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Waldorf Education in South Africa’s Wine Region

South Africa: Stellenbosch Waldorf School is located in 50 km distance to Cape Town in a fertile rural area known for its long wine growing tradition. The city of Stellenbosch itself is quite famous for its university and popular as a tourist destination. Stellenbosch Waldorf School started as Honeybush Nursery School in January 1993 and has grown over the years extending into a full primary school and a high school currently with grades 8 and 9, comprising of more than 170 learners.

One day a man with a bicycle stood a the gate of the just developing Waldorf School and said that he had heard that this would be the school for his children. This was quite an exceptional way of how one of the founding parents of Stellenbosch Waldorf School became part of the initiative. Until today, he is closely associated with the School and his children belong to the 150 students attending Stellenbosch Waldorf School. The language of teaching is English and additionally Afrikaans and Xhosa are being taught, since the native language of the children usually is either of the two.

It is a main concern of Stellenbosch Waldorf School to allow children coming form an underprivileged family background to go to school. It is always a challenge to pursue the ambitious goal to admit up to 10% of children whose parents are not able to spend any amount of money, not to speak about the 1400 Rand (175 Euros) of school fee. This is due to the fact that Stellenbosch Waldorf School is not a public school and thus receives no government funding. As a result, the Waldorf School continues to rely on educational sponsorships, in order to keep on providing education for the less fortunate.

The Friends of Waldorf Education do not only arrange educational sponsorships, but they also send volunteers to Stellenbosch Waldorf School through their “Weltwärts” program. These volunteers are gladly welcomed, as they are able to help children with their homework, or engage the students in artistic, handcrafting, musical and sportive activities. In this regard the school considers itself very fortunate, since some children are not able to go home after school because their parents work all day and thus an afternoon program is necessary.

Through Waldorf Education and its philosophy Stellenbosch Waldorf School provides a significant contribution in order to reduce the barriers of Apartheid, which are unfortunately still not completely overcome. With a lot of dedication and despite the small financial means the initiative provides opportunities and perspectives for the future of disadvantaged children.

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Stellenbosch Waldorf School
Tweefontein Farm
P.O. Box 603
Stellenbosch 7599, Western Cape
South Africa
Ph +27 21 8801 039

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