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Aimar Zabaleta attends the 12th grade of the Waldorfschule Überlingen on Lake Constance. For five years now, Aimar has been active in the worldwide student campaign WOW-Day. read the interview

Angela Basenach attends 10th grade of the Jacob Böhme Waldorfschule in Görlitz, Germany. During her second year in Waldorf school she heard about WOW-Day for the first time. read the interview

For the 10th time already, the Hungarian Waldorf School in Vàc took part in the worldwide day of action. For this reason, students and teachers from 6th to 8th grade gathered one Saturday morning on the market square of the city.  more

Wow! Even in Lebanon, right in the middle of the refugee camp “Shatila“ in Beirut, there is a Waldorf Kindergarten. The students of the Waldorf School Karlsruhe now know that for sure.  more

2017, for the first time, the living and working community Altenschlirf participated in WOW-Day. On open house day raffled off all products which were manufactured in the workshops of Altenschlirf on Michaelmas. more

Moldova’s Waldorf School takes part in WOW-Day for the sixth time already. And that despite the fact that the Waldorf School itself urgently needs support, with their own school building bursting at the seams. The building urgently needs a new story. more

The Waldorf School Wahlwies in Germany organizes an apple-themend WOW-Day. Equipped with a basket of fresh apples, the sicth grade headed off to sell self-fried apple pancakes more

For six years already, the students of the “Waldorfschule Soest”, Germany, have been involved in WOW-Day. What’s special about their involvement is that the entire school community takes part in this global day of action. more

The “Rudolf-Steiner-Schule” in Düsseldorf celebrated this year’s WOW-Day in picture-perfect weather and combined their campaign day for supporting Waldorf schools worldwide with the upcoming fall fair. more

interview: “A great chance to help other people”

Aimar Zabaleta attends the 12th grade of the Waldorfschule Überlingen on Lake Constance. He comes from Spain originally, but has lived in Germany for more than twelve years. For five years now, Aimar has been active in the worldwide student campaign WOW-Day. A member of the student council, he provides his fellow students with information on the campaign, invites interesting speakers from international projects, and does the bookkeeping when the donations of the school community are collected. Our WOW-Day coordinator Jana-Nita Raker met the committed 17-year old during the 26th Federal Students Conference (Bundesschülertagung) in Kaltenkirchen. They spoke about Waldorf School, WOW-Day, and his hopes for the future.

Aimar, what does Waldorf School mean to you?
To me, Waldorf School means a somewhat alternative program, most of all in the early years up to 8th grade. The priorities are especially artistic skills and the development of your own personality, not just intellectual achievements.

In your position as student representative you work hard for the concerns of your fellow students. What do you do when you are not at school?
I play volleyball and I like taking photographs. I also love riding my racing bicycle.

Why do you take part in the worldwide student campaign WOW-Day?
For me, WOW-Day is a very good opportunity to take a stand for other people, already at a young age, and simply do something. Usually, one does not get the chance to go to work for a whole day at the age of 13, 14 or 15. To donate the money one has earned to people who might need it more than we do, feels like a wonderful way to help people in other places.

What is your school doing on WOW-Day?
Every year, WOW-Day takes place on 29 September. We get one day off from school and can go working instead. We collect the money we earn to then donate it to different institutions. The classes decide for themselves which projects they would like to support with their donation.

How would you motivate others to take part in WOW-Day?
I think they should take part for the same reasons I take part. It is a great chance to help other people.

What are your hopes for the future?
With respect to school here in Germany: more Civic Education. In general, more education or more schools all over the world. So that all children can form their own opinions. This is, I think, a very, very important matter, that we need to pursue.

interview: “I would like to see children everywhere in the world having the same opportunities”

Angela Basenach attends 10th grade of the Jacob Böhme Waldorfschule in Görlitz, Germany. Until 7th grade she went to a state school until she switched to Waldorf School at age 13. In retrospect it saved her life, says the sixteen-year-old. Our WOW-Day coordinator Jana-Nita Raker met the committed student at the 26th Federal Students Conference (Bundesschülertagung) and had a chat about her Waldorf days,
WOW-Day and her hopes for the future.

Angela, what is the significance of Waldorf School for you?
Until 7th grade, I attended a German Gymnasium (an academic state high school) or rather I attended a free elementary school and then Gymnasium. At the time, there was no Waldorf school in Görlitz. The school is only six years old. My grades at state school were not particularly good, and eventually I decided to repeat a grade to be able to attend Waldorf School. For me, the Waldorf School was really a salvation, because I was fed up with studying. Often, when I came home, I did not want to hear anything about school anymore. I then began attending Waldorf School. There, I was completely happy. One of the geeks, who love Eurythmy and who regularly does the entire artwork for the main lesson books. Yes, Waldorf School was great for me, I am even considering becoming a Waldorf teacher myself and then work as a class teacher. Waldorf school means a lot to me. It is a way of learning life. So, really learning for life and not only studying for exams in order to be prepared for studying at university, but studying in a sustainable manner.

