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Home: Freunde Waldorf

Haiti – Help for Rural Schools

It is early in the morning. The little 8-year-old Alexandre and his teacher Melot walk at a brisk pace over mountain paths that are barely wider than they are themselves. They walk uphill they walk downhill. Their way is long. It takes them two hours every morning until they reach their school, which is located in the hollow of a narrow valley.

For most children in Haiti “school” is a foreign word, especially if they live in the countryside like Alexandre and Melot. “Who still lives in the countryside anyway?” Most Haitians leave the countryside, leaving it to its fate and move to Port au Prince, the capital of Haiti. Here they hope for a better life, education for their children and a happy future.

However, reality is often quite different from those dreams: living in the city means for almost all of them living under a plastic tarp, in a slum, bearing the sickening smell of garbage and the sewer. There is almost never enough money for the children to attend a school. As a result, most children for the longest part of the day are left to their own fate on the streets of Port au Prince. This is not a happy life - and not a good prerequisite for the future.

Alexandre's parents have decided to stay in the countryside. They live a simple, difficult, but dignified life. They own a cow, some chickens and a bit of land that feeds them. They live in a small house - and in the evening, after work, they sit together with their neighbors and discuss the day's events.

Alexandre and his siblings are able to go to school. Their parents pay the school fees from what little they earn. Thanks to a woman from Germany, who has lived in Haiti for more than 20 years and has tied her own destiny to the destiny of the people living in this area, a little Waldorf school exists that in the meantime serves as a place to live and learn for more than 1,000 students.

In 2011, the Haitian representatives of the Waldorf Emergency Relief Organization stART international and the founder of the school met in the south of Haiti in the summer holidays and decided to organize a regular one-week teachers training, which will be attended by the all 50 teachers of the school.

In order for this support to become possible and also for other schools to join the movement, stART internationally relies on foreign donations. All WOW-Day money for this Haitian project will first be used for teacher training. If more funds can be raised, which is necessary, the rural schools can use them for many of the 1000 needs that come along with the serious struggle for survival of schools in rural Haiti. For example money is very much needed for the procurement of school materials and school meals for the many, many children.

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