Kindergartens all over the world: shelter and protection for the youngest
A child’s life needs a sheltering space. Please help us in creating such a space. For some kindergartens even a lot and a building are unaffordable. Many parents can pay only small tuition fees; some cannot pay them at all. But the teacher’s salaries, their training, and the running costs need to be covered – there are no state subsidies. Without help from others, many kindergartens could only be open to children whose parents can afford it. From the very beginning, Waldorf education has also been a social impulse for the protection of children. Because we believe that every child has the right to grow up healthy and protected, we would like to call to your attention the situation of several kindergartens. We all know that every day children are deprived of this right. As with all other things, only we ourselves can change the situation.
Armenia’s first Waldorf Kindergarten in need of premises
Already since the early 1990s, the kindergarten teachers Olga Saroyan and Ani Barsegyan have been running a kindergarten consisting of two groups in Armenia’s capital of Yerevan. For a few years now, the number of parents interested in sending their children to this kindergarten has grown to such an extent that the teachers and their assistants dramatically increased the group sizes. Today, there are over 30 children in one group. The very good educators succeed in caring for all children in a friendly and mindful manner. By now, the parents have also become involved and are trying to purchase a house. But in Yerevan this means a great deal of work: real estate prices are extremely high in this city – especially compared with the average income.
A very suitable house of 780 square meters with a garden of 1500 square meters would be available for about € 425.000, requiring an additional € 200.000 in renovation costs. For comparison: the average monthly income is around € 230 a month, which is of course not enough to make ends meet. Non-profit organizations are ineligible for bank loans, which would anyhow involve interest rates around 20 percent. An unsolvable dilemma in a country still burdened by corruption. It will not work without our help.
Inclusive Kindergarten in southern Sri Lanka
Five years ago a socio-cultural center emerged from an Anthroposophic-Buddhist cooperation in the small town of Baddegama in southern Sri Lanka. The center aims to improve the educational situation of the children and adolescents from the disadvantaged families of the neighborhood. About 350 students receive free-of-charge after-school lessons in English, German, and Sinhala. In addition, there are advisory services for people with disabilities. There are hardly any centers or log-term care for people with special needs, and the families concerned receive hardly any financial support from the authorities. Relatives often lack expert advice and information about the special needs of people with disabilities. Now, the center has been expanded by a kindergarten: “Over the course of time we hope to create a counterweight to the increasing intellectualization, which in Sri Lanka starts already during preschool,” says Martin Henrich, one of the founders of the center.
Aided by volunteers, the curative teacher attends to the five kindergarten children who are in need of special care. At the moment, 25 children attend the kindergarten altogether. They come from families of the neighborhood, the majority of who is very poor and would otherwise not be able to let their children attend kindergarten at all. The teachers can only maintain their work if the running costs of 970.000 Rupees (about 5.700 Euros) per year are covered. With your donation, we may succeed.
A safe space for China’s poorest children
Mainly in China’s rural regions, there are families who simply cannot afford living together with their children. While the parents go to the cities as so-called migrant workers, the children stay in the province with their grandparents or other relatives. Taking the children along would be too expensive and moreover, the government does not allow them to attend school in the city. In this way, the children stay behind and are often only inadequately cared for by the grandparents. Either they are old and sick or they labor on the fields for many hours during daytime – the children are completely unattended to over long periods of time. The Buolomi Kindergarten in the province of Guandong was founded for these children. Initially, an experienced Waldorf teacher took care of 19 children in her former family home. In view of the growing number of children, the kindergarten could no longer lawfully operate in the house. A new kindergarten building was constructed for 60 children. For this purpose, they had to take on a private loan totaling € 35.000. Here, the children receive healthy food and a safe place in a family-like setting. They have to pay no fees, only for the food – but even that is hardly possible for some families. The team depends completely on donations for the teacher’s salaries and for repaying the loan. Every teacher receives a salary of the equivalent of about € 500 – they could earn a lot more in the city. Please help us pave the way to the provinces. In order to let as many children as possible grow up in this safe place.
Courageous Waldorf pioneers in Myanmar
In late August, the first Waldorf School in Myanmar opened its gates. At present, the Lotus Garden International School in Pyin Oo Lwin consists of two school grades and one kindergarten class. While the families of the city of Pyin Oo Lwin are open to sending their children to an independent school, they trust the school only if they can see the school building and watch the lessons – a difficult precondition when starting a school. One of the founding members took on a private loan of € 95.880 to even get the project started. The founding team wants every child to have the possibility of attending this school and kindergarten, regardless of the parents’ income. Here too, there is no state funding. We strongly need support in order to help this pioneer school thrive: For repaying the loans and for the running costs.
With a heartfelt request for your donation,
Nana Goebel, Henning Kullak-Ublick, Bernd Ruf, Andreas Schubert
Freunde der Erziehungskunst
GLS Bank Bochum
IBAN: DE47 4306 0967 0013 0420 10