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Tragedy in Indonesia

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

Assistance after the typhoon

 A team of emergency educators will fly to the Philippines from 27.09. to 08.10.. 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.

Construction of a trauma outpatient clinic at Mossul General Hospital

In July 2017 Mossul was released from the IS. The occupation of Mossul  by the IS and the consequences of the liberation almost led to the collapse of the local infrastructure and health care. The Mosul General Hospital was also badly damaged. Bernd Ruf and his team introduced the physicians to emergency and trauma pedagogy in a first seminar. read more

USA and Colombia: Emergency Pedagogy seminars

From July 7-15, an Emergency Pedagogy team worked in Colombia. They supported local experts and local people - war victims, torn families and former child soldiers This was followed by further training in Oakland. read more

Exciting speakers at the Annual Conference 2018

We are now pleased to announce who the speakers of the 2018 Annual Conference on Emergency Education will be. They have all prepared interesting lectures on the conference topic "Transgenerational Traumas". Information about them, all further information and the link to the registration form can be found here

Time to celebrate!

 The third anniversary of FWE (Friends of Waldorf Education) was celebrated with a colourful and cheerful party. On the open day, all kids were able to paint, sculp aswell as playing music and much more. During the evening all current, local and former employees celebrated together. View more  HERE 

Advanced module training emergency pedagogy

The flexible training modules on psychotraumatology and emergency pedagogy as well as basic training in safety and first aid and more, can be attended on each other in a  seperated way. Each module is certified. All together the certificates result in a final report. Weekends are offered at home and abroad. More information

The playground is set up!

 The playground in northern Iraq, which was financed as a crowdfunding project together with KuKuk, is now built. In the Khanke, an orphanage and educational centre of the Our Bridge initiative, a place for many children could be created. Not only the residents of the orphanage, but also those of the neighbouring refugee camp visit the site, about 250 children every day. View more

World Social Initiative in Japan

Also a team of "Friends" takes part in the Forum Social Initiative (SIF). Among other things Bernd Ruf offers a trauma care workshop. Here you can see further impressions.

Nature experiences help young people

 Within the scope of the project "ankommen_weiterkommen", various workshops and activities are taking place to help the refugees arrive in Germany and cope with the trauma. They have already been on the "Schwarzwaldhochstraße", canoeing and in the Palatinate. read more

Filling schools with life

In 2015, Nepal was hit by two devastating earthquakes and several major aftershocks. The poverty-stricken country is still suffering the consequences. In cooperation with the Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ GmbH), an emergency pedagogical intervention in the earthquake region took place from 3 to 18 November. continue

Magazin [welt]blick 1/2018

News from Emergency Education! We have already been on the road a lot and are reporting on our current [welt]blick of missions in Bangladesh, Kenya and Nepal as well as the further expansion of the international emergency pedagogy network. You can read the magazine online HERE or order it by phone +49 (0)721 20111 183 or e-mail.

Emergency education network is being expanded

 In the context of international disaster prevention, numerous seminars will again be taking place in South America in February and March. The focus is on trauma and pedagogy, psychotraumatology and school as a safe place. In addition, the further systematic development of an international network of emergency pedagogy is more

Dramatic scenes in Mexico

In recent weeks, Mexico has been shaken by several major earthquakes and aftershocks. People had little time to look for buried people in the rubble. Meanwhile, over 300 people are thought to have died. In October, during a two-week assignment, Emergency Education supported the victims and worked with traumatized children, parents and teachers. continue

Help for helpers in Bangladesh

The situation in Bangladesh is becoming worse. The daily arrivals overtax the already poor country. Many helpers also reach their limits. Faced with the suffering and plight of the people, they also need support. In January, a team of emergency pedagogy travels to Burma's border region for a two-week trip to strengthen the victims and helpers psychosocially. continue

ANNOUNCEMENT: Emergency Education Conference

From June 9th to 11th, 2017, our emergency pedagogy annual conference will once again take place in Karlsruhe. This is the sixth time we are inviting, interested individual to further educate themselves in lectures and workshops with topics from emergency and trauma pedagogy. Registration will be possible starting next year. You can read about past conferences HERE.

