The Green Earth School - Waldorf education in factory buildings
Pakistan: Since 2001 there is a social therapy institution in Lahore with three workshops; a textile workshop, a wood workshop and a bakery. The bio-dynamic garden is being continuously extended. Since a few years ago they also have animals, which was the first step towards bio-dynamic agriculture in Roshni. The kindergarten and the Green Earth School have permanent premises since 2006 and today 140 children attend the school.
The city of Lahore was one of the centres of power to the time of the Moghul kings. For the region of Punjab, the land of five rivers, it was a time of blossoming culture, which left its mark in the architecture. Today Lahore is a city of millions and since the border was drawn in 1947 it neighbours directly on India.
Shahida Pervees, who was born in Pakistan, went to Witten in Germany to do the Waldorf teachers training. There she met her future husband, Helmut Hannesen, who was the executive director of the Association for Curative Education and Social Therapy at the time .Back in Pakistan, Shahida Pervees and her husband founded a institution for social therapy with the help of two curative pedagogues, Lars Jamke and Graham Simpson. They wanted to bring light –the meaning the Urdu word Roshni – into the lives of handicapped people in Lahore.
In the beginning, 16 people lived in a rented house on the outskirts of Lahore. However, there were so many applications that a further house had to be rented and they soon had 30 people to look after. A request from the Amin Maktab special school was the nest big step in the Roshni’s development. They wanted to establish a new institution for their school leavers.
One of Roshni’s neighbours is the Green Earth Recycling Factory. Thanks to the openness of the co-workers at Roshni, the owners of the factory, a married couple, got to know the project. When the school was founded, which received its name from the factory, the owners let them use empty rooms in the factory for free. The wife was so enthusiastic about the project that she started taking part in activities in the kindergarten and is now actively involved there.
Roshni has a great deal of contact with other countries. Bio-dynamic farmers regularly work at Roshni for shorter or longer periods of time. Waldorf teachers from various countries offer their support and the Friends of Waldorf Education regularly send volunteers there, as well a bringing volunteers from Roshni to Germany.