details about the program

Who Is This For?

Are you a …

  • Key member of a co-learning/alternative education space (founder and potential founder, facilitator, administrator, parent, student, etc.)?
  • Social/Education Entrepreneur interested in starting self-organized, free learning spaces or alternative education communities?
  • Education activist and/or changemaker?
  • Teacher interested in bring Self Directed Education (SDE) into her/his classrooms?
  • Parent group leader (e.g. leader of a homeschooling/unschooling cooperative)?
  • A non-formal education facilitator looking to expand your tools and resources and join new programs?

And would you like to …

  • Build relationships within the free, alternative, self-directed education community in Egypt and our partners across the world?
  • Create your own free learning space?
  • Join existing programs to facilitate for self-organized and free learning in Egypt?
  • Learn and practice with simple tools for creating a micro-culture and that supports self-directed education, community collaboration, and trust-based relationships?
  • Access mentorship and support from a local community and an international network to equip yourself for your own education project?
  • Stretch, grow, live joyfully and experience the learning community you wish to create?
  • Have an enormous amount of fun and good Egyptian food?!?!

If your response is \”YES\” to one or many of the above, then Yalla! come on board!! 

Note: It is preferable to have previous facilitation experience with children (at least 1 year), since this program does not start facilitation training at the basic level, but rather adds to facilitators\’ tools and practices of self-directed education. However, if you love and trust children, if you feel there is a true call for you while reading this – then just go ahead and fill an application! Also, we had several previous participants who facilitate with adults and adolescents who have benefited from this program.

What Will Happen During the Program? Which Part Is Best For Me?

 ⚓ Module 1: Foundation

July 12 – 15

This is where we get into what Self Directed Education (SDE) is and what Self-Organized Learning Environments are and, how to do it!

We will:

  • dive in together, get to know each other and build our community.
  • engage with the philosophy, theoretical foundations, tools and practices that are fundamental to the self-directed education model and the creation of free, self-organized learning communities.
  • re-imagine education, mainly focused on SDE, inside and outside Egypt.
  • honor emergence by self-organizing around projects, conversations, activities, games and other interests arising from the group.
  • explore topics like: self-organization, deschooling/unschooling and intentional culture creation.

We highly recommend attending the full program. If you can only attend three days, then the ”Foundation” part of the program is for you.

Module 2: Practicum

July 17 – 26

In this part of the program, participants join already existing spaces that work with children and teens using the philosophy, values and tools of Self-Directed Education. These spaces are part of the Mesahat Network of Self-Organized Learning Environments (SOLEs). The energy level gets a serious upgrade for when participants start to directly interact with children of of all ages (5 – 16 years old) for a Self Directed Education Summer School!

This is an unparalleled chance for both kids and adults to build a powerful learning culture, to create the learning community our hearts have always yearned for!

Here’s where the learning really starts as we practice, fail, learn, reflect and share together!

  • Participants will be asked to facilitate 25 hours of direct work with children at one of two designated spaces as part of the Mesahat Network of Self-Organized Learning Environments.
  • Participants will organize their own schedules and time to be able to finish their 25 hours of practicum requirement at their convenience, as long as it is within the working hours of the spaces where the summer school is held.
  • Participants will receive coaching and supervision on their practical facilitation from both peers and program trainers.
  • Throughout this module, an optional weekly reflection meeting will be held for participants to reflect on their work with children, lessons learnt, the challenges they face and how they can handle it.
  • Participants are requested to document their practicum project and produce a shareable output that captures their learning and growth. The form of this output can be discussed with trainers and supervisors.
  • We will invite program participants to take leadership roles, side by side with experienced facilitators from the organizing partners at Mesahat and Agile Learning Centers (ALCs)  to get real world experience by facilitating with children.
  • Children and adult participants will co-create the summer camp program using playful and agile tools of self-directed education, expanding their learning beyond classrooms or traditional knowledge to learn from life and its vast resources

✌ Module 3: Reflection & Integration

July 27 – 29

    • We will reflect and share what we have learned through self-organizing to facilitate a transformative educational experience for children as part of the summer school.
    • Participants will present their shareable outputs from facilitating 25 hours of practical work with children.
    • There will be feedback and evaluations for participants on their facilitation experience.
    • We will hold sessions to support participants who particularly want to start a program or a communal learning space in making actionable plans, and real world connections.
    • We set up ways to stay connected to the Self-Directed Education Community we created together.
    • We’ll walk away with Self-Directed Education projects moving forward powerfully.

