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Brazil & Argentina October 2012

Emergency response training in South America: Reacting quickly in crises situations

Last emergency response trainings in Brazil and Argentina: From October 11th to 21st the Friends of Waldorf Education and Lands Aid trained about 280 people in first aid, health care, the treatment of infectious diseases, as well as emergency and trauma-pedagogic methods. The goal was to enable local emergency response teams to react quickly in case of an emergency. Local activists expressed a pressing need for the continuation of the trainings to Malte Landgraff, coordinator of the emergency pedagogic department of the Friends of Waldorf Education.

„The massive earthquake of 2010 highlighted the value of well trained regional emergency response teams, which significantly reduces the response time in case of an emergency. This is the only way to provide fast, professional and comprehensive help” states Kristina Manz, head of the Emergency Pedagogic department. Dr. Waltraud Remmele, the medical project manager at LandsAid says that: “In the long term, we hope that our trainings help to save lives and to assist people in any way possible.”

The first ever joint seminar on pedagogic and medical first aid was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The final assessment showed that the participants appreciated the workshops and that they believe to have learned a lot. They explicitly praised the cooperation of the Friends of Waldorf Education and LandsAid. Two more seminars were held in Argentine. All in all, 280 teachers and educators took part in the emergency response trainings.

„It was very impressive to see the participants’ interest. It clearly shows us how important pedagogic and medical first aid in cases of emergency is to them, and also that the participants will continue to support the formation of local emergency pedagogic groups” Malte Landgraff points out. Some of the participants will be integrated into assignments outside of their region to provide them with a deeper insight into the work of emergency relief groups. In the future, follow-up assignments in Colombia, India, and Kenya are on the agenda.

At the emergency response trainings the Friends of Waldorf Education introduced emergency- and trauma pedagogic concepts and methods while LandsAid focused on the medical part of the training courses. The emergency pedagogic team helps psychologically traumatized children and adolescents in war- and disaster areas to process the traumatizing events they experienced.

This was the Friends of Waldorf Education’s and LandsAid’s first cooperation in the field of emergency response training. The cooperation was induced by the German relief coalition Aktion Deutschland Hilft, which also provided the funding.

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