What do you do when you are not at school?
This year, I began to be really interested in politics. I joined a youth group that advocates more political participation by young people. I also play two instruments, the harp and the guitar. And apart from that, I also have taken to learning languages, although I am not really good at it. I have started learning two languages, Hebrew and Hindi.

Do you know WOW-Day?
So, back then at state school I had heard about a similar thing. It was the “Solidarity Action Day” and you donate the wages for a project. At that time already, I thought that was pretty interesting. During my second year in Waldorf school I heard about WOW-Day for the first time. Then, it didn't work out for us, because it was too short notice and somehow we had different Ideas we could not implement. Our teacher was also ill for some time. And the next year our teacher completely missed it. At that time we had a lot of other projects going on, so it didn’t work out. But actually I think it is a great project. For a start, because you get the chance to work somewhere else, and get to know different places. And then, donating the money for a good project is also a good thing. Because Waldorf students don’t look the other way; they take a closer look at what is happening in the world and help, where they can.

What are your hopes for the future?
First and foremost, I would like to see children everywhere in the world having the same opportunities. At the age of thirteen I went through an extreme phase and I thought: “What gives me the right to wear clothing that has been produced by children? What gives me the right to own a cell phone? What gives me this right? Just because I was born here! For a time I thought we should only buy fair-trade and so on. If you don’t have the money for it, then don’t buy at all, because I simply found it unbearable. Now, I think we have to stay sensible by saying: Okay, I won’t stop buying clothes just because I don’t have the money for fair trade, but in a way it remains a hope that children will have the same opportunities everywhere in the world. So, that your place of birth doesn’t determine what you can do and who you can become. This is very important to me. And then, I simply hope the world won’t turn out the way I think it might at the moment. We once listened to a talk about digital media at our school, and I thought, how many things of which we thought 30, 40 years ago that they could never become a reality are actually happening right now. If you look at what the Stasi (Ministry for State Security in the former German Democratic Republic) did and at what happens nowadays in terms of surveillance – I do worry sometimes. How will the future be in 20 years? How far will this purely materialistic thinking prevail and to what extent will we lose our spiritual thinking? And I hope it will come to live again through things like the Waldorf movement and will prevail.

WOW-Day in Hungary, Vac

For the 10th time already, the Hungarian Waldorf School in Vàc took part in the worldwide day of action. For this reason, students and teachers from 6th to 8th grade gathered one Saturday morning on the market square of the city. Equipped with self-made shields and wooden swords, the sixth-graders marched across the square and thus attracted many curious onlookers for the subsequent singing by all three classes. In addition, individual students showed street acrobatics and sold self-made postcards or self-baked treats. Soon, the first donations could be collected, and there was a lively exchange between viewers, students, and teachers in the middle of the market square. The organizers raised a total of 50.000 Forint, about 160 Euros, on this day. The donations help Waldorf facilities to admit children from poorer families and to give them a warmhearted place to learn.

WOW-Day in Germany

Wow! Even in Lebanon, right in the middle of the refugee camp “Shatila“ in Beirut, there is a Waldorf Kindergarten. The students of the Waldorf School Karlsruhe now know that for sure. They know it from a colleague of their class teacher. Not only is Ms. Wiebelitz teacher at the neighboring Waldorf Kindergarten, but on a regular basis she travels abroad with the Emergency Pedagogy team of the Friends of Waldorf Education, providing educational first aid for traumatized children and adolescents.

Only a few weeks ago she was on site and reported back about the situation in the refugee camp. She told of poverty, violence, and desperation. Because the people have been living there already for four generations, in completely overcrowded camps. But of late there has been a ray of hope for some of the children. They can attend the Waldorf Kindergarten, founded in 2014. They can play in peace, experience security and peaceful communication, are surrounded by beautiful things, which can otherwise hardly be found in the camp.

Since this Kindergarten is financed by donations, the class 8b decided without hesitation to make their contribution to the success of the project and registered for Waldorf-One-World Day. At Waldorf-One-World Day, WOW-Day for short, committed people all around the world collect money in many different ways and donate it to Waldorf facilities in need.

In a very short time, the students set up a stall with baked goods, homemade jam, lanterns, birdhouses, handcrafted autumnal greeting cards, beeswax papers and much more. In addition, the students offered a crafting workshop for children, where they could make greeting cards. Three students created a beautiful atmosphere in the whole schoolyard with violins and flutes. At the end of the fair the students had collected a respectable amount of money, which the kindergarten “Bait al-Shams“ – “House of the Sun” will benefit from.

WOW-Day in the living community Altenschlirf

2017, for the first time, the living and working community Altenschlirf participated in WOW-Day. On open house day ( October 3rd) the JUKO (students, apprentices, and trainees) raffled off all products which were manufactured in the workshops of Altenschlirf on Michaelmas, September 29th. They will donate the gains to Prietenia Pantelimon, a Rumanian facility for people with special needs, which is home to a special-needs school. The curative education facility was opened in 2006 and is situated on a 5-hectare property close to the capital of Bucharest. Eventually, there will be jobs for 50 people with special needs and housing for 40.

