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Kurdistan-Iraq November 2016

“They have all had terrible experiences”

Eleventh Emergency Pedagogy Mission in Northern Iraq

From November 4th to 18th, volunteer emergency pedagogues from the Friends of Waldorf Education will once again travel to Northern Iraq. Aid workers have already been working in the region for three years.  A few months ago, the project was further continued in cooperation with the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ). Since then, Child Friendly Spaces could be opened in three refugee camps.

The children and adolescents, mostly Yazidis, have experienced the unimaginable. Many saw how relatives and friends were killed by members of ISIS or how they didn’t survive the flight in the hot summer months. Especially children have difficulty understanding and categorising these experiences. They require safe spaces and support, in order to process these experiences so that trauma related disorders can be lessened.
The Child Friendly Spaces are such spaces. They offer the children reliability and order and the opportunity to play and experience joy.
Additionally, emergency pedagogy methods stimulate their self-healing powers.

Regularity is an important factor for this. 19 local colleagues now work in the three camps. They make daily offerings for the children possible. They work everyday in the mornings and afternoons for two hours with children up to 14 years old.
The further training of these pedagogues is once again a focus of this mission. In all of the camps, there will be multi-day long continuing education courses, where the concentration will be on the age group 6 to 9 year olds. The trainings will include the topics of rhythm, salutogenesis, and intervention possibilities with children showing abnormal behaviour (i.e. fearful, restless, sad, or aggressive children). In the camp, where work just started this summer, the focus will be on the introduction to trauma pedagogy, parent advising, work-shadowing, and debriefing, as well as the teaching of new methods, and the development of new methods by the local colleagues.

A further important aspect of this mission will be a joint project with the university in Dohuk. In cooperation with the departments of psychology and special education, courses about emergency pedagogy will be offered. They consist on the one hand of a theoretical introduction to emergency pedagogy by the international aid workers during the mission. On the other hand, the local colleagues will give practical workshops, which they will prepare ahead of time with help from the mission-team.

Through the trainings in the refugee camps and the integration of emergency pedagogy subjects at the university, the aid will be made sustainable and lasting. The colleagues on location will be empowered to become active themselves. In addition to the aid for the children and adolescents which they provide, they experience their own self-efficacy. This strengthening and self-care are necessary for them to have the strength they need for working with the children, and they also counter lack of perspectives.


  • +++ 18.11.2018 +++

    Disaster in Indonesia

    The severe earthquake and tsunami in October brought death and destruction to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.  In order to support the traumatised people in coming to terms with their experiences, an emergency education mission took place in the crisis region in November. more

  • +++ 01.11.2018 +++

    Help for the Philipines

    A team of the emergency pedagogy flies from 27.09. to 08.10. to the Philippines. Together with four local colleagues they will support the victims of the typhoon "Mangkhut". The storm caused serious damage in the Philippines and cost the lives of many people. Landslides and mudslides further aggravate the situation. more

  • +++ 10.11.2018 +++

    Mission in Gaza

  • +++ 13.07.2018 +++

    NOTE: Annual Emergency Pedagogy Conference 2019

    From 20 to 23 June 2019, the eighth annual emergency pedagogical conference will take place in the premises of the Parzival Centre in Karlsruhe.
    Under the title "Emergency pedagogy - How pedagogy can help injured (children's) souls", we will focus on the basis of emergency pedagogy at our next annual conference.

    Program and further information

Friends of Waldorf Education

Emergency Pedagogy
Karlsruhe Office
Parzivalstraße 2b
76139 Karlsruhe

Tel +49 (0)721 20111-144
Fax + 49 (0)721 35455974

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