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Our Story

Shaping a new generation of leaders and change-makers since 1985

An innovative idea

PestalozziWorld is not just about providing education to children from the most unprivileged backgrounds. It's also about shaping a new generation of leaders and change-makers.

The Pestalozzi Overseas Children's Trust (known as PestalozziWorld) was registered in 1995 to provide secondary level education to poor children from rural backgrounds in India, Nepal, Thailand and Zambia who showed high academic potential.


After learning about the transforming power of the Pestalozzi education approach from a nonprofit organisation operating in East Sussex, UK, the founders, Richard and Diana Butler, were inspired to set up PestalozziWorld. They had already supported a group of young people to set up the Thai Pestalozzi Foundation in the '90s and other exceptional charitable activities with the Pestalozzi philosophy at the core, and wanted to change even more lives.


Following the teachings of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, the idea was to provide child-centred education to some of the most unprivileged children, based on the philosophy of developing the ‘whole child’ - in other words, the ‘head’ (academic ability), the ‘heart’ (social commitment and motivation) and the ‘hands’ (vocational expertise). Read about our approach >

A global impact

From Nepal, to India and Zambia

The first of the PestalozziWorld villages was set up in Nepal. The ambition was to then set up Children’s Villages in India and Zambia at a later stage. Find out more about the PestalozziWorld villages >


The students joining our programme, would enrol into good quality local schools and supplement their academic education with volunteering and opportunities to develop other skills - from gardening to carpentry, to caring for others.

Since day one, two girls were sponsored for every one boy, helping overcome the low priority given to girls’ education in some countries.



of our Alumni are in careers of public service, such as teaching or healthcare, have volunteered to help their communities, or support their families financially. Many others are contributing back to society through entrepreneurial and business activities.

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