“We are very pleased to set an example of solidarity by participating in WOW-Day”, says Tobias Raedler, managing director of housing, himself a Waldorf alumnus. Many of the community residents themselves attended a curative educational Waldorf School and have fond memories of their school years. “Internationally, Waldorf Schools or curative education facilities working on an anthroposophical basis often
receive little or no state funding”, explains Raedler. “The kind of comprehensive support that we can offer in our community is, in many countries, anything but a matter of course”.

WOW-Day in Moldava, Kishinev

Moldova’s Waldorf School takes part in WOW-Day for the sixth time already. And that despite the fact that the Waldorf School itself urgently needs support, with their own school building bursting at the seams. The building urgently needs a new story; each year they have more applicants than they can accept. The lack of trained teachers is another major problem, especially in the foreign languages German, English, and French. Although the status as a state Lyceum grants some financial support, subjects such as handicrafts, needlework, painting, and Eurythmy get no state funding. Many parents have a hard time contributing to the school’s running costs. The school community can only dream of new rooms.

All the more remarkable that the school community has taken part in WOW-Day for several years supporting other Waldorf institutions around the world. “This year, in the run-up to WOW-Day, we had to overcome a number of minor obstacles”, says Natalia Vacariuc, teacher and co-coordinator at the Chișinău Waldorf School. “On the designated day it was pouring down, so we had to postpone our WOW-Day for two weeks.” In addition to a charity concert the students performed several dances and sold handcrafted dolls. A spectacular fire show was the highlight. Together with their parents, the seventh-grade students had decorated the schoolyard, hanging up hand painted flags from all over the world. “The fall fair was a great success”, Natalia Vacariuc says proudly. The collected donations not only support the new school building of Haiti’s Waldorf School, which fell upon hard times last year. It also sets an extraordinary example for connectedness and illustrates once more how important it is to keep one another in mind in a world that is becoming ever more complex.

WOW-Day in Germany, Wahlwies

Equipped with an apron, a spatula, and a basket full of fresh apples, the sixth grade students of “Wahlwies Waldorf School” in Germany were heading off to sell self-fried apple pancakes at the weekly market in Stockach. The little cakes smelled delicious and attracted many hungry and curious visitors to the Waldorf School’s market stall. A welcome advertisement for the school at Lake Constance. But they did not just bake!
The students showed some impressive juggling tricks. To round things off, students and some parents sang together with the class teacher. They donated the money to Waldorf institutions in need. Because in most countries Waldorf schools receive only little or no state funding, many parents have a hard time contributing to the school’s running costs.

WOW-Day in Germany, Soest

For six years already, the students of the “Waldorfschule Soest”, Germany, have been involved in WOW-Day. What’s special about their involvement is that the entire school community takes part in this global day of action. From first grade to 12th grade, students are involved in different activities. They collect donations, which can help children all over the world attend a good school. Soest’s students baked delicious waffles, harvested pears, combed down horses, and played the guitar or sang songs in the downtown pedestrian zone. By the end of the day, they had collected a respectable amount, which will help (among others) a newly founded Waldorf school in the Indian village of Darbari to create lessons for children from poor families.

Every year, Gabriele Krebs initiates WOW-Day in Soest. She is the co-founder of the Waldorf School and the school’s secretary. She works with great commitment to support of Waldorf Schools in other countries. She knows that in many countries Waldorf schools have to make do with little or no state funding. In preparation for WOW-Day, she sees to it that every student finds work – and she never runs out of ideas or jobs.

For this year’s WOW-Day, Gabriele Krebs hopes that her colleagues will participate, too. “Some students complained that the teachers have the day off, while the students labor”, she says. “That is of course not the case”, she adds with a laugh. Because usually on this day, the teacher’s conference takes place. Nevertheless, it would be really nice if the entire school community took part in WOW-Day. Why? “Simply because it is for a good cause,” says the committed coordinator.

WOW-Day in Germany, Düsseldorf

The “Rudolf-Steiner-Schule” in Düsseldorf celebrated this year’s WOW-Day in picture-perfect weather and combined their campaign day for supporting Waldorf schools worldwide with the upcoming fall fair. For the first time, the school organized a colorful flea market. And the kindergarten group also contributed a beautifully decorated stall. Courageously they started to negotiate and bargain. Be it clothing, games, or classic books, there was something for everybody. Those who wanted to test their sportsmanship had fun running a rustic obstacle course, which led across the entire school premises. In the assembly hall some students gave a moving Eurhythmy performance and at the end they sang together.

“It was a lovely day”, WOW-Day coordinator Ingrid Helen Steed sums it up. “And on top of that, we made a major contribution to the support of Waldorf schools in other countries”, adds her colleague Rainier Sielaff. “What a motivating success!”

WOW-Day 2017

Revenue: 269.579,99 Euro

(Update: 16.03.2018)

 

WOW-Day 2016

>> Thank you letters 2016
>> Summary 2016

Bank Transfer

Freunde der Erziehungskunst
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IBAN DE09430609670013042015
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please quote: keyword "WOW"+ name and location of your school

Contact

Coordination WOW-Day
Jana-Nita Raker
Ph +49 (0)30 617026 30
wow-day[at]freunde-waldorf.de 

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