      If you want to feel SDE and Intentional Culture Creation in your bones, build the foundation of the free learning and the SDE movement in Egypt, and/or launch your own educational project, you’ll want to participate in the full 3 modules of the program.

We can try to explain to you what this experience is like, but it is never like hearing it from people who lived it.

Checkout testimonials from last year participants

When and Where?

Module 1

July 12 – 15

Residential module, participants are asked to sleep over for the full duration of the module. The module takes place at Zad Al Mosafer guest house in Fayoum, Egypt which is a 100 minutes from Cairo. It is child friendly space. 

Module 2

July 17 – 26

Happens inside Cairo, at Mesahat in Moqattam and Fernas in 1st Settlement – these are self-organized communal spaces. Participants schedule their 25 hours of practicum during these days at their own convenience.

Module 3 

July 27 – 29

Residential module, participants are asked to sleep over for the full duration of the module. The module takes place at Zad Al Mosafer guest house in Fayoum, Egypt which is a 100 minutes from Cairo. It is child friendly space. 

Financial Investments

How Much?

So far, we do not have any funding partners. Participants financial contribution is the only way we cover the program cost of: materials, venue rentals, facilitator honorariums, logistics, accommodation, and meals.

Below is the exact cost per participant (only to cover our costs), and a sliding scale of contributions depending on which part of the program you attend.

You decide your contribution along the ranges of this sliding scale. As we are sharing an education model founded in trust, we trust you to offer a contribution within the range of this sliding scale that feels generous and responsible! That’s the only way it is going to work!

Module 1

July 12 – 15, 2018

Expense per participant: 2,770 EGP

Requested: sliding scale of contribution from min. 1,000 to max. 3,500 EGP

Full Program: Module 1, 2 and 3

July 12 – 29, 2018

Expense per participant: 3,670 EGP

Requested: sliding scale of contribution from min. 2,000  to max. 6,000 EGP

  • If you require a scholarship to contribute within the range of the sliding scale, please let us know in your application. We will do our best to make sure finances are not an obstacle to your participation. The more some participants contribute towards the higher end of the sliding scale, the more we will be able to offer slots for other participants who cannot afford the program expenses.

    We always recommend attending the SOLE Facilitator & Founder Program in its entirety to get the most value. Hence, we give priority to participants who can join us for the full duration of the program.

Timeline: What will happen and when? 

June 15 : Application opens

July 7: Application closes – (rolling admissions)

June 22 and 28: An open, online Q & A session with an organizer on our Facebook Page

July 7: Announcement of final list of invited participants

July 5– 9: Financial contributions paid for the program.

July 5 – 9: Online introductions and orientation

July 12 –15: Module 1: Foundation (outside Cairo)

July 17 – 26 Module 2 : Practicum (inside Cairo, 25 hours for each participant)

July 27 – 29: Module 3: Integration and Collaboration (outside Cairo)

Logistical Details

During the residential modules (module 1 and 3) we stay in comfortable housing facilities. Participants and trainers co-live and co-learn. Separate facilities for genders are available. The venue is Zad Al Mosafer Guest House in Fayoum which is a 100 minutes away from Cairo and transportation (round trip) is available at an extra cost. Otherwise, you can drive to the venue or carpool with other participants. Our residential modules will have delicious, healthy and locally sourced food for 3 meals a day ( breakfast, lunch and dinner) cooked with love. Also, beverages and fruits will be available throughout the day.

The main language of the training program will be Arabic, with a mix of English sometimes and a possibility of having English translation all the time, if needed.

A good level of understanding and comfort in reading English is preferred since all reference materials are in English. In all cases, participants are highly encouraged to express using the language they feel most comfortable with.

Meet the Team 

This program is facilitated by Nariman Moustafa and co-facilitated by Amira Saad and Sarah Sallam. We have a hardworking team of organizers that is putting everything together for you – our organizers are all participants of last years\’ programs and they are: Lamiaa Alkhatib, Nairooz Mahmoud, Heba Adel, Amira El-gohary, Noha Salem and Mohamed Basher; this is besides other volunteers and supporters of the idea, these are: Shuruk Mohamed and Ibrahim Abdelghany. You can know some of the facilitators stories and read more about them by expanding the tabs in this section. 

I am an Agile Learning Facilitator  with Agile Learning Centers, a global expanding network of Self-Directed Education schools. I am also the founder of Mesahat Al Taalem Al Hor.  My goal, with this project, is to create a community of inter-connected self-organized learning spaces and societies in Egypt, starting by turning Cairo into a learning city, where parents, teachers and children experience the possibilities and alternatives that lie ahead of us in the world to un-stuck ourselves.

Having gone through the formal/mainstream education system and experienced its failures, I bunked my Dental studies college degree and later-on practice to go on and pursue my passion for social changemaking in a self-designed manner.

As a self-directed learner for most of my life, I am passionate about re-imagining learning experiences, resources and pathways. I consider myself good at creating network connections, facilitation of conversations and learning journeys, as well as starting up and sustaining social projects and supporting others to do as well. The overarching vision for all the community work I do is a desire to empower humans so that we can reclaim our lives and free will from the ready-made pathway that our global system is leading us down to in all fields of life.

My past career experiences involved working with social entrepreneurs through the organization Ashoka. It also involved designing and facilitating education experiences with organizations like the Arab Thought Foundation, Soliya, Education Square, the American University in Cairo and Dawar for Arts and Development. My latest stop before founding Mesahat was consulting with Hippocampus Learning Centers, an education-focused social enterprise in India on areas of operations management, program design and impact assessment. During my time in India I joined Shikshantar: the People Institute for Rethinking Education and Development (a 20-year old alternative education think tank and self-organized learning community) through their Hacking Education Fellowship where I created projects and learnt along side some of India\’s most enthusiastic education hackers.  I traveled across the country documenting stories of and getting inspired by self-designed learners (children, youth and parents) and experiences of alternative schools. 

I love theater, traveling, storytelling and connecting with people over coffee and good conversations.

I started authentically discovering a new life with the birth of my only daughter, Retal. With this new birth, that was mine and hers, I decided to live the life I want and to give my daughter the chance to be her authentic self. According to the pre-decided societal pathways, I was a media director, not really a track I have chosen for myself. I worked in the media field for 3 years during which I learnt loads. I shifted my career and interests to education when my daughter came to life. I discovered that learning is like breathing and so should be education. The latter should not be what we think of as a depressed child with a bent back.

I started playing with my daughter and documenting our experience on my blog Moka3abat. I decided to homeschool my child and in that journey I learnt tremendously, with love and passion, about alternative education philosophies. During my own self-directed journey in the field of education, I took a specialized Montessori Diploma and became a Montessori teacher.

Four years ago, I started my journey to take what I do with my kid to develop other kids intensively. I discovered my own dynamic ability to communicate with mothers, reach their hearts and influence them. For this reason, I opened a parents’ skills development center (with another cofounder). I trained more than 500 mums on Montessori parenting techniques and I still continue to work with parents.

I participated in organizing the first edition of the Self-Directed Education Facilitators and Founders training program; which is a program that opened new avenues of love, joy and learning for me. I look forward to connecting with people who want to challenge themselves and open their perceptions and visions to new worldviews.  

I love nature; I adore listening to the voice of the sea waves and walking barefoot on the ground, feeling the earth on my soles. I like reading and being calm and witnessing beauty. I always want to feel free and in connection to people.

I started my journey as a high school student tutor, where I assisted in arts teaching while still working on my BSc. in Pharmacy & Biotechnology. Graduating with a medical background, I felt the need to back my practice with theory. I then shifted to education and started with a STEAM Professional Educators Diploma followed by a masters in International & Comparative education.
I have been exploring the field of education for 10 years now, between extracurricular and non-formal educational services, I became a firm believer in the importance of autonomous decision making in the process of learning and I take great pleasure in creating and being in surroundings that harness, incubate and accelerate such freedom in learning.
As for me, curiosity is an innate driving force we are all born with, and it is an integral part of the human experience. I became focused on creating self-directed learning spaces for early childhood, where I was able to deepen my understanding of different components that comprise a meaningful learning experience.
I have come to adopt a critical view of traditional learning, choosing instead, educational practices that depend on drawing the links between early developmental needs and our later longing for safety, acceptance, belonging and significance as human beings. I believe the need is rising for solutions that suit different lives and different communities. In learning, one size does not, and could not fit all. 
You could most probably find me observing nature or listening to music while sketching or reading.

This program is offered in partnership with Agile Learning Centers (ALCs), a U.S. based non-profit organization and global network of Self-Directed Education schools and facilitators.

There are many models of Self-Directed Education applications around the world, facilitators and participants will hold open space sessions to present other models and modalities.

We will use ALC’s model as the main application during our program, which is designed to be easily adapted to different communities in different cultural contexts.

What is Agile Education?

Self-Directed: Humans are natural learners. When children get to follow their passions, they engage deeply, learning more quickly and thoroughly – covering years of content in weeks at the time they choose to learn it.

Intentional Culture: At ALCs children feel they are heard, they belong, and they make a difference. As social creatures, we thrive in this kind of vibrant community which builds our confidence, heightens our communication skills, and calls forth our best selves.

Agile Management Tools: We use practical and concrete tools to make these lofty-sounding ideals real and reliable. These tools and practices provide visible feedback, effective self-management, explicit culture, clarity of purpose, and easy integration of new patterns as needs change.

Mesahat, founded in August 2016, aims to introduce alternatives to the current formal education paradigm. The idea opens the doors for communities to self-organize around reclaiming and reimagining education for children and adults. We are a launch pad for projects, programs and spaces that connect learners to learning from life experiences as well as from our local wisdom and knowledge.

The vision for Mesahat is to create learning cities whereby cities become networks of online and offline inter-connected and inter-dependent communal learning spaces that employ the values, principles and practices of Self-Directed Education (SDE)* and life long learning. We envision taking learning from the confinement of classroom walls to life and its vast resources.

Mesahat creates a culture of self-directed education and life long learning. We promote citizen self-organization to create online and offline collaborative learning communities where learners are supported by the right structures, agile educational tools adapted from the technology world, experienced facilitators and inter-generational resource people to create their own learning journeys. We create alternative educational pathways where learners design their fully customized learning journeys based on their intelligence, learning style and passion.

At Mesahat, we support learners using agile education tools, the previous are tools adapted from the technology world to allow children to set their learning goals, manage their time, plan their learning schedules, reflect on their achievements, share outputs of their learning and finally tackle their conflicts with other learners towards a culture of collaboration. These agile education tools allow children to fully customize their learning experiences to their passions, interests and style of learning; it also allows the learning environment and resources to become agile and adaptable according to learners’ needs.

With these agile educational tools and our educational philosophy, we allow learners to acquire the most important skill of the 21st century, that is “self-learning” or “learning how to learn”.

Hence, we prepare learners to respond to change effectively, to acquire whatever knowledge and skills they need as the world progresses.  

With an ever evolving world, we are uncertain what we are preparing children for tomorrow. Hence, the need to equip them with tools and methodologies so they can always respond to change effectively, when they know how to learn and acquire whatever knowledge and skills they need as the world progresses.  With our work, we also open up knowledge and education resources to life and a variety of sources beyond textbooks.

We implement our mission through 3 streams so far:

1- Annual Facilitators training to prepare new facilitators to use agile education tools and SDE principles

2- Offline colearning space that works directly with children as a model space

3- Mini-incubator service program for groups of parents and youth who want to start their own communal learning spaces

We are opened to having more and more people in our network who use our space as a launch pad for creating and self-organizing around other programs and projects that advance values of free and lifelong learning for children, adolescents and adults.



Checkout Insights from Previous Program Participants