Voluntary Services | Emergency Pedagogy
+49 (0)721 20111-0
Waldorf Worldwide | WOW-Day | Sponsorships
+49 (0)30 617026 30
Home: Freunde Waldorf

Emergency Pedagogy Annual Conference 2022

For the 11th time Friends of Waldorf Education is organising the Emergency Pedagogy Annual Conference. This year the conference will take place from 17.06 to 19.06.2022 under the title "Life, War, Flight – Traumatic experiences of people with special needs".

We would like to approach the topic especially from an (emergency) pedagogical point of view, because experiences of stress and threats of various kinds are experienced by everyone and are unavoidable. People with special needs more often than others experience events that are associated with borderline or even transgressive actions. In addition, they are often unable to actively influence them and, due to possible cognitive impairments, are often less able to grasp and assess them quickly.

This year's conference will focus on the question of what effects trauma can have on people with special needs and what specific Emergency and Trauma Pedagogical intervention options are necessary or possible in this special field. The topic of flight, which is currently very ever-present again, will also be considered during the conference.

We are looking forward to welcoming interested people from pedagogical, therapeutic and medical fields who attend the conference both as contributors and as participants.

This year's conference will again be held in a hybrid format. This means that participants can either attend on site in Karlsruhe or online. Furthermore, all presentations will be available in German, English and Spanish, which will enable us to make the conference available to a wide audience. We are looking forward to speakers from Germany and Lebanon, people from different disciplines with a special focus on trauma and special needs. The lectures will be complemented by a variety of practical workshops that can also be attended online or offline (on-site in Karlsruhe).

We appreciate your interest and hope to see you online or in presence in June for the Emergency Pedagogy Annual Conference 2022.

Schedule for the conference

You can view a preliminary schedule for the conference HERE.
This schedule represents the planned program at this point in time.
It is therefore without guarantee, changes are reserved.



Participation on site in Karlsruhe

Regular rate 270,00 € (including 60 € for meals without breakfast).

Reduced rate 120,00 € (including 60 € for meals without breakfast, pupils, students and volunteers - proof of attendance (student card or similar) is required).                       

Online participation                                                     

Regular fee 150,00 € Europe

Reduced rate 60,00 € Europe                                

Regular fee 50,00 € outside Europe

Reduced fee 10,00 € outside Europe, who cannot pay 50,00 €.

SPEAKERS - lectures & informations

Bernd Ruf

War - Flight - Disability How pedagogy can help children and young people overcome their traumatic experiences

According to UNHCR, more than 73 million people are currently on the run. Almost half of these refugees are minors. Many children and adolescents flee without caregivers. War and flight are almost always traumatic experiences with far-reaching consequences for the future biography. The situation of children and adolescents with special needs is particularly dramatic. What are war and flight traumas? How do they affect children and adolescents? What special challenges do people with special needs face in this situation? How can emergency and trauma pedagogy help these children and adolescents to process their experiences and thus prevent trauma consequential disorders? The explanations are intended to encourage and enable pedagogical professionals and volunteer assistants to take up the challenge.

As a special and Waldorf educator, Bernd Ruf is both co-founder of the Freie Waldorfschule Karlsruhe and co-founder and principal of the Parzival Competence Center for Education. In addition to his international lecturing and seminar activities, he has been involved in various committees and organizations promoting Waldorf education since 1993. In addition, he has been the executive director of the Friends of Waldorf Education since 1987. In 2006, he added another area of responsibility with the establishment and management of Emergency Pedagogy (crisis intervention in war and disaster regions). In numerous international missions, children all over the world can thus be supported in coping with their traumatic experiences. In the fall of 2014, Bernd Ruf also initiated the reception, accompaniment and schooling of unaccompanied minor refugees at the Parzival Center in Karlsruhe, where he also set up an Emergency Pedagogy Outpatient Clinic.

Walter Dahlhaus

Trauma and Disability

Just as the existence of mental illnesses in people with special needs was not sufficiently recognised for a long time, the awareness in society of the many ways in which these people are exposed to traumatic experiences is only slowly growing. This includes forms of violence such as sexualised violence as well as emotional trauma. The growing attention to this increasingly enables adequate pedagogical and therapeutic approaches.

Walter Dahlhaus was born in 1953, is a curative teacher and a doctor of psychiatry and psychotherapy. He works in a practice in Merzhausen/Freiburg and offers psychiatric counselling in institutions for people with special needs.

Martin Kühn

Trauma and "Disabled Living"

People with disabilities are a high-risk group in terms of traumatic stress. In contrast, their psychosocial care is still absolutely marginal to this day.

