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+++ 20.01.2017 +++

Supporting the Waldorf School École du Village in Haiti

In October last year, a major hurricane devastated the small island state of Haiti. The southern part of this already poverty-stricken country was particularly affected. It is in this region, close to the seaport Les Cayes, where the little Waldorf School is located. The gale-force winds and the heavy rainfall laid waste to the buildings of the school and destroyed the few possessions of the community.

When the dramatic situation of the school came to light, the Friends of Waldorf Education reacted immediately by sending out an urgent email call for financial support. In this manner, an initial sum was quickly transferred, so that the basic repairs necessary for the re-opening of the school could be performed. In the wake of a catastrophe of this magnitude, it is essential to swiftly re-introduce a healthy rhythm into the children’s lives and to provide them with a warm meal. Later on, pedagogical trauma work was established in situ.

At the same time, the Friends of Waldorf Education contacted other partners of the school from Germany, France, and the USA, in order to closely coordinate the provided aid and to carefully plan further steps.

Indeed, while the makeshift repairs led to a prompt reopening of the school, it is only a matter of time until the next hurricane or another earthquake strike this region. A solid school building is needed to sustainably provide a protective shell. But local conditions are complicated and much is needed: For a start, we need an experienced architect who understands the limited resources of the school and who is, at the same time, able to design a beautiful building that will make going to school an enjoyable experience for the children. Then, we need a trustworthy construction company, whose materials meet the required quality standards. We also need an experienced local coordinator to manage the construction.

But above all, funding is needed; a safely constructed building costs money, first and foremost. Acquiring the necessary funds has proved to be more difficult than expected, since the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is currently not providing any further means, due to internal difficulties. If the Ministry had granted the co-funding, as all participants had been hoping for, the donations collected so far would have been sufficient. Now, the money will have to be raised elsewhere, and the Friends of Waldorf Education are still working towards this goal.


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