Welcoming Moneer to the Holding Team!

Dear Free We Grow families and friends,

Here is a hello message from Moneer who joined our Holding Team this Autumn!


We were standing in an open field strewn with tents amongst 800 people from 46 countries.

“So you’re Maryam’s father!” Rowan exclaimed during our first encounter.

“How do you know Maryam?” I questioned.

T’was the 2022 Summerhill Festival of Childhood. Maryam had spent the day running freely, playing games and engaging with people. Like the earth and moon, Rowan and Maryam were drawn to one another. (They remain in playful orbit until this very day!)

My wife Sarah and I had heard about the festival only the night before. This was a tumultuous period in our lives. We were new to the UK and struggling to figure out the basics: legal status, employment, residence, and education for our Maryam (7) and Muhammad (4). We had just moved from Abu Dhabi, our home of 8 years, where I worked as a headteacher and Sarah founded and led Montessori and Self-Directed Learning coops for our children and community.

Fast-forward 3 months, and our family have since come a long way: settled in Sydenham, pursuing Masters studies, a happy Free We Grow parent, and -most recently – a member of the Free We Grow holding team.

Since joining the team, I’ve learned 3 valuable lessons:

FWG is carried by a strong sense of purpose, intentionality, and relationship-building.
FWG is a unique project, serving our children in ways many places cannot.
The FWG holding team holds the most efficient and wholesome meetings I’ve ever attended in my adult life! (Look out for Rowan’s upcoming training on the meeting tool, Roundspeak)

As a holding team member, I’m interested in supporting FWG in 3 main directions:

Financial & operational sustainability
Knowledge retention & succession planning
Strategic vision & planning

Moneer Moukaddem