“The first question to be answered by any individual or any social group, facing a hazardous situation, is whether the crisis is to be met as a challenge to strength or as an occasion for despair.”
— Harry Emerson Fosdick
This is the question that I ask myself as I work with children and persons facing the challenges that are manmade as well as natural disasters.
For more than 10 years now the Waldorf Kakuma Project works with children in informal education and art and play therapy in Kalobeyei and Kakuma refugee camp as well as those from Turkana West in Kenya using the Waldorf Pedagogy. The Waldorf Kakuma Project has also had its staff joining the Freunde in emergency responses in different parts of the world under the cooperation of the Pedagogy Without Borders agreement to respond to children during crises.
The journey of the work begun through an agreement of the Nairobi Waldorf School and Freunde der Erziehunguskunst Rudolf Steiner has grown from what was a humble beginning to an organization which is now reaching thousands of children affected by various life challenges to uplift their lives through education.
My experience is that to run an NGO is a challenge both at the personal and organizational level and one can never take anything for granted in the survival and development of the organization. It takes patience, hard work, combined efforts, learning, relearning and sometimes unlearning to be able to work effectively. Many are the days where it has been tears, prayers and needing cheering on along the way. The cheering on has come through friends, family and support from the larger Waldorf community and donors.
I owe a lot of learning to Bernd Ruf Director of the Freunde der Erziehungskunst who initiated the Kakuma Project and handed me this task which he believed I could do though initially I did not believe I was quite capable off.
As I work in difficult circumstances, I have been privileged to see the power of human resilience in the most difficult circumstances as well as how beauty can be seen in very simple circumstances and in a world of more and more , there are those who live with less but in peace and harmony with the earth and all that is around them. Salute to those who have endured difficult and almost unbearable circumstances but have still lived another day to tell their story.