Thanks from Russia and greetings from Kenya

Irina Ogorodova, Victor Mwai Wahome

IO | I work at the “Periodic Seminar”, a training programme for Waldorf teachers in Russia, which began its work in 1992. Our seminar has been working with the Friends of Waldorf Education since the first day of the seminar’s foundation. Even in the most difficult moments of its development, the “Friends” were ready to help and supported our efforts to approach foundations. This has enabled us time and again to cultivate connections with lecturers from abroad, but above all the support has made it possible for many Russian teachers to overcome the vast geographical distances of Russia, to take part in the meetings of the seminar in order to absorb the impulses of Waldorf education, to gain necessary experience and knowledge, and above all to gain the strength to carry and nurture these into their schools.

We are grateful for the support of the “Periodic Seminar” in good and also difficult times, for the unwavering willingness and openness to get to know and understand the specifics of the conditions in Russia, and for the deep interest in our work. In this sense, the association truly embodies its name “Friends”.

VM | It has often been said that we make a living by what we are given. But we create life by what we give. During my 13 years as chairman of the East African Association of Waldorf/Steiner Schools, I have seen time and again how lives have been changed through the donations of the Friends of Waldorf Education. The majority of teachers in the East Africa region have been able to train as Waldorf teachers because their training fees were covered. These teachers have touched the hearts of many children, opened their minds and impacted so many lives that otherwise would not have had the opportunity to experience Waldorf education by providing the most favourable conditions for each child they taught. I personally have also benefited from this kind of donation.

Every year, the East African Association holds conferences that bring together teachers from up to six countries. These conferences, which would not be possible without the help of the “Friends”, are crucial for the professional development of the teachers. At the Waldorf School in Nairobi, the “Friends” helped to build a mobile library which is now available for many families, or to provide meals for children who would otherwise not receive a healthy, balanced diet.