Ukraine: In the Southeast of the country the Stupeni Waldorf School and kindergarten are located at the shores of the Black Sea. In 2012 the school in Odessa celebrated its 20-year anniversary. Today Stupeni is the only private Waldorf School in Ukraine. In 1993 a group of courageous teachers and parents decided to educate their children in a small rented room on the basis of Waldorf education. Currently, about 150 children are enrolled at the school.
Two years after its opening, the school moved to the present building. Between 1996 and 2000, the school foundation has worked hard to achieve their goal to transfer the building from state to private ownership. As a result the school now has to include annual renovation work into the school budget, to maintain the building.
Nearly 800 students have attended the school so far. In 1998 the school gained official status as a Waldorf school. At the same time the Ukrainian Waldorf Association was founded in Odessa and organized a first joint conference.
Since 2000 the school has a partner school in Schwäbisch Hall, Germany and engages in a regular student exchange. In 2005 the school held its first student olympics. Furthermore, the school library includes more than 10,000 books that are available to students, parents, teachers, and guests.
In times when private schools, especially Waldorf schools, operate under rather difficult circumstances, the parents and teachers facing less government funding ensured the survival of the school through personal commitment.