Training Courses in Emergency Pedagogy in Calcutta
The effects of extreme poverty lead to severe traumatisation in India. To give social workers and teachers a tool they can use in their work with traumatised children and youths, a four day training course in emergency pedagogy was offered in Calcutta
"In India, one cannot speak of a collective traumatisation, that was caused by one singular, shared experience, which is often the case in global crisis areas," explains Kristina Wojtanowski, emergency pedagogue at the Friends of Waldorf Education "the causes for the childrens' traumatisation are very individual but dramatic: extreme poverty, parental alcoholism, child labour, and sexual assaults leave deep scars on the children's psyche." Especially in the slums, it is important for teachers, preschool teachers, and social workers to be trained in working with such traumatisation so that they can support the children in coping with their terrible experiences.
In cooperation with "Aktion Deutschland hilft" and a local partner, the Friends of Waldorf Education could hold training courses focused on emergency pedagogy. The courses took place from the 23rd to 26th of February at a local school. Bernd Ruf, founder of emergency pedagogy and executive director of the Friends of Waldorf Education gave an introduction to psychotraumatology in his lecture. These theoretical ideas were complimented with practical workshops on emergency pedagogical methods like art therapy, rhythm therapy, and eurythmy. Around 40 teachers and social workers from different schools and social institutions took part in the courses.
Included in the participants were also representatives of the Helgo North Point Projects, an institution with which the Friends of Waldorf Education have worked together in the area of voluntary service for many years. The project supports around 200 children who live in particularly hard conditions. They enable the children to escape child labour and to attend school or do an apprenticeship. At this time the project is being supported by two volunteers, placed there by the Friends of Waldorf Education.