News

News

Waldorf emergency education team heads for Turkey

An emergency education team from the international Waldorf organisation Friends of Waldorf Education is heading for Turkey on Sunday for a short-term deployment with refugees from Syria and Iraq.

Von: News Network Anthroposophy
Over 3,500 Yazidi and Kurdish refugees have sought shelter also in the south-eastern Anatolian town of Batman near the border with Iraqi Kurdistan und Syria. The Friends say that the team will leave for the region on 18 January in response to a request for help from the city. The UN estimates that over a million Syrians have fled to Turkey since the start of the civil war in Syria in March 2011. The attack of the terrorist group IS on villages and towns in Iraq and Syria has led to further streams of refugee. According to the Waldorf organisation, many of the Yazidi refugees in Batman come from Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq which was besieged by IS forces, and more than 600 Kurdish refugees are from Kobane on the Syrian-Turkish border which became a symbol of resistance to IS.  They are often seriously traumatised by war, persecution and their flight. The city asked for the expertise of the Friends of Waldorf Education to provide urgently needed psychosocial assistance through “Aktion Deutschland hilft”, an alliance of German aid organisations, the press release says. Work with children The emergency education team of the Friends will work with traumatised children in the refugee camp.  The nine-member team includes teachers, therapists as well as doctors and psychotherapists. As in previous deployments, the focus will also be on training local psychologists and teachers in emergency education.  A group of psychologists and teachers had already assembled and was waiting for the team from Germany to arrive, the Waldorf organisation says. They will continue to work as volunteers in the refugee camp once they have been trained by the Friends of Waldorf Education. Methods based on Waldorf education are intended to reduce trauma-related stress reactions among the refugee children. Movement exercises help to restore inner and outer equilibrium and strengthen trust in themselves and others. Painting and drawing offer nonverbal opportunities to express and come to terms with what they have experienced, the Friends say. Parental counselling Alongside psychosocial support for the children, the emergency education team will also offer parental counselling. Many parents did not know how to cope with the trauma-related behaviour of their children – such as sleeplessness, bed wetting, withdrawal or aggression.  A deeper understanding of the course of a trauma and its symptoms, and knowing how to handle it constructively, could offer support in this context. END/nna/cva Item: 150116-01EN Date: 16 January 2015 

Go back