In this lecture, the trauma-related bases of understanding are presented and the necessity of corresponding educational interventions is described. Trauma-sensitive support and care represents a contribution by educational offers to the trauma healing of people with learning difficulties that should not be underestimated.

Martin Kühn is a qualified teacher with additional training in systemic therapy and counselling, as well as systemic therapy with the inner family system (IFS according to R. Schwartz). He has over 30 years of professional experience in youth and disability care and has been involved in the founding and development of the specialist discipline of "trauma pedagogy" since the 1990s. He is a much requested speaker and initiator and founder of the "Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Traumapädagogik" (now Fachverband Traumapädagogik FV TP). In 2010 he founded the "traumapädagogisches Institut norddeutschland" in Worpswede near Bremen and works there full-time.

Heinz Rembor

Crisis intervention for people with disabilities - what changes?

If crisis intervention is demanding anyway, crisis intervention with people with disabilities often poses special challenges for the helpers. The speaker presents possible special features and tries to offer solutions. Special emphasis is placed on practical feasibility.

After his military service in the German armed forces, Heinz Rembor obtained his Abitur (high school diploma) via the second educational path and then completed training as a state-recognised educator. This was followed by seven years in a home for "children and adolescents with difficult behavioural problems" and studies in social work at the University of Coburg.
Since 1996, he has worked as a qualified social worker in the accompanying service of a workshop for people with assistance needs and, in the context of this, has completed further training as an integration counsellor and is head of QUBI.
In parallel, he is a state-certified paramedic and has been a member of the Arbeiter Samariter Bund since 1973. He is currently the honorary head of the crisis intervention team and the KIT counselling centre for people with disabilities.

Dr. Reem N. Mouawad

The case of Step Together, children in need of soul care in times of war

‘It is only in the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.’ This lecture starts by defining children in need of soul care and the role of curative transformative education. It then describes the challenges of living in war situations, the impact of war on children in general and children with special needs in particular. It presents Lebanon as a case study, a country that has endured more than 30 years of political war conflicts, instability and economic collapse. It presents the work done at Step Together with the emergency pedagogy team and describes the way we worked on therapeutic artistic activities with the children. Providing case studies. It also explores the way we developed as a community our inner qualities of courage, inner strength, kindness and love to help us cope with the instability and uncertainty we are living. We need to act and protect children as much as possible and this is also explored with a caregiver testimony on her work in emergency pedagogy.  It ends with a message of hope for the future because without love and hope we cannot survive.

Dr. Reem N. Mouawad is the president and principal of Step Together Association, a nonprofit organization for children and adults with special needs. She is also a lecturer in special education at the American University of Beirut and an assistant professor at the Lebanese American University. Dr. Mouawad is an international expert in special education, she initiated the teacher training program with international partners in the UK and Germany and is an international member of the inclusive social development (Dornach, Switzerland) to work on the development of the charter of the special education teacher across cultures. She has served as a consultant to many governmental and non-governmental organizations and is also the author of the Arabic book, The Other Child, which introduces the basics of special education in Arabic.

Martin Straube

Disability traumatises - Traumatisation disables

We speak of a subgroup of the so-called "brain-organic psychosyndromes" ("HOPS") with restrictions of cognitive possibilities, impulse regulation disorders, lack of attention and memory restrictions in the classical disability pictures. If one looks at these with the terms of anthroposophical anthropology, as different as they are individually, there is an astonishing closeness to the anthropological picture of trauma sequelae disorders, which also show cognitive changes, behavioural abnormalities, attention restrictions and, at least in relation to the traumatic event, changes in memory.
Although the term trauma is used in an inflationary and blurred way, even where it is not justified, we know today that there are many unrecognised traumas. And this particularly affects people with disabilities, as the trauma often does not cause any extra symptoms in them, but "only" intensifies the symptoms of their disability.
Therefore, we need a more trained eye to notice trauma here.

Martin Straube is a doctor, school physician, author and speaker. Through his work as a doctor, he soon realised that illnesses are the end result of a process. And the beginning of such a process is often a trauma. Then, through his work with the Friends of Waldorf Education in emergency and trauma pedagogical missions in war and disaster areas, he felt the need to work more with trauma, to further his education and training. Since then, working with traumatised people has become the focus of his work.

As a trainer of Waldorf curative teachers and curative educators, as well as through many case supervisions in social therapeutic institutions, he has been able to perceive that traumas are much more frequent, especially in people with disabilities, as they have fewer possibilities to protect themselves and often the bonds to the parents and also the social interactions are disturbed from birth onwards. Children without disabilities are even less able to cope with changes in home placements and changes of caregivers than children without disabilities, which has a traumatic effect on their usually significantly limited resilience.

Empower & donate now
Empower & donate now