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Kurdistan-Iraq November 2015

Autumn in the Refugee Camp in Northern Iraq

Just a few weeks after the last mission, an emergency pedagogy international team travelled once again to northern Iraq. From November 6th to 20th, the seventh emergency pedagogy mission of the Friends of Waldorf Education in the region supported people in the refugee camp.

In addition to the emergency pedagogy work with the children, the focus of this mission was above all the further training of the local team. The goal is to strengthen competences on the ground and to establish sustainable emergency pedagogy structures, which also function when no international experts are on site.

Trauma pedagogical offerings, like experiential, movement, and music pedagogy, sculpting or form drawing, should help the children to process their traumatic experiences. In the afternoon, continuing education courses for teachers and local aid workers took place. In workshops and daily discussions former work was reflected on, further work was determined and future perspectives were complied.
In intensive coaching and psychological advising of the team, question like “who am I?” and “where do I want to go?” were also dealt with. Despite the still difficult conditions, the motivation of most of the team members to continue the work has remained high.

This can also be explained certainly by the visible, positive changes, which one can perceive in the children. In the workshops, they really blossomed, they are quieter and show again trust in other human beings.
Like Said (11): During the last mission in September, he retracted from every touch, as if he were afraid of being hit. He stuck out due to his aggressive and problematic behaviour and it was difficult to get him to participate in a way which was acceptable for everyone. Now colleague Robert Murata reports: “This time Said came to us. He sought us out to be close to us, wanted to be hugged. He was visibly less cramped and tense. And he laughed a lot.”

Experiences like this show, how important it is that the work in the refugee camps in northern Iraq is continued. At this time, discussions about the continuation of this joint project with UNICEF are taking place.

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