Together against hunger in Africa

The people of Africa are fleeing war, violence, hunger and drought. More than half a million people live here in refugee camps. Emergency education was already active in the region as early as 2012 and is now supporting the people on the ground. The first operation of this year will take place at the end of June. continue

Emergency Pedagogy in London

After the attacks in London, two seminars covering emergency and trauma pedagogy have already taken place there. Now a high-rise fire has also occured, the need for support and methods for dealing with experiences is great. On June 20th a team left once again for London. continue.

Magazine [welt]blick 1/2017

Our new magazine [welt]blick is here! We report in this new edition about the missions in Haiti, emergency pedagogy in Germany, and our work in Columbia and Italy. You can download [welt]blick HERE or order it per telephone +49 (0)721 20111183 or email (in German). 

Opening Event for Aktion-Mensch-Project

Aktion Mensch is financing the project “ankommen_weiterkommen” (arrive_progress): At the Parzival-Centre, pedagogical offerings for unaccompanied minor refugees—but also for Karlsruhe teenagers—are given outside of lessons. The ceremonial opening event will take place on April 25th, 2017 at 11 o'clock, at the Parzival-Centre. continue.

13th Mission in Northern Iraq

A team left for northern Iraq today for the 13th time. The training of colleagues in the now three refugee camps is one focus of the mission. More about all past missions can be read HERE.

Emergency Pedagogy Aid in Nepal

Already in 2015, shortly after the earthquake in Nepal, the Friends of Waldorf Education supported traumatised children there. On Saturday, February 18th, a team of pedagogues and therapists is travelling once again to the Himalayan region to work with the children and to train local professionals in the methods of emergency pedagogy. continue.

Safe Places for Children in Northern Iraq

On January 20th, 2017, a team from emergency pedagogy is travelling to Northern Iraq for the twelfth time. Once again the focus lies in further educating local employees, as well as parent and teacher advising. Also courses at the University of Dohuk which were started in November 2016 will be continued. continue.

Italy: Emergency Pedagogy Seminar

In the past year, Italy was shaken by multiple, strong earthquakes and more will most likely follow. Many of the people who had to be evacuated now live in hotels, halls, and tents far away from their home towns. In order to support aid workers in starting up projects for these children, a team from emergency pedagogy travelled from January 7th to 10th to Tortoreto. continue.

Philippines: Closing and Chance for Peace

On December 3rd, 2016 a team travelled for the sixth time to the Philippines. This mission will be the last one in Tacloban and will include the transfer of the project into the hands of local pedagogues. And at the same time, it is the first visit to the region of Cotabato, which has been burdened by conflicts for years. continue

Emergency Pedagogy in Northern Iraq

On November 4th, 2016, a team once again traveled to Northern Iraq to support and further train local colleagues. Courses were also introduced at the University in Dohuk. The team will be on location until November 18th to work with the children and pedagogues. continue

Emergency Pedagogy Mission in Haiti

Six years after the severe earthquake in Haiti, catastrophe has once again struck the island country. The death toll is now rising to around 1000 persons, at least 350,000 people are homeless and need immediate assistance. The Friends of Waldorf Education is planing a mission for the end of October in Haiti to support traumatised people. continue

We made it!

Even before the crowdfunding deadline expired, with the help of many supporters, we managed to collect far more than the required sum of € 11,000 for the playground in Kurdistan/Iraq. In this way, a little light and joy can now be brought into the dull everyday life of the refugee camp in time for Christmas. Thank you very much!

Magazin [welt]blick 2/2017

Our new magazine  [welt]blick is here! We report in this new edition about the help in Bangladesh, emergency pedagogy in Iraq, and our work in Mexico Kenya and Germany. You can download [welt]blick HERE or order it per telephone +49 (0)721 20111183 or E-Mail. (in German). 

10th Mission in the Gaza Strip

A team from the emergency pedagogy department will carry-out a crisis intervention in Gaza from October 23rd to 30th. The aid workers were already in the conflict struck region for multiple missions, this is the tenth.
For many years now, the conflicts in the Gaza-Strip have rarely calmed down; the residents are subject to on-going tensions. continue

Together with "brac" in Bangladesch

In cooperation with the local aid organisation "brac", seven emergency pedagogues will travel to Bangladesh on 1 February. In addition to working with traumatized children, the focus is on relieving the burden on local helpers. In workshops and coaching sessions they are given methods from emergency and trauma pedagogy.

Emergency pedagogy in Nepal's mountain villages

The team of ten, which will be on location from 27 January to 1 February, will focus on disaster preparedness and training.  Nepal has many problems that are not exclusively caused by the 2015 earthquakes, but have been exacerbated by them. In cooperation with the Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ GmbH) people are supported and strengthened in the long term.

