From 01.- 05.07.23 a team of eight specialists from Friends of Waldorf Education held an introductory seminar in Emergency and Trauma Pedagogy for 93 individuals working in pedagogical-therapeutic professions in Kyiv. The seminar was hosted by the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture, the Ukrainian Association of Art Therapists and the organization Europa GrenzLos e.V.
70 social workers, psychologists, teachers and pedagogical-therapeutic artists from all over Ukraine received theoretical and practical training in Emergency and Trauma Pedagogy over a period of five days. The training days alternated between theoretical seminars on psychotraumatology, trauma pedagogy and self-care, and practical workshops in painting, music/rhythm, eurythmy and sculpting/working with clay.
Parallel, a training for 23 art therapists from the Ukrainian Association of Art Therapists took place, with a stronger focus on Art Therapy. Here, too, theory and practice alternated.
The current situation in Ukraine is characterized by immense challenges and heavy blows of fate for everyone. For people who work in pedagogical-therapeutic contexts, the situation is particularly exhausting. The general feedback that the days were perceived as a 'little vacation' full of helpful input, information, inspiration and self-care was particularly moving. Finding ones owns resources, mobilizing them and drawing strength for further work and life in general is perhaps the most important support that people can receive at the moment.
The work realities of the participants vary. Some work in schools, others in social institutions, others in camps for internally displaced people. For some it is the daily work with children in the conflict regions, often at night in protective shelters. Others support internally displaced families in the somewhat safer regions in the west. However, what they all have in common: acute traumatic experiences, often the loss of family members and friends, often the loss of home.
Friends of Waldorf Education’s emergency pedagogy work continues in Ukraine. In August and September, two further trainings for 60 participants each are planned, as well as the completion of the first eight-module training course in Emergency and Trauma Pedagogy in Lviv and Kraków, which began in November 2022. In autumn 2023, further training courses in Emergency and Trauma Pedagogy will continue and local partner organizations will be supported in working with children, young people and adults on trauma pedagogy.