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Waldorf teacher training in South and East Africa needs our help

Waldorf Education is a source of hope and change in many countries of the African continent. More and more teachers and educators want to be trained in a pedagogical approach that helps them meet children with respect, once more root the lost stories of their cultures into their hearts and accompany them on their individual development path. There are only two places where such training takes place: the teacher’s seminar for East Africa in Nairobi and the teacher’s seminar for South Africa in Cape Town. Both places are urgently needed, but cannot stand on their own feet financially.

Asia Mahmood has a deep way of feeling for and with those around her. This becomes particularly evident when she is dealing with the kindergarten children at Hekima Waldorf School in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, which she prepared to take over a few years ago. To learn the necessary tools of the trade there was only one option for her:  to attend the basic course at the East African Teacher Training in Nairobi in Kenia. This turned out to be a huge test of strength, because apart from teaching Asia also dyes and sells magnificent cotton fabric and not only looks after her four biological children, but also takes care of two orphaned children as part of her family.

The many hopes and dreams for the future of the children where ultimately the reason she did not hesitate: she thoroughly prepared each of the two-week units of basic training and the four days of travel, made great efforts to come up with the necessary financial means, and made sure her children were well looked after. Then she set out on the arduous trip to Nairobi.

Almost all students at the East African Teacher Training have a similar story like Asia. They regularly take long and arduous journeys to get to the teacher's seminar from Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. They are all driven by the desire to give the children what they themselves did not have: an education that appreciates each student and encourages them to learn and take their own biography into their hands.

So far there are not enough Waldorf schools to fund the seminar work. Moreover, the training facility is currently in a transition phase with the initiators transferred the basic course this year into new hands. This transition phase is an important step, but also a huge financial burden. Already during the transition and the development of the new people in charge, salary payments are necessary that should be high enough to the costs of living. But where should the seminar take money from, if most students are themselves hardly able to fund their own travel costs?

Another place where future Waldorf teachers and educators receive training is the Center for Creative Education in Cape Town, South Africa. It is the only officially recognised and independent training facility for Waldorf educators, teachers and eurythmists and well known near and far for its high-quality education.

Even today the wounds of Apartheid are still deeply rooted within the South African education system. The differences between black and white, poor and rich are great and painful. Waldorf schools such as Gaia, Michael Oak, Imhoff or Michael Mount Waldorf School have been doing great work for years now to provide children with prospects and build bridges between black and white. They strive to meet the demands of cultural diversity and reduce the social divide by accommodating also children from poor family backgrounds. Those tasks can only succeed if there are enough well trained Waldorf teachers in the future. The solid training at the Centre is indispensable to reach this goal.

Currently, the Centre is not only fighting for a renewed accreditation of the eurhythmy course, but also faces rapidly rising electricity and water bills that weaken the budget. At the same time, more students are currently dependent on financial support.

The East African Teacher Training and the Centre for Creative Education have emerged because the fruits of decades of ground work by Waldorf pioneers can now be reaped and more and more teachers are required. The two training centres do a wonderful job, even though they face enormous difficulties every day. The schools are too scattered and too weak to bear the financial burden of funding teacher training.

It is only with the help of people on the outside that these training facilities can continue to exist. Therefore, we want to continue to "stuff" the holes in the budgets, cover travel expenses and encourage students on their path. With your help, we can succeed!

With a heartfelt request for your donation,
Nana Göbel, Henning Kullak-Ublick, Bernd Ruf, Andreas Schubert

Donation account

Freunde der Erziehungskunst
GLS Bank Bochum
IBAN: DE47 4306 0967 0013 0420 10
BIC: GENODEM1GLS
Keyword „Teacher training Africa“

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