Waldorf News

WOW-Day: Students and teachers all over the world prepare for the 18th Waldorf One World Day to raise money to support Waldorf and social initiatives

Many thanks to Truus Geraets for keeping us posted on the preparation progress for WOW-Day (Waldorf One World Day) 2011. This year’s goal is to increase participation in North America. The Friends of Waldorf Education coordinate this important international event.

On September 29, 2011 we are joining forces all over the world, from Berlin to Dublin, from Oslo to Ljubljana, and from Vermont to San Diego. With your ideas and activities such as crafts and sales campaigns, sponsored runs or jobs in companies, we will raise money to support Waldorf and social initiatives around the globe. Applications are open to all students from grades 1 to 13. Join us and together we will make a difference!

In recent years, WOW-Day has brought about fantastic results. In 2010, almost 150 Waldorf schools from 14 countries participated together and raised more than 300,000 Euros. This large amount enables us to support disadvantaged children in more than 40 initiatives in more than 20 countries. You can help ensure that schools, kindergartens and social projects receive vital aid, enable children in Kenya to attend school, provide opportunities in the favelas in Brazil, and allow people with disabilities in Georgia to live a dignified life.

What is WOW-Day?

Waldorf students in action for other Waldorf students all over the world.

Waldorf One World: By taking on one day jobs, organizing sponsored runs, making and selling crafts, putting on circus performances in the pedestrian zone or other activities, students raise money for better learning and living conditions for children all over the world.

Since 1994 Waldorf students from all over Europe have raised about 1.5 million Euros for Waldorf projects and other projects in the realm of education all over the world. In most countries Waldorf schools, Waldorf kindergartens and curative education institutions are not supported by the government. Many struggle to survive from day to day, while trying to provide an education accessible to children that is in accordance with human dignity. This often even just means providing them with a warm meal!

The idea of WOW-Day was born in cooperation with the “European Council of Steiner Waldorf Education – ECSWE”. At a meeting, the Norwegian Waldorf teacher, Astrid Bjöness, reported on the “Operasjon Dagswerk” tradition. On this day the students from all Norwegian high schools earn money for charity (in Germany there is a similar state project “Schüler helfen leben” which supports projects in the Balkan states). The colleagues at the meeting were very enthusiastic and Astrid Bjöness was given the task right away of organizing a “Dagswerk” campaign for the European Waldorf schools.

During the first few years about 20 Waldorf Schools participated at WOW-Day. Later on, the numbers doubled each year. In addition to the German schools many Scandinavian schools took part. These committed Waldorf students and their teachers raised quite an amount of money each year.

The money is then given to the Friends of Waldorf Education and they pass 100% of the funds on to the projects all over the world. The Administration costs are completely covered by the Friends of Waldorf Education, so not one cent is lost!

WOW-Day in Germany has become a Europe-wide event that is organized by the Friends of Waldorf Education in cooperation with Bund der Freien Waldorfschulen and ESCWE. On a particular day Waldorf schools all over Europe join forces to collect money for a better future for children all over the world. We want to include schools from North America as well.

The next WOW-Day campaign will take place on September 29, 2011. Has your school joined yet?

Projects Around the World

WOW-Day supports projects involving Waldorf education and social impulses around the world such as:

El Salvador – La Tutuni
Brazil – Project Salva Dor
Brasilien – ACOMI Sao Paulo
Colombia – CES Waldorf, Arca Mundial
Peru – Pro Humanus, Estrella del Sur
Kenya – Mbagathi School
Sierra Leone – Goderich School
South Africa – Educare Centres, Puppetry, