It’s been 5 years since we – five parents: Denise, Emma, Sara, Tom and Lars, and our facilitator Rowan – founded Free We Grow. Each of us had its own motivations and needs when starting the project, however what aligned us all was the belief in children as people worthy of respect and that a free childhood is priceless and this is how we turned it into our vision:
A democratic environment embedded in and connected to the world around us where children can grow socially competent and ecologically mindful and where their innate curiosity and instinct to play and learn is trusted and nurtured.
Founding and volunteering as directors at Free We Grow has been a very enriching experience and we have grown in many ways because of it.
We are grateful for all these years, what we got to experience individually, as a team, and as a community; Dacres Wood the beautiful venue we got to call home; the many persons who supported us to make this project happen. We feel fortunate to have found families and carers who appreciated this alternative educational space for their children, who trusted our educational concept, and entrusted their children to us.
We celebrate the lovely and warm community that has taken shape over these years. Most of all we celebrate the children who have gifted the project and the woods with their energy, love for nature, excitement for life, curiosity and endless wish to play and learn at all times.
Last but not least we are delighted to continue meeting persons who truly believe in Free We Grow, are passionate about it and embody authentically the characteristics of the adult required in such a learning environment. We are thankful to their dedication, energy, and love for what they do.
Now, the time has come for some of us founders and directors to step down and new directors to step in. Rowan Salim, founder, director, and facilitator since 2017, and Sara Martins who joined the team as a director since 2020 (after Lars stepped down), will now be joined by:
- Sally Hall (facilitator 2017 – 2019),
- Sara Asadullah (Facilitator 2020 – 2021), and
- Mariana Martins (Facilitator 2021-present)
Although we will continue supporting Free We Grow in any way we can, we want to wish the new team of directors all the best, wonderful magical moments, and a great start in September 2022 for the projects’ 6th year.