A wonderful way to help
In very many countries, Waldorf schools do not receive any state support. Since the schools have to finance themselves, they rely on the monthly payment contributions of the parents. However, it is not uncommon for families to lack the financial resources due to unemployment, low wages or family challenges, especially in the many countries where there is little or no social support from the state. The schools make an effort to also take in and sponsor children whose parents can only afford part of the school fees. But what to do when you also have to fight for survival as a school?
The principle of educational sponsorships
The Friends of Waldorf Education arrange educational sponsorships. Our approach is an agreement with the school that the sponsorship donations will benefit the school community. At the same time, the schools ensure that children whose families cannot afford the school fees can stay at the school. And this is regardless of whether we find an educational sponsorship for a child or not. In this sense, the sponsored children are ultimately "ambassadors" for the whole school.
As an educational sponsor, you will receive a small report and photos or pictures of the sponsored child or class twice a year, and possibly a letter written by the child themselves. You can also write to the child and his/her family about the school if you wish. The Friends of Waldorf Education have fixed, reliable contacts for the sponsorships and pass on the contact details to the sponsors. Through an educational sponsorship, you set a tangible sign of friendship in the hearts of the learner and teacher community in challenging life contexts.
There is the possibility to take on an educational sponsorship for an individual child. In this case, the child acts as an "ambassador" for the whole school community. On the other hand, there is the possibility to sponsor a whole class and get updates on the development and process of a variety of kids.
You can take on an educational sponsorship as a private person or family, as well as in the circle of school classes, kindergarten groups, companies, clubs, friends, etc.
You are free to choose the amount of your regular donation - every donation is a valuable help for the schools. The amount of real school fees ranges from 25-30 euros per month (e.g. in Vietnam) to over 200 euros (in some schools in South America). The cost of living in many countries is roughly comparable to ours, while working wages are unfortunately much lower.
Our agreement with the schools is that education sponsorship donations benefit children and classes whose families cannot afford the school fees on their own. Our guiding principle is support in the sense of equality of opportunities: Even if an educational sponsorship could not be established for all children in need, they can continue to attend the school. The educational donations are distributed fairly to benefit the entire school community.
We always pass on 100 % of our donations.
To keep administrative costs as low as possible, we recommend issuing a SEPA direct debit mandate. This is easily done online. Another option is to set up a standing order, specifying the corresponding purpose of use. Please contact us briefly before placing such an order.
In both cases you are not entering into any contractual obligation and you can change or cancel your monthly donation at any time by telephone or in writing without giving reasons.
Since 1976, the Friends of Waldorf Education have been campaigning for a free education system. Donations are collected for the support of Waldorf education all over the world and forwarded 100 % to Waldorf initiatives.
For the Friends of Waldorf Education, maintaining 100% donation forwarding means that the work, i.e. donation administration, forwarding, project support and public relations work are not automatically secured. Usually, development aid organisations deduct 15 - 20 % of the donations received for administration. This principle contradicts our approach to work, because we want to leave every person the freedom of choice to also support our work.
The Friends of Waldorf Education are mainly supported by members, sponsors, individual donors and foundation funds. It has not always been easy to cover all the costs. In recent years, the number of enquiries, the volume of donations forwarded as well as administrative tasks and public relations work have increased considerably. However, the Friends could continue to work well if donors who choose to do so would contribute an additional 10% to their donation to the Friends' work. We have developed the 10% campaign from this idea.
We are very happy if you decide to participate in the 10% campaign in the donation form. You can also cancel this option at any time without notice, regardless of any other donations.
Yes, your donation for the education sponsorship is tax deductible. At the beginning of each year, we will send you the donation receipt for the previous year. However, if a group (e.g. friends, pupils, colleagues) decides to take on a sponsorship, it is usually a collection of numerous individual amounts for which we are unfortunately unable to issue a donation receipt.
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.
Within the framework of an educational sponsorship, the schools usually send small reports about the institution twice a year, photos of the sponsored child or class, as well as a letter written by the children themselves, if they are able to do so. Correspondence takes place in German or English, depending on the institution. If correspondence in English is important to you, please let us know beforehand.
You are also welcome to contact the local institution on your own. Correspondence is a wonderful way to learn more about life and the situation on site. We will be happy to forward you the relevant email address and postal address of the local contact person.
Long postal routes
If you and your godchild want to send letters to each other by post, we would like to point out that it can take some time for the letters to arrive due to the sometimes very long distances to the children's home countries. Please allow six to eight weeks for the letters to arrive. In rare cases, the mail unfortunately gets lost in transit. In addition, due to their young age, many children are not yet able to write letters in English or German. Communication is therefore handled by teachers or school staff.
Unreliable internet connections
As not every school has permanent access to a reliable internet connection, you may have to be patient even when writing an email until you receive a reply.
Children leave the institution
In some cases, families may unexpectedly and abruptly leave town, change their place of residence or children may no longer attend the school for other reasons unknown to us. Occasionally, this information reaches the sponsors and us only after a time delay.
If you are not satisfied with the communication from the school, please contact us immediately!
An educational sponsorship usually runs until the respective sponsored child or class leaves the respective institution, usually due to a successful graduation, in individual cases due to unforeseen circumstances. In any case, the institution is obliged to inform us and you immediately of any changes.
Should a sponsorship end, we will be happy to discuss with you whether the continued support of the school through another educational sponsorship is desired in the future.
You are also welcome to give an educational sponsorship to your children, friends or acquaintances. This is a very special, innovative and solidarity-based way of giving, which has already brought great joy to numerous people. Please contact us for further information.