Emergency Pedagogy Mission in Kenya

In the Kakuma refugee camp are many children who are traumatized by the expulsion and flight. On 13th of January, an emergency education team travelled to support our partner Waldorf Kakuma in her work. In this way, those who are affected can be helped to process their personal experiences.

Practical workshops at the annual conference

The seventh annual emergency education conference will take place from 1 to 3 June 2018. This year, the focus will be on emergency education approaches to dealing with inherited suffering.
In addition to lectures, workshops are offered in which practical experience can be gathered.
More information about the content and the course leaders is now online. continues

Continuing Education Courses in South America

In October and November Bernd Ruf will once again travel to South America to offer more continuing education courses. First he will stop in Columbia and Brazil from October 7th to 17th. In November five days in Chile follow. Additionally, he will meet with volunteer colleagues of the country groups and the local emergency pedagogy team. Some of them also participated in the Ecuador mission in May of this year.

They and other interested persons have the opportunity here to learn more about the development of trauma, its course, and effects and get to know and/or deepen their knowledge of helpful methods from emergency pedagogy.

Training in Emergency and Trauma Pedagogy

At this time, an international institute for emergency and trauma pedagogy is being established. This institute will offer continuing education courses in emergency and trauma pedagogy starting in 2017. The continuing education courses are designed for all interested persons, who are working in pedagogical-therapeutical settings with traumatised children and adolescents daily or who would like to participate in emergency pedagogy interventions. The seminars will take place on weekends, so that the continuing education courses can be attending while continuing to work full-time. The instructors are experienced emergency pedagogues, therapists, and doctors, who have much experience handling traumata, gained through many missions.

More information will follow in winter 2016.
If you are interested in the courses, you can send us an email.

Mission in Iraq

From August 26th till September 9th, an emergency pedagogy team from the Friends of Waldorf Education will travel again to the autonomous region of Kurdistan in Northern Iraq. . In addition to their currently established project in the three refugee camps, they will work under the direction of the Welthungerhilfe (World Hunger Aid) together with other aid organizations in the so-called “summer schools”.

In addition, the existing project in the three refugee camps Berseve I and II and Chamishku will be continued and local colleagues trained. read more.

Experience Report Northern Iraq

Martin Straube works as an anthroposophical doctor and was already with the "Friends of Waldorf Education" in Gaza twice. In the beginning of July 2016, he visited the long-term project in the Region of Dohuk in Northern Iraq.

In our blog, he reports about his experiences on location.
read more

Retrospective on the Anniversary Annual Conference of Emergency Pedagogy

The fifth emergency pedagogy annual conference of the Friends of Waldorf Education took place from May 26th to 29th in Karlsruhe, during which the 10th anniversary of emergency pedagogy was celebrated. You can read a complete report here.

Mission in Ecuador

In April Ecuador was hit by a devastating earthquake and many heavy aftershocks. From May 2nd to 17th 2016, an intervention team from the emergency pedagogy department of the Friends of Waldorf Education was on location. Special for this mission was that the emergency pedagogy team was made up of mostly local collegues for the first time. In order to be able to finacnce further work, the Friends of Waldorf Education depend on donations.

Click here to donate. Keyword: Ecuador

Flight Trauma: Emergency Pedagogy helps!

60 million people are fleeing right now. Around a half of them are children and adolescents. Many are traumatised and experience horrifying things during their flight. Emergency pedagogy supports these children in Germany, transit countries, and in their home lands.

In Germany:
In Karlsruhe refugee children have received trauma-pedagogical aid since autumn 2014. To make this possible, cooperation exists with the Parzival School Centre, where refugees are emergency pedagogical supported in five classes. This psycho-social support is also offered by volunteer pedagogues in initial reception centres. Since September emergency pedagogical aid has been establishing and networking in additional German cities. In order to train aid workers, teachers, and pre-school teachers in working with traumatised children, professional development courses covering the topic “Emergency Pedagogy for Traumatised Refugees” are being offered throughout Germany. In the context of a newly established advising centre, the Friends of Waldorf Education informs and supports Waldorf schools in all questions about inclusion and pedagogical support of refugee children.

