A Positive Waldorf Story
- Frank will have many of these, but I thought it'd be nice, for once, to post a positive Waldorf story here to counter some of the negative litany that they recount endlessly over on WC. This is a story from October NNA.
Founded On Encounter
The earthquake that struck Haiti in January 2000 dealt the final death blow to its infrastructure .
Where do you begin when there is no government, when the political path is blocked? You can only begin with a few projects and consciousness-raising encounters. Sustainable human relationships need to be established, a conversation of conversation and a devotion to productive work- best done in cooperation with other organisations that are active in the country .
A young Frenchwoman, Myriam Silien, came to Les Cayes [on Haiti] a few years ago. She met a local carpenter and they started a family together this home on the idyllic Isle-a-Vache. When she realised the sort of education that would be avialiableto her children, Myriam Silien (an ex-Waldorf student and trained in Waldorf education) found she had no choice but to build up a Waldorf school herself. After a few years the school moved to the village of Torbeck on the mainland near Les Cayes. Permanent building are now under construction.
The teachers come from the city and are gradually being trained by Myriam Silien and other Waldorf educators from Europe. Two associations in France are supporting the project and collecting funds for it.
Because you have to do everything yourself here, the first projects were a large water tank for mixing cement, a workshop, storerooms, and also a place for volunteers to live. As so often in Haiti, the classes are held in open air buildings. When we asked what our work camp (July 20 - August 10) could do to meet the most pressing need of the school, we were told that there are not yet any toilets. And here we found an unexpected connection back to Marie-Jose Laguerre. She told us about a type of dry toilet (from Namibia) that is much more ecological than most other system but still rather odourless, clean, and efficient. The school procured six of them. At first it was just the three foreigners, but then people from the village joined us; they were all very curious about the new system and examined it with growing enthusiasm - wonderful, hospitable people who soon became our friends. We can only hope that the consciousness-raising effort of this Waldorf project will serve their lives well and help them maintain their culture and environment.
Eric Hurner, Dornach, Switzerland.