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Ukraine: We stay in contact with every family

News ,  Current news ,  Waldorf worldwide

The massive military attacks on parts of Ukraine have continued for more than 100 days. Thanks to the many donations that reached us after our urgent appeal at the end of February, we were able to help all schools to continue offering lessons - mostly as online lessons. This was also the case at the Stupeni Waldorf School in Odessa. In a letter at the beginning of June, Natalia Lukyanchenko told us about this special work and the end of the school year.

Dear Friends!

Our school thanks the Friends of Rudolf Steiner's Art of Education most sincerely for their tremendous help. From the beginning of the war we felt that we could preserve the most valuable thing we have: our teachers and the families of the pupils. This was made possible by the support of the Friends of Waldorf Education.

Since the beginning of the attacks by the Russian army in Ukraine, our teachers started to work online with the children who needed support. And two weeks later, the school began an online programme learning for all the pupils, and students from other Ukrainian Waldorf schools were invited to join. Together with our pupils and students, children from Sofia Waldorf School and Yavir Waldorf Initiative took part in classes. Throughout the spring, Ukrainian children inside and outside the country - those who had to go abroad for safety reasons - received online lessons, including main lessons, as well as psychological support.

A few weeks later, the therapeutic education class resumed its work: from online teaching, the teachers switched to working in person with the children who needed guidance and special support. Later, the kindergarten resumed some of its work: Kindergarten teachers sewed toys for the groups of children and then invited the parents who stayed in Odessa to join them, together with their children. In this way, the children could prepare for their final day in the kindergarten. And the children were also welcomed to the first class.

Last summer, our teachers attended a professional development seminar, given by Jean-Pierre Caron, on the teaching and learning of economics. This year, during the war, this knowledge became particularly relevant. For five weeks, the 10th graders from Stupeni and Sofia School studied the concepts of economics, the social aspects of different economic theories and finally, presented their visions of ideal economic concepts.

We also celebrated the end of the school year online. The staff and children from many dissimilar parts of the world came together in an online video meeting to prove to each other that peace will surely come and our whole school family will gather again, one day, in the schoolyard.

We have now completed the teaching process, but the teachers are working on innovative ways of teaching and learning for the new school year. We are discussing both methodological and organisational issues in case the war does not end by the autumn.

These new tough times have shown us that our school is an organism that lives in unity, and by dint of mutual support. All our teachers communicate with each other, regardless of distance. We know the lives of each of our children and keep in touch with each family. But without the energetic support of the Friends of Waldorf Education, the existence of this community would be threatened. Thank you again to all who have joined in with this help.

With warmest regards

Natalia Lukyanchenko

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