On the escape route and in the home countries:
The Friends of Waldorf Education are also active in the countries through which the flight routes go. In October and November, emergency pedagogy missions took place on the Greek island of Lesbos and on the Slovenian-Austrian border. Two flashpoints, where the flood of refugees and the suffering of the displaced are concentrated. Right after the dangerous journey over the Mediterranean Sea, many refugees are close to an emotional and physical break down and urgently need psycho-social aid.  In cooperation with local Waldorf initiatives further missions on the Balkan route are being planned.  In northern Iraq the Friends of Waldorf Education could establish an emergency pedagogy team in two refugee camps in cooperation with UNICEF. This cooperation makes a continuous presence and daily psychosocial offerings for traumatised children and adolescents in the camps possible.

Sending the expert teams, supporting refugee children in Germany and abroad, and the advising of schools and aid workers all cost money. In over to be able to act quickly and effectively, we are reliant on financial support.

Please donate now—every euro counts!

Retrospective: Flight‒Trauma‒School 2015

Under the heading “Flight—Trauma—School” the first continuing education offering specifically for teachers and aid workers working with refugees from the Friends of Waldorf Education took place from October 31st to November 1st. The seminar was held in cooperation with the Parzival School Centre in Karlsruhe. You can find a detailed retrospective here.

Bernd Ruf honoured with the European Dialogue Silver Award


For 3 years, the European Dialogue Silver Award has been awarded in Karlsruhe to prominent personalities who connect Karlsruhe with the world. The prize is endowed by Tom Høyen, city councilman in the municipal council of Karlsruhe and former director of the European School.

In his laudation, Tom Høyen emphasised the meaning of the Parzival-School Centre with its emergency pedagogical outpatient clinic has for Karlsruhe and expressed his admiration for the expansion of emergency pedagogy as a “worldwide active, emergency pedagogical aid organisation for the psychosocial protection of children and adolescences in crisis regions.”

The emergency pedagogy of the Friends of Waldorf Education was created in 2006 by Bernd Ruf. After personally experiencing war in Lebanon, Bernd Ruf developed emergency pedagogy as “first aid for the soul.” Since then, over 40 emergency pedagogy missions have been carried out in crisis regions and after natural disasters. Most recently missions took place in Nepal, in the Gaza Strip, and in the Philippines. In northern Iraq emergency pedagogues and therapists work in two refugee camps in collaboration with UNICEF. In Karlsruhe, around 90 unaccompanied underage refugees are supported in the Parzival-School Centre in five refugee classes.

Psycho-social Aid for Refugees—Emergency Pedagogy helps!

New refugees arrive daily in Germany, especially from Syria and Iraq. Many have experienced awful situations in their home countries as well as during their flight to Germany. These terrible experiences leave behind deep emotional wounds especially in children. Emergency pedagogy of the Friends of Waldorf Education supports these children in Germany, in transit countries, and in their home countries.

A study done by doctors at the Technical University of Munich assumes that close to a quarter of refugee children are suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In order to help children in their processing of their terrible experiences and thereby make a life without severe emotional distress possible, the Friends of Waldorf Education in cooperation with Aktion Deutschland hilft are offering emergency pedagogical aid.

In Karlsruhe unaccompanied underage refugees have been trauma pedagogical supported since the fall of 2014. For this, there exists cooperation with the Parzival School Centre, which has opened five refugee classes for circa 90 unaccompanied underage refugees. In these classes, refugees are offered psycho-social aid in the form of emergency pedagogical methods like painting therapy and experiential pedagogy. This emergency pedagogical aid is also being offered by volunteer pedagogues in the initial registration centres in Karlsruhe. In September, additional emergency pedagogical aid could be initiated and planned in other Germany cities. In Hamburg the Friends are collaborating with Tellers Without Borders, in Stuttgart and Munich further emergency pedagogical initiatives are forming. In order to give aid workers, teachers, and preschool teachers throughout Germany an instrument for working with traumatised children, a two day professional development course will take place in October with the theme “Emergency Pedagogy for Traumatised Refugees”.

The Friends of Waldorf Education are also active in the transit countries, through which the displaced persons’ escape route goes. On October 16th, an emergency pedagogy team will travel to Greece, to the island of Lesbos. Many refugees land on this island after their dangerous journey over the Mediterranean Sea. In cooperation with local Waldorf initiatives further missions along the so called Balkan route are being planned.

In northern Iraq a local team of the Friends is continuing to work in two refugee camps. In cooperation with UNICEF, there are daily emergency pedagogical offerings for schoolchildren in the camps. Right now a volunteer German team is once again on the ground, in order to support the local pedagogues with further training and by supporting them in their direct work with the children. Please support the emergency pedagogical help for traumatised refugees with a donation:

Donations Account
GLS Bank Bochum
BLZ: 430 609 67
Account number: 800 800 700
IBAN DE06 4306 0967 0800 8007 00
Keyword “Emergency Pedagogy”

Thank-you very much for your help!

In cooperation with:

Emergency Pedagogy Aftercare in Nepal

Already after the devastating earthquake in Nepal, the Friends of Waldorf Education supported traumatised children with emergency pedagogy. Now a team of pedagogues and therapists will travel to the Himalayan region to carry out an aftercare mission and train local aid workers and teachers in the methods of emergency pedagogy. The mission is being carried out in cooperation with the German relief collation, Aktion Deutschland hilft.

The volunteer team of the Friends of Waldorf Education is made up of experienced trauma and experiential as well as theater and early childhood pedagogues. A psychotherapist, an art therapist, as well as a medical doctor round out the team. From August 23rd to September 6th, the aid workers will work with traumatised children and offer professional development courses in emergency pedagogy in Kathmandu, as well as in Bhimdunga and Thimi ̶ the locations where the first mission took place.

Northern Iraq: with UNICEF for traumatised children

In cooperation with UNICEF, the Friends of Waldorf Education were able to install nine local pedagogues and set up a local office in northern Iraq. A volunteer German team was on site from the 29th of May until the 12th of June to train the local team. The emergency pedagogical team was made up of experienced art therapists, experiential pedagogues, Waldorf preschool teachers and a teacher for special needs.

In the mornings, the emergency pedagogical team together with the local team could work with about 770 traumatised children in four UNICEF schools. At the same time, the work with the children served as part of the practical training of the local pedagogues. In preparatory and follow-up discussions the workshops were discussed and analysed. Bit by bit, the direction of the therapeutic offerings was transferred into the hands of the Iraqi colleagues. In the afternoons, the training of the local team was continued in workshops designed to deepen understanding of the methods used. The traumatisation of the local team was also discussed and attended to using emergency pedagogical methods.

You can find a report about the mission here!

ZDF-Report about emergency pedagogical intervention in Nepal

From the 9th to the 23rd of May an emergency pedagogical team was in Nepal to help traumatised children in their processing for their experiences. In the village of Bindhunga, a camera team from the German public television station ZDF accompanied them for a day. 

Return from Nepal

The emergency pedagogical team has safetly returned from their successful mission in Nepal.

All together, close to 2,000 children during a total of 12 intervention days could be treated with emergency pedagogy and about 60 pedagogues further educated in emergency pedagogy. Furthermore, about 250 patients were medically cared for or advised in the mobile clinic.

You can find a complete and personal report about the mission here.

Aftershock Earthquake in Nepal on May 12th, 2015

We have just received word directly from our team on the ground, that Nepal was again shaken by a strong earthquake. All the members of team are shocked and impacted, but according to mission leader Bernd Ruf, with whom we were in contact with by telephone on the morning of the 12th of May, 2015, physically unharmed and doing well.

The recent earthquake had a magnitude of 7.2 and hit the country and region just as relief efforts, provided by the whole world, had started to show their effects. The epicentre lay only a few kilometres east of Kathmandu. According to Bernd Ruf people plunged in a panic unto streets and public squares. Telephone lines in the country were totally destroyed. Concrete official reports about victims and damages are not yet available.

In cooperation with:

Intervention in Gaza

In October, a three-member emergency education team travels to Gaza. Supported by the DROSOS Foundation, a handbook (Guidelines) for local pedagoists of the Nawa Center and the kindergarten is to be developed there. The workshops and the deployment serve to prepare this culturally adapted guide, which is tailored precisely to local needs.

Gaza Strip uninhabitable?

In July, the UN said that Gaza was uninhabitable: hardly any electricity and drinking water, high youth unemployment. Nevertheless, there are initiatives such as the nursery school of Reem AbuJabar that give hope. On 20.10.4 emergency teachers travelled to Gaza to support Reem and her team.

In cooperation with:





  • +++ 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
Office Karlsruhe
Parzivalstraße 2b
76139 Karlsruhe
Tel +49 (0)721 20111-144
Fax +49 (0)721 20111-180

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