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Home: Freunde Waldorf

Brussels 2016

When the unimaginable happens

Days after the attacks in Brussels, shock over the events was still in the limbs of the people there. On Wednesday, the 19th of April, a four-person team travelled to Brussels for a short mission. The mission was mainly directed at teachers and other interested persons. Many pedagogues work with children suffering from so-called secondary traumatisation in their schools. This means, that also children and adolescents who were not directly affected by the attacks could be traumatised from reports in the media, stories told at school, and similar situations.

In the ABC-House (Art Basics for Children), a public cultural centre in northern Brussels, we were greeted. Our emergency pedagogy seminar was met with great interest: Waldorf teachers from the entire region travelled there, some for over two hours, in order to be able to participate.

The inner city of Brussels is as before cordoned off, there are police everywhere. Again and again we must find a new route from the ABC-House to the hotel because streets are blocked off.

The start of the seminar consisted of an opening circle followed by a lecture from Bernd Ruf, which was also translated into Flemish. Afterwards the attendees spilt into two work groups in order to experience what they had just heard in practice. In one workshop, modelling beeswax was artistically and creatively sculpted. During this activity, an intensive discussion resulted about experiences, aspects of trauma psychology, and what happens to us emotionally when we experience something traumatic. The other workshop was more oriented on experiential pedagogy with trust and sensory exercises.

What united everyone after this short but intensive seminar, was the realisation that one can do and accomplish so much with so little when one has the appropriate awareness in order to help the affected children.