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Chile July 2012

Building a House for a Family of Six in Chile

The Friends of Waldorf Education’s cooperation with Habitat for Humanity: In collaboration with the relief organization Habitat for Humanity, which builds houses for poor families worldwide and engages in the rebuilding process in disaster areas, the Friends organized joint trainings. The courses from July 5th to July 13th extended the theoretical emergency pedagogic- and shelter construction training to include practical elements, as the participants helped to build a house for a Chilean family of six.

The contact between the relief organizations was initiated through their membership at Aktion Deutschland Hilft, Germany’s coalition of relief organizations. The German relief coalition was instated to grant the transfer of knowledge in the field of disaster management in order to provide comprehensive help in case of an emergency.

In the context of the project “Our Children Return Home”, which Habitat for Humanity Chile started in 2010, volunteers build houses for families with children that are in need of special care.

The Friends of Waldorf Education’s emergency pedagogic work in disaster areas throughout the world has led the team to the conclusion that a protected space is of great importance to (traumatized) people. The creative process of rebuilding their homes grants people the opportunity to actively shape their surroundings and to not perceive themselves as victims, but rather as an important part of their community.

In July, a family of six in Hulequen (Paine) a small town located about 60 km south of Santiago benefited from the work of both organizations: Habit for Humanity and the Friends of Waldorf Education assisted them in rebuilding their home. Thereby the Friends of Waldorf Education learned Habit for Humanity’s foundations of building.  Now the team has the skills to create a sheltered space in case of an emergency and is able to assist people in rebuilding their homes. In exchange, the workers of Habitat for Humanity received training in trauma pedagogic work, which provided them with basic skills for the psycho-social stabilization of traumatized children and adolescents.

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