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Published on April 18th, 2017 | by ecswe2@gmail.com De Haas

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WOW-Day: The commitment of Waldorf students makes a difference

The Waldorf One World-Day (WOW-Day) is one day a year on which young people all over the world commit their efforts towards ensuring that children and young people in difficult circumstances are provided with education, a sheltering community or simply a hot meal.

The Steinerskolen i Vestfold is one of the schools that participated in the WOW-Day this year. “Many Norwegian schools integrate the WOW-Day in their project days and use it as a way to learn about a new country every year”, says Vincent van Harlan, teacher and co-organizer of the WOW-Day at Steinerskolen i Vestfold. During the project days the whole school takes its time to look out into the world. While Cuba or Africa where in the focus in the past years, the school community turned their gaze toward Syria in 2016 and got closely involved in the topic of refugees and flight.

In their projects, the students studied the geography and culture of a country, before setting themselves to work on the last day of the project: Some students helped their neighbors to mow the lawn or ran some errands for their grandmothers. Others used the day to get an inside look into professional life by repairing small mopeds at a garage. The students donated the proceeds of their jobs to Waldorf projects, which provide a warmhearted place for children to learn and grow.

One of these projects is the circus project “Ponte das Estrelas”, which was generously supported by Waldorf students on last year’s WOW-Day. The circus project is aimed at children and adolescents from the outskirts of the Brazilian megacity São Paulo. They often come from very difficult social backgrounds. The violence of the metropolis, families involved in criminal activities, exposure to the drug scene, early responsibility for younger siblings and chores are part of the everyday experience for many of these young people. The “Circo Ponte das Estrelas,“ which means “star bridge”, provides a healing contrast to that reality. In addition to the circus activities, the children learn craft and music skills. Not only does the circus provide a defined framework for the young people, but also a place where they can feel at home and where they can develop self-confidence.

In the past years, the old rooms of the project, which was initiated ten years ago, became too small and therefore it was a great joy for everybody involved that the dream of having an own building could be realized this year.

The support of the WOW-Day made possible the necessary renovation of the new “circus house”. All the little circus artists helped with great commitment and took paintbrushes and colors to re-paint the walls. They hung up shelves and carried the furniture and props into the new house. “It is almost a feeling of luxury when we say: now we go to the art room, to the music room or to the studio for sewing”, says Katrin Bugert, employee at the Circo Ponte das Estrelas. Some minor renovation work still needs to be done: The gutters need to be installed, electricity and sewage need to be checked, and the outer walls need to be reinforced. But right now, Katrin Bugert is excited because the children feel happy: The children, who often live under confined conditions, can breathe freely in the new house.

Participating in the Waldorf One World-Day

ECSWE invites all students, teachers and parents to become a part of this worldwide event and to organize your own WOW-Day. The proceeds of the fundraising campaign are compiled by the Friends of Waldorf Education and forwarded at 100% to projects in need.

If you are interested in organizing a event, or if you have questions about WOW-Day, please feel free to contact: Jana-Nita Raker | Tel +49 (0)30 617026 32 | wow-day[at]freunde-waldorf.de | www.waldorf-one-world.org


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