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Schools in rural Africa

Good schools are rare outside the big cities of Africa. Especially for children from poorer families – for example, the children of farm workers – access to high-quality education is decisive for their future lives. Together with you, we would like to support three Waldorf schools in rural Africa.

Kitale: The Humane School needs a safe place

The Humane School is a very special school. It was founded about ten years ago by Juliet Mia. It is very important to her that children in the more rural areas of Kenya also have access to good education. This concern was the driving force in the foundation of the school, which is located in Northwest Kenya, outside the district capital of Kitale and only 25 kilometers from the border with Uganda. The parents of the schoolchildren are predominantly farm workers – working, for example, on the tea plantations in the surrounding area. They live in mud houses, which - like the school - are not connected to the electricity grid. They cook their food on wood fire and fetch water every day from the village well. With their Waldorf-educational approaches, the teachers create an active environmental awareness among the children and lay the foundations for constructive strategies to fight poverty, violence, and corruption as early as possible. Intensive further training measures through the East African Teacher Training in Nairobi support the team.

The school, which currently looks after more than 100 children from kindergarten to eighth grade, is now facing a great challenge: the owner of the property the school had leased passed away, and his heirs are no longer willing to extend the lease. The school needs a new place to grow. In order not to be affected by insecure ownership in the future, we want to help the school acquire its own plot of land. The Steiner School Trust (which runs the Waldorf School in Nairobi-Mbagathi) is to act as the owner and will then make the land available to the Humane School. In this way, the property is in safe hands and the established and reliable school in Mbagathi can hold its protective hand over the developing sprout that is the Humane School.

It might be possible to purchase a small coffee plantation not far from the current location. A large part of the land will continue to be used as a coffee plantation, so that the school will be able to cover parts of the running costs independently. This is a good perspective for the small committed school community. But the land must first be bought. The land for sale costs around 150,000 euros, nine acres in total.

Kufunda: This village is a Waldorf trailblazer

Not far from Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, lies Kufunda Village and its Waldorf school and Kindergarten – an ever growing school community with a committed staff of teachers. Zimbabwe's only Waldorf School wants to become an important alternative to the country's school system. Due to the miserable economic situation, most highly trained teachers left Zimbabwe about ten years ago. Today, parents who scrape together the money for school fees and uniforms find their five-year-old children among 70 classmates in first grade. Poorly trained teachers beat the children in case of misconduct and have little concern for learning deficits. In the Kufunda Waldorf School children are allowed to be children. The parents in the area - most of them workers on the surrounding farms - appreciate this: The number of applications is growing continuously. Families from farms and villages further away would also like to send their children to this school. But the long way to school is an insurmountable obstacle for many. The school therefore urgently needs its own school bus, with the help of which more children can reach the school. Since most families can only pay a small school fee, the school is in need of donations, not only for the bus. School materials are also needed, and of course the teachers’ salaries must be financed, as well as their further education and training. With your donation you can help make this still small school become a safe place for many more children from the rural area around Harare.

Hebet el-Nil: An initiative of the farmers on the banks of the Nile

The village of Al Biirat is located on the banks of the Nile, opposite Luxor. A small Waldorf school has been under development here for about four years. Their story began with an encounter between a Waldorf teacher and the mothers from the farming families who live here. In view of the unsatisfactory school education, the mothers were enthusiastic about a school with an extended pedagogy. In 2016, the first seminars on Waldorf Education and art classes for the Egyptian teachers took place, and that same year a first kindergarten group opened. With the opening of the first grade in 2017, the school was recognized as a community school. Since then the school's official name is "Madressa Hebet el-Nil". In Egypt the classes at the public schools are also very large, often with 70 children. The children are supposed to learn by shouting in unison what the teacher tells them. Children who can’t keep up run the risk of taking hits. Many children do not attend school at all despite compulsory schooling - the illiteracy rate is currently 30 percent. Access to the school system is particularly difficult for girls.

Since the state provides little money for its schools, more and more private schools have emerged in recent years, which are of course only accessible to people with high incomes. The Hebet el-Nil school wants to be open to all children. In fact, most children come from poor families; not even half of them can make a financial contribution to the school at all. The school community is currently building classrooms for the growing number of students. The construction for the first seven grades costs 127,000 euros. Donations are urgently needed.

With a heartfelt request for your donation,

Nana Goebel, 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: Rural Africa

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