Millions of people are displaced and flee from their countries due to political instabilities, war and hunger. Women and children are the most affected. A larger percentage of children are orphaned, unaccompanied, or separated from their parents. Most of these children are exposed to particular risks. Their situation is particular concerning, as many suffer harassment, exploitation, neglect, abuse and also get traumatized due to their sad unforgotten memories.
Waldorf Kakuma project operates Child friendly spaces in Kakuma refugee camp and Kalobeyei settlement as one of its emergency interventions, providing children with protected spaces and environment, in which they participate in organized activities; to play, socialize, learn and express themselves as they rebuild their lives. Such natural and man-made events have power to severely shake the self-perception and world view of those affected. Children are particularly vulnerable, as such sudden disasters often tear them away from family structure and leave them traumatized. They frequently need help to overcome the traumatizing experience they had to live through.
Sometimes, traumatized people and especially children are not able to talk about their experiences. They need an alternative, non-verbal means of expressing their experience. This is where Waldorf pedagogy sets in: The method offered are artistic activities which are seven lively arts that give children means to freely illustrate the events and their experiences. The seven lively arts include: Drama, Drawing, Movements, Music, Modelling, Painting and speech. Additionally, Waldorf has initiated forums in the CFS for children to learn to identify issues of concern, communicate opinions, take responsibility, initiate actions, make decisions to advocate for themselves.
In the CFS, Waldorf works closely with Government, UNHCR, UNICEF and other Child Protection partners who provide different services i.e. case management, counselling, legal aid, family tracing and reunification as well as referral services to the above stakeholders and other relevant agencies.
Traumatized children need time
Waldorf through Child friendly spaces offers a secure environment, which fosters a rhythmic daily routine and rituals, in which attachment figures and shelters are provided. It takes time to heal this often requires great stamina, patience and composer. That is why it is important to always begin with same rituals in child friendly spaces and show love and care.
The best teacher teaches from the heart, not from the book.
Waldorf has employed social workers who spent better time of the day with the children, involving them in various activities including providing, guidance, psychosocial support, security and engaging children in experimental games. Due to the large number of children who need support in the CFS Waldorf appeals for support and funding’s to meet the need of the children and mark a change in their lives.