Partners from Maitri Trust visit LISTO schools in Mexico

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The LISTO team at Tehuacán, Puebla, was honored with the visit from Jo Davies and Luke Aspinall, our friends and partners from the Maitri Trust. The three-day agenda in Mexico included visit to schools, meetings with program staff and board members and visit to a LISTO training.

Jo Davies began working with Maitri in 2009 and was the Trust’s first employee. It was not intended to be a long-term post. However, she was soon bitten by the development bug and by the Board’s values. Like the Trust, Jo’s role has evolved and she now heads up a team of five. She continues to manage Trust partnerships while working with the Board to help set strategy and ensure Maitri adheres to its core principles. Previously, Jo spent twelve years in the investment management industry, previously working with some of the Stewart Investors team. She holds a BA (Hons) in Modern Languages and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education.

Luke Aspinall joined the Maitri team in 2014. He manages a portfolio of the Trust’s partnerships, along with coordinating a number of in-house projects. Luke is particularly interested in the crossover between the private and third sector. He has formerly worked for the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the National Health Service in the UK and a health policy organisation. Luke holds a MA (Hons) in Modern Languages and a MA in European Union Studies.

Maitri Trust: Improving the quality of education primarily in India, South Africa and Mexico

Since the Trust’s inception in 2006, Maitri has evolved from being a generalist funder to a more focused and strategic one. Their remit today is based on the belief that high quality education for every child is the keystone to eradicating poverty and creating fairer and more socially responsible societies.

Through his partners, Maitri Trust strive to improve the quality of education at a systems level, primarily in India, South Africa and Mexico. They work with high quality, high impact non-profit organisations providing training and capacity building within the education sector, which indirectly impacts multiple beneficiaries and which has the potential to lead to systemic change (for example teacher training).

“If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people.”

Chinese proverb

School enrolment rates in the developing world have increased considerably over recent years and access to education is no longer the problem it once was. However, whilst many more children are going to school, large numbers, particularly those from disadvantaged communities, are leaving school without even basic skills. Attention now needs to focus on what is happening inside the classroom.

The impact of the teacher is widely acknowledged to be one of the major factors affecting student outcomes.That is why Maitri Trust supports programmes across the system, working with classroom teachers, headteachers, school management teams, school governing bodies, parents, district education officials and governments.


Educando trains and supports public school principals in Mexico through a combination of workshops and coaching. LISTO promotes a profound shift in school culture based on a shared belief of mutual responsibility for student success. More than 1,700 principals have been part of LISTO, with an impact on over 1,760,000 students (dates from January 2017).

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