In many countries Waldorf schools receive little or no support from the state. Since the schools have to support themselves financially many families are confronted by insurmountable problems. They are often burdened with unemployment or receive only very low wages, and many are single parent families. Of course the schools do their best to admit all children, but what if the school itself is struggling for surviving financially?
You can choose the level of your regular donation - each donation is a valuable help. The level of school fees varies between countries like Vietnam – around 25-30 Euros a month and up to 200 Euros a month in countries in South America. Living costs in many of these countries are comparable with those in Europe, whereas incomes are many times lower!
We facilitate sponsorships a an integral part of an educational voucher system. Our approach involves an arrangement with the school whereby the donation to top up the fees benefits all the children in need whose parents cannot afford the full fees, even though not every child is sponsored. All these children can stay in the school including those not individually sponsored. Thus the sponsored school classes and children are like ambassadors for the whole school. Therefore the sponsorships benefit the whole school community, whilst nevertheless retaining the possibilities of a more personal relationship to the sponsors and thus an individual element.
All sponsors receive twice a year a little report including photographs from ‘their’ class or children, often including a personal letter from the childrens families and even a letter from a child. The sponsors can write to their class or children if they want. Friends of Waldorf Education have permanent reliable contacts locally who pass on the contact details and email addresses of the sponsors to the school community who can then keep you informed about your sponsored class or child.
What is the effect of my donation?
Our agreement with the schools is that educational sponsorships donations benefit children and classes whose families cannot afford to pay the school fees. Even those children who do not find an educational sponsor can remain at school, because educational sponsorship donations are fairly distributed to the benefit of the entire school community.
What is the amount for an educational sponsorship?
You may freely choose the amount of your regular donation - every contribution is an important help for the child and the schools. The full tuition, depending on the country amounts to between € 25 and € 200 per month. Unfortunately, the cost of living in many countries is comparable to Germany, while wages are by far lower!
How will I hear about my godchild / my class and how can I establish contact?
Mail correspondence is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about life in a foreign country and the local situation. We will be happy to send you the appropriate e-mail address and postal address of your local contact person. The language of correspondence is English or German depending on the respective school. If a correspondence in English is important to you, please let us know in advance.
As educational sponsors you will receive a small report about the school twice a year together with a photo of your sponsored child or school class and possibly a self-written letter, if the child is capable of doing so.
We specifically promote a regular letter correspondence between sponsor and sponsored child, because such an exchange goes beyond mere financial support and builds bridges between the respective cultures and lifestyles. Nevertheless, the protection of children in our sponsorship program remains paramount. For more information, please consult our guidelines by clicking here.
What is the difference between a class sponsorship and sponsoring an individual child?
As a “class godparent” you stay in regular contact not only with a specific child, but with an entire class of students and can accompany them in their development. Moreover, you may gain interesting and diverse insights about the children’s lives or the peculiarities of education in that specific country.
Through this regular exchange you may gain impressions, voices and images of other cultures, which cannot be found in the daily news. But most importantly, you may plant an important seed of friendship into the hearts of students and teachers abroad, who are living and working under difficult circumstances.
What is so special about a class sponsorship?
One of the main challenges is that every school, every country with its own culture, and even every godchild bring different circumstances to the table that need to be taken into account. There are, for example, locations where the school and many of its students are particularly dependent on regular financial support, but children’s frequent changes of school make individual educational sponsorships difficult to sustain.
There are different reasons for student turnover. Maybe it is a school with many migrant workers who move away with their children the moment they find a new job. In general, the beginning of a new school year is associated with large, often unexpected changes for many Waldorf schools abroad. Children often do not return to school after the summer break, without notice from their parents. This has nothing to do with the quality of education, but often with rather difficult family situations.
In addition, there are schools that highly value community and the class community in particular and there is a desire not to single out an individual child, but to provide support and appreciation to an entire class through contact with an educational sponsor.
What difficulties may occur?
The meaning of reliable communication in other countries may often not be comparable to Western standards. If you send letters via regular mail, please consider some time (max 6-8 weeks) until the mail arrives and you receive a response. In rare cases, the mail unfortunately may get lost during the journey. Since not every school has a reliable Internet connection, it may be require also a little patience until one receives information even by email.
Many children because of their age may not able to write in English yet. In this case, communication happens via a teacher or staff member of the school. Some children may leave school quickly and unexpectedly due to family circumstances. Sometimes this information reaches sponsors and us with some time delay.
Most Waldorf schools abroad have not yet established high school, which means that children may be accompanied only up to the 7th grade. If you want to support only a particular child from the beginning and no other child thereafter, please let us know directly.
Since tuition fees are very high at many schools, there are sometimes sponsored children who have multiple sponsors. If you are not satisfied with the communication from the school, we ask you to let us know immediately.
How long is the duration of an educational sponsorship?
In general we are looking for long-term sponsorships, as this allows the foreign schools to plan with long-term financial security. When taking over a sponsorship, you are not entering a binding contractual agreement. You therefore may cancel your contribution at any time by phone or in writing.
The school abroad is obliged to inform you and also us in case your godchild no longer attends the school. We are of course always happy when in such a case you would decide to take over the sponsorship of another godchild.
Is it possible to visit the school?
In most cases, a visit to the school is possible but is associated with some preparations. Please consider enough time to contact the school, schedule the visit and thoroughly plan for it. We are happy to help you as well if needed.
Can groups, for example a school class, take over an educational sponsorship?
Of course! Groups, students, kindergarten groups, companies, clubs, friends, etc., may as well take over an educational sponsorship.
Is it possible to give someone an educational sponsorship as a gift?
You are more than welcome to make a gift to your children, friends or acquaintances by giving them an educational sponsorship. This is a very special way of giving that a large number of people have already enjoyed. For more information, please contact us.
How much of the donation will be retained for administrative expenses?
Your donation through an educational sponsorship will be forwarded at 100% to the intended Waldorf school or kindergarten abroad. Since 1976, the Friends of Waldorf Education are working for independent education. For the support of Waldorf education worldwide donations are collected and forwarded to Waldorf initiatives at 100%. Not a single cent will be lost, since our work as an association is carried out independently with the help of supporting members and donations specifically intended to fund administrative expenses.
As the administration of sponsorships means a lot of work for us and involves substantial costs, we are always grateful for additional donations towards our work (for example 10% on top). Of course you can also specifically donate a partial amount of your sponsorship contribution for the benefit of our work.
Is an educational sponsorship tax-deductible?
Yes, in Germany your donation for an educational sponsorship is indeed tax deductible. At the beginning of each year we will send you the donation receipt for the previous year.
In the case of entire school classes donating money we are dealing with numerous small individual amounts. For this reason, we cannot issue a tax receipt to the respective teacher or parent who has donated to us.
Please Note: The tax receipt is only valid for Germany. Unfortunately we are not able to issue tax-deductible donation receipts for sponsors from abroad.
How can I donate?
We will gladly book the regular amount of your educational sponsorship directly from your bank account after you have given us a direct debit authorization. This is the easiest process and saves administration costs. In the case of school classes it is best if a responsible person collects the sponsorship contributions and then donates the entire amount to us. Before the first withdrawal, we will send you a confirmation. You may cancel your contribution at any time by phone or in writing.
Do you have further questions?
Do not hesitate to give us a call or write us. We look forward to hear from you and answer your questions over the phone (+49 30 6170 2630) or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Project Lead Sponsorships