Kenya: The Nairobi Waldorf School is the second Waldorf School in Nairobi. Over 130 children attend the kindergarten and the six grades. Thy students thereby represent a variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds. Even outside of the school community the school has gained a good reputation, especially through their participation in national sports events. As a private school, the work of the Nairobi Waldorf School is funded solely through tuition fees.
The Nairobi Waldorf School serves a richly multicultural community integrating the different cultures, tribes and religions of the Kenyan society. Children and teachers from almost all continents and six local tribes, as well as Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims and Christians attend the school. Also, in championing the view that everyone has a right to education, the initiative encourages a diversity of social standing.
A school that began in one corner of a bar? Well, yes, the bar was closed during the day and the initiative was merely renting the side room to accommodate its first 3 students. That was in 2001. The founding families had a very conscious feeling that Waldorf education would not only benefit the families and their own children, but would contribute towards the ultimate transformation of education in Kenya for the better.
Now, ten years later, the school has taken over the whole 7-acre wooded plot and has grown to over 70 children. The Waldorf Kindergarten is situated on a different property near downtown in Kileleshwa. Though autonomous, like most Waldorf schools, the Nairobi Waldorf School is supported through regular visits by experienced mentors volunteering their help and sponsorship. Therefore, Waldorf teachers are now trained locally by teams coming from the Centre for Creative Education in Cape Town.
In recent years the school was able to join other schools in sports activities and now the Nairobi Waldorf School is represented in hockey, football and netball tournaments. Furthermore, school teams participated in Nairobi's famous charity event “The Hog Charge”, which is a mountain bike race as well as the Nairobi Verse Speaking competition.
After having completed the seven primary school years the children are ready to transition into secondary schools of various educational systems. However, the school strongly wishes that the children could continue on in a Waldorf Secondary School and this remains its guiding vision.