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Brazil December 2012

Emergency Pedagogic Seminar in Santana de Parnaíba

In Cooperation with partner Organization „Corrente de Luz“ from December 10th to 12th 2012

Responding to the request of Paulo Vasconcellos, founder of the Associação Christã Corrente de Luz (in the following shortened to Corrente de Luz), the emergency pedagogic department of the Friends of Waldorf Education conducted an emergency pedagogic seminar in Santana de Parnaíba (Brazil). The team included Bernd Ruf (managing director) Andreas Schubert (Management), Malte Landgraff (coordinator of the emergency pedagogic team), and Reinaldo Nasciemento (experiential-educational pedagogue and coordinator of voluntary services in Brazil). They were supported by workshop coordinators Tanja Bergamo and Silvia de Aranjo Silveira.

The association Corrente de Luz describes itself as a Christian organization, which strives to offer disadvantaged children from the region around Sao Paulo an opportunity to acquire basic education and to foster their social development. The concept is based on Waldorf education and includes various components: From scholarly education, to leisure-time activities, to vocational training. Because the organization is rather young, the components are in different developmental stages. There’s a variety of well-established pedagogic offers in the afternoon; nevertheless, the association tries to expand those. Vocational training is mainly limited to a dressmaker’s shop and comprehensive schooling will be provided starting next year. In all areas mentioned the preparation of an expansion of the activities shows very good progress, and Corrente de Luz shows a very impressive and well organized infrastructure.

Most of the children and adolescents that attend Corrente de Luz grew up under adverse conditions and many of them live in an environment that is dominated by crime, drugs, and poverty. This is the reason why Paulo Vasconcellos wanted to provide the educators at Corrente de Luz with basic information on concepts of traumatology and to train them in the use of emergency pedagogic methods.

The seminar was scheduled from December 10th to 12th 2012 and was divided into different elements: Bernd Ruf’s introductory presentations on psychological traumatology and emergency pedagogic intervention-tools at different stages of a psychological trauma were the foundation of the seminar. Additionally, workshops on Bothmer-Gymnastics, storytelling, and emergency pedagogic group exercises were offered. Furthermore, the participants could participate in discussion groups to discuss topics of major interest, to expand their knowledge and to reflect on their experiences.

All in all, about 40 people attended the seminar, mostly employees of Corrente de Luz, but also employees of other organizations that work in similar fields and other interested persons. Because such seminars are a rarity, the participants’ hunger for knowledge was big and their motivation to participate actively was very high.

After three days full of exchange, new input and experiences, the seminar drew to a close. The Friends of Waldorf Education and Corrente de Luz promised to stay in contact. The overwhelming gratitude of the participants is a huge motivation to possibly offer similar seminars in the future, to support local emergency pedagogic groups and continue an exchange between the partner organizations.

Malte Landgraff


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