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Hungary: Activities for refugee families in Miskolc

News ,  Current news ,  Emergency pedagogy

At the end of March, an Emergency Pedagogy team from the Friends of Waldorf Education visited the Hámori Waldorf School in northern Hungary. The school community wanted to become active in the face of the situation of refugees in their town and help on several levels. The emergency pedagogical seminar inspired the school community to organise leisure activities for refugee families in Miscolc. Rita Kishonthy-Kardos, a mother at the school, reports for us on her impressions:

"On Sunday 27 March 2022, the teachers and parents of the Hámori Waldorf School gathered in Miskolc, Hungary. The reason for the visit of two German trainers of Emergency Pedagogy (department of the Friends of Waldorf Education) was the nearby war in Ukraine. The school community wanted to learn how the war affects people and what possibilities there are to help the refugees in this situation.

We met in the morning, on a very sunny day, in our school building, which is located in a beautiful setting with a forest and a lake. Our trainers Fiona and Sebastian came with a pack of wooden sticks and big smiles on their faces. Afterwards there were lectures and practical workshops for us. You could feel in every word Fiona and Sebastian said that they are very experienced in this topic as they have been working in Emergency Pedagogy for several years. On this day, the participating parents and teachers got a comprehensive insight into the nature of psychotrauma, especially how children are affected by this trauma, including war-related psychological injuries. Through the activities we were able to try out and practice methods based on Waldorf pedagogy and used in trauma pedagogy. These tools, used in groups under playful conditions, can help children who carry fears and stuck memories to find their own balance, concentration and inner sense of rhythm again. Alternating the use of the right and left sides, including both hemispheres of the brain, as well as lots of laughter - this can be healing for little ones who are directly shocked by events in the world around them. Through these activities they can experience a kind of relief from the oppressive tensions. At the end of the day, we shared ideas on how to communicate with our own children about the war and what additional ways we can engage with the refugees hosted in our city. As a result of the trauma pedagogical workshop, we made contact with Ukrainian refugee families in Miskolc and started to organise recreational activities for them. We are so grateful for the time spent together, for the enthusiastic engagement and for the experiences we gained together!"

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