(from: Waldorf Education Worldwide, pp. 200-201, Note the Copyright!)
Sierra Leone - Ghana - Uganda - Botswana - Zimbabwe
For some time there has been much interest in Sierra Leone to rebuild a school for orphans in Freetown, destroyed during the civil war, and run it in accordance with Waldorf principles. Unfortunately this hopeful initiative received a set-back on account of the early death of its initiator, Bob Stevens. A fellow initiator, who has now gone to England to study, intends to take up the challenge in the future.
Building works for the Deduako Life Community initiative have been on the go since mid-2000 in an outlying district of Kumasi where many private houses are also being built. It is therefore hoped that the little Life Community will be well-integrated with its neighbours. Deduako is a social therapy initiative initially for 8 people with special needs which is now being expanded to cater for 16. In addition to work on this expansion, training seminars are also on offer. Two Ghanaian special school teachers are at present away training with their German partner enterprise, the Life Community Wickersdorf in Thuringia (Eine Hilfe für Ghana e.V.).
In February 2001 an introductory seminar on anthroposophical curative education was successfully completed during which contacts were made with the University of Winneba, the only training centre for special education in Ghana. Lectures on anthroposophical curative education and social therapy were given by visiting lecturers.
Since 1999 the St Ngondwe Junior School and the St Peters Primary School in Kampala have been integrating Waldorf elements in their curriculum. Both schools have been receiving help from experienced European Waldorf teachers for some time. Further training is given in courses which Vojko Vrbancic from Kenia holds in Kampala several times a year and through participation in block courses held twice a year in Nairobi, Kenya, by Peter van Alphen of the South African Centre for Creative Education.
Botswana is a large land with a very small population of only 1.5 million scattered all over the country. The capital city has about 150,000 inhabitants of whom only a small part actually live there while many return to their villages at weekends. Disabled children are often hidden from the community. The Camphill Community Trust in Gaborone, the only anthroposophical activity in the country, cares for such children. The Camphill Community Trust consists of a special home school and a village for adults with disabilities. The school has 45 pupils from all over Botswana. After spending seven years at the school, most pupils return to their families. A training centre for young people is in the planning phase.
A school for hearing-impaired children and a home for blind children have also existed for several years. The founding of an association for people with learning difficulties has attracted public interest. The government provides 60% of the finance for the work of non-state establishments.
The Mots Wa Badiri village for adults with disabilities was founded in 1991. It now has four workshops: a sorghum flour mill (one of Botswana’s staple foods), a knitting workshop, a workshop manufacturing sun-powered equipment for the deaf (batteries are often hard to come by in developing countries), and a tree nursery growing fruit trees, decorative shrubs and seedlings.
In September 1994, when Zimbabwe was still rightly termed the Switzerland of southern Africa, an enthusiastic mother who had just moved from South Africa to Harare began to talk about Waldorf Education. The Waldorf Association of Zimbabwe was founded in spring 1995 mainly thanks to Yvette Sylow. In September there was a large exhibition with lectures and seminars in which even some officials from the Ministry for Education participated.
Work at the first Waldorf Kindergarten in Harare, the Lychee Tree Kindergarten, began in January 1997 with children from a wide variety of backgrounds who spoke Shona, English, Gujarati and Arabic. A rich, refreshing time with a variety of languages and religions arose which unfortunately came to an end when the two initiators, Yvette Sylow and Alice Armstrong, moved away in 1999.