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+++ 23.02.2018 +++

Visiting Kenya

When in last October the presidential elections once again appeared to take a violent turn, we cancelled our trip to Nairobi. Now, in January 2018, we finally got to go. The trip had become necessary because the Rudolf Steiner School at the outskirts of Nairobi mainly depends on donations from Germany. Because of deteriorating exchange rates in 2016 and because of a decline in donations from educational sponsorships the school faced a financial squeeze. And we had to find a solution for that. A temporary solution resulted from a call for school meals in December. This contributed greatly to completing 2017 without a deficit.

The Rudolf Steiner School Mbagathi is now 28 years old.  There are four kindergarten groups, the school grades one to nine are fully developed, and in educational matters the school is operating more satisfactorily than ever before. It was good to accompany the school through all its stages of development, to go in for the long haul. Today, about 120 students live in school owned boarding homes on the school premises. Here they receive regular meals. 200 students come from the surrounding cities, mainly from Ongata Rongai. In our conversations, we addressed the necessity of vocational training in the upper grades, because those students who are either lacking the intellectual abilities or whose parents simply cannot afford to pay for the upper secondary grades currently find themselves without any real prospects. This is a task for the next few years.
During our visit, we invited all of our colleagues from the now three Waldorf schools in and around Nairobi to the Rudolf Steiner School for one afternoon. We also invited the early childhood teachers from the Waldorf Kindergartens. I talked about the preparations for the centennial of the Waldorf movement, about the inner motives with regard to the next one hundred years, and we exchanged ideas on the possible contribution of the East African Waldorf movement. For the first time all colleagues came together, even if some of them had kept their distance up until then due to unpleasant experiences. We could all witness immediately how healing the ideas and even more the ideals of Waldorf education can be. We planted a seed for further good cooperation.

Nana Goebel

Tags: kenia waldorfschule nairobi

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