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One of the biggest challenges in founding but also in growing a school or kindergarten is to find suitable rooms in which the children feel comfortable and can learn and play well. We are always happy to help at this particularly difficult point. You can read more about current building projects in our cover story starting on page 11.
Every day, children all over the world make their way to their Waldorf school, their Waldorf kindergarten, their Waldorf after-school club, or related activities. Waldorf education as lived all over the world, is as diverse and different as the ways of the children and young people. For some it is a long walk on a dirt road, for others it might be an adventurous ride on a bicycle along a river, and for others still, it could be a challenging walk through dark alleyways. But the destination is always the same: a place of learning and care. We tell you about these different paths, starting on page 9.
This issue of Waldorf Worldwide is first and foremost an expression of gratitude. Thanks to your donations and through the support of foundations, Waldorf associations and some Waldorf schools in Germany, we have been able to help over 100 Waldorf educational institutions in 36 countries by raising more than €1.35 million. These funds have helped colleagues and school communities cope with the unprecedented situation surrounding the pandemic – including serious economic consequences in some countries. We have received numerous letters of thanks from the supported Waldorf schools, Waldorf kindergartens and therapeutic education institutions. You will find a small selection of them in our cover story starting on page 10.
All over the world, for much of this year, people's everyday lives have been impacted by the effects of the Corona pandemic. For many Waldorf Schools, Waldorf Kindergartens and therapeutic education institutions in our worldwide movement the adverse effects are threatening their very existence. Our appeal for donations has mitigated the consequences of the Corona crisis, and our Joint action: Corona Aid has already been able to help in many places. Where your donations have already had a positive impact and why help is still urgently needed, we report in "Waldorf Worldwide".
Waldorf Schools in the center of a metropolis are rather rare. Two of the few examples are the Rudolf Steiner School in New York City and the Freie Waldorfschule in Berlin Mitte. Some schools have moved over time from a location within the city center to the outskirts of the city - for example in Tokyo or Manila. The reasons are obvious: a school needs a large piece of land. A Waldorf School, which in most countries has to get by without state subsidies, also needs an affordable plot of land. For many of them moving to the outskirts of the city is a good solution, but they still remain under the influence of the big city, as the students have to make their way through the city to school every morning. On the following pages we report about these schools and about those that were deliberately founded in very rural areas.
Fall 2019/Winter 2020
There are now about 1,150 Waldorf schools worldwide. 100 years after the first Waldorf School was opened on the Uhlandshöhe in Stuttgart, new Waldorf Schools are still being founded. In the vast majority of countries, independent schools receive no state support – and schools that are just being founded do not receive funds anyway. For the Friends of Waldorf Education it is very important to support these schools. Therefore, in the current issue of "Waldorf Worldwide" we present three specific schools that are in the founding phase. As always, we also report on developments in Waldorf Schools, Kindergartens and curative education facilities.
Over the past 40 years, the Friends of Waldorf Education were able to support more than 600 Waldorf Schools, nursery schools and day-care facilities, as well as curative education schools. In addition, we are very much committed to the training of teachers. It is only thanks to the active support of many people, which impresses us time and again, that this becomes possible.
On WOW-Day, at fairs, summer festivals, and other fundraising events, teachers as well as students and parents get involved. It is with great pleasure that we forward 100 percent of the collected donations to projects all over the world.
There are many stories behind this kind of commitment. We would like to tell you some of these stories in our latest issue of "Waldorf Worldwide".
Fall 2018/Winter 2019
With this edition of "Waldorf Worldwide," we are moving into the centenary year 2019: 100 years of Waldorf Education. The Friends of Waldorf Education have been accompanying and supporting the founding of schools all around the world for over 40 years. We are constantly witnessing the special energy with which people are founding schools and kindergartens all over the world to give children a safe place to learn and grow. We would like to express and honor this energy in two books that we will be publishing on the occasion of the centenary. (Read more on page 25.)
Without this energy, the strong global network of Waldorf schools would not exist. In the anniversary year 2019, we will also be duly celebrating this network. Starting on page 26, as part of our special topic "100 Years of Waldorf", you can find out more about the many activities and projects that are traversing the borders of countries and continents.
You may have noticed the small change on our front page: Our newsletter has a new name. Under the title “Waldorf Worldwide” you will be able to explore all those things you are used to in this magazine, that is to say, news from Waldorf schools, kindergartens, training centers, curative educational and social therapeutic institutions around the globe. In this issue we would like to focus on a special topic: food.
Far too often, we underestimate the importance of a nourishing diet during school time, as well as the challenges running a school cafeteria brings with it. In most families around the globe, both parents are at work during the day and thus need to rely on all-day care offers, which also have to feed the children. As you will read in this issue, some parents are hardly able to feed their families because of a low income. But, of course, there is more to school lunch than just being filling. To be able to learn well, children need a sensible, thought-out diet: education needs nourishment. Additional information on school meals can also be found here on our website.
In the fall/winter issue of our newsletter, our main topic will be the work of mentors: experienced educators accompany young schools and kindergartens or initiatives that are about to found. Not only do the mentors have to impart the phases of child development as well as educational methods and tricks, they also have to get involved with the local cultures by integrating them into their work. Just as every teacher learns together with her students, mentoring means that not only their protégés are learning to teach, but also the mentors themselves, by observing how learning can succeed in a particular country under specific circumstances. You can read how this can be done in practice – and much more – in this issue.
German Version, Spanish Version
Waldorf Education in Taiwan
While last fall we went looking for stories about finding the courage to make a new start, transformation is the recurring theme of this issue of our newsletter. Taiwan’s Waldorf movement for example, is trying to transform its organization towards a more structured and supporting body. In this manner, they recently founded the National Taiwan Waldorf Association, which has emerged from the Taiwan Waldorf Forum and is now going to support the founding of new schools. In Haiti’s École du village it is chiefly about returning to the habitual rhythm after the storm, which caused a lot of damage. But it is also about protection from future damage. Read all about this and more in the latest issue of our newsletter.
In this edition you can read stories about the courage to begin. For example, from Myanmar, which slowly awakens from the rigidity of the past military regime. Or from Greece, where parents are searching for prospects for their children.
Waldorf education in Mexico
In the current issue you can read about the development of Waldorf education in Mexico, an inspiring training course in Kyrgyzstan and social therapy work in India.
Looking to the east
In our current issue, we turn out attention to Eastern Europe. You may read about the dragon festival and the start of upper school classes in Lithuania, about the long path to an own building in Russia and about a long-term experiment on Waldorf education and civil society in Ukraine.