HeartSource Centre in Hongkong
The HeartSource Centre was founded in a village cottage in Tai Po commencing with a children summer program and subsequent mother toddler group based on Waldorf education in 2006. As a city of international character, there are three initiatives in Hong Kong prospering mostly amongst the overseas community. While working with the local Chinese community, the sense of insecurity and fear of being left out of the education arena is still the prevailing sentiment amongst most parents.
A four-days per week home kindergarten was established in 2009 offering a full-time Waldorf early childhood program for children aged 3 – 6. HeartSource offers an art and nature program for primary aged children and an exchange program with children in Mainland China.
Hong Kong Waldorf Early Childhood Education Teachers Training is a part-time two-year program, which commenced in 2010. In order to nurture the initiative and enhance understanding of Waldorf Education and Anthroposophy, they have two study groups on a weekly basis and a monthly craft group with parents. They also intend to initiate a monthly study group as an introductory course for those who are new to Waldorf education. Anthroposophical art workshops, lectures and study groups on Anthroposophy are being initiated.
While the home kindergarten is now situated in a village cottage in a not easily accessible area, the centre has considered moving out to a more public venue. The situation changed as the land that the initiative is currently using for farm/gardening work became available for sale. As the current situation now stands, one of the former parents of the kindergarten purchased the land and committed to offering it to the Foundation, which now uses the village premises. Due to the financial crisis a permit is now required to be able to build on village premises. Nonetheless construction is hoped to be completed in the next 3-5 years.
It is, however, anticipated that the current premises will become more accessible as the government plans to develop this area of Hong Kong. The initiative’s vision is to sustain the present momentum and establish a kindergarten and toddler groups with a more substantial number of children. Another aim is to sustain the Waldorf Early Childhood Education Teacher Training (WECET) and Parent education in order to promote understanding and support of Waldorf education. Furthermore HeartSource Centre is working towards an officially accredited program.