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Friends of Waldorf Education emergency education team heads to Haiti

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 | By NNA staff

In the aftermath of hurricane Matthew, the Friends of Waldorf Education are planning to send an emergency education team to Haiti. The schools destroyed in the disaster also include the Waldorf school near Les Cayes.

The Waldorf school near Les Cayes was also destroyed by hurricane Matthew.
Photo: Friends of Waldorf Education

KARLSRUHE/LES CAYES (NNA) – The international Waldorf organisation Friends of Waldorf Education is planning to send an emergency education team to Haiti at the end of October to support children in the aftermath of the destruction of hurricane Matthew.

According to figures quoted by the organisation, the number of people killed has risen to about 1000 and at least 350,000 people have been made homeless in the disaster. More than 1.4m people are in urgent need of help. The UN has called for a “massive response” to help Haiti recover from the devastation caused by hurricane.

The Friends, acting together with “Aktion Deutschland Hilft”, will work primarily with children traumatised by the disaster which has struck Haiti only six years after the devastating earthquake in 2010.

Some of the people who lost their houses at the time are still living in tents and many children never returned to school, the only place which could give them a real long-term future, the Waldorf organisations says.

Schools damaged

The 300 or more schools damaged by hurricane  Matthew also included the “École du village” Waldorf school near the port of Les Cayes in the south-western part of the country.

It was founded eleven years ago by the former French Waldorf pupil Myriam Silien and a Haitian friend. Both of them were looking for a protected space for their children and wanted to set something against the lack of a future perspective.

Almost 130 children attended the school and its kindergarten before it was destroyed by the storm. They included children with learning difficulties, children from violent homes and some former child slaves.

“They could learn happily, without being shouted at or beaten. Each day there were two hot meals,” the Friends said.

As in many other schools, the metal huts of the children have been blown away and the kindergarten, which was to open this week, as well as the vegetable garden have been destroyed. Only the walls of the main buliding are still standing

Magalis Thomas from the German sponsoring association of the school said the task now was to try and restore the school to protect it from looting and salvage anything left intact.

“Then the school must start up again as quickly as possible to provide the children with meals and offer them a safe place,” Magalis Thomas said.

The Friends of Waldorf Education have appealed for donations to help the reconstruction of the school.


Freunde der Erziehungskunst, GLS Bank Bochum, IBAN:  DE47 4306 0967 0013 0420 10, BIC:    GENODEM1GLS, purpose “Haiti Schule”.

Item: 161017-05DE Date: 17 October 2016 

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