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Emergency Pedagogical Workshop in Slovakia: "My experiences are still very fresh"

News ,  Current news ,  Emergency pedagogy

The Kiev Waldorf teacher Polina Viktorova decided to leave Ukraine with her child and went to Slovakia. On 27.03 she took part in an emergency pedagogical seminar of the Friends of Waldorf Education in Bratislava Here she reports on the experience of her own trauma and the effect of emergency pedagogy, which she could clearly perceive - despite the language barrier.

"My name is Polina Viktorova. I come from Ukraine, from Kiev. I am a Waldorf teacher and worked at the Yavir Waldorf School before the war. My son's father has been at the front since the first day of the war, actively participating in the fighting.

The decision to come to Slovakia was very difficult for me and my son. But we decided to take this step because during the war it became more and more difficult to stay in Ukraine. We were taken in by a very good family who help us in everything and support us very much. My child can attend classes at the Waldorf School in Bratislava, and I can also be active and help out here at the school. This was very important for me, because this way I don't feel isolated from society and I move in a familiar environment - even if in a different country.

I was able to participate in a seminar on emergency education. This was a very interesting and useful experience for me. The lectures were in German and translated into Slovak, and the participants helped us to understand everything better by translating into English. It sounds complicated, but it didn't stop me from understanding a lot and taking it away for myself.

I learned about the stages of the injury and its symptoms, about the duration of the injuries, about the consequences, a post-traumatic syndrome. And further, about many other disasters in the world and their consequences for people and about how to help.

It was difficult for me to listen to the lecture and see the photos. My experiences are still very fresh and I react violently to photos, loud noises and memories of events. I could see in myself almost all the symptoms that were talked about.

But many things reassured me. That the symptoms I experienced are a typical picture of an injury. That their treatment takes time and is not over yet and that traumatic experiences can also be helpful. That we are in a safe place now and the body of a healthy school and society will help us. Also the attention of the lecturers, the conversations with them, the offers of support have helped to feel better.

My recovery is very slow. It's like I'm in a slow-motion movie. I have little strength; I get tired quickly, my mood changes all the time. It takes time for this to pass, like the healing of a wound. And I wait. Thanks to all who help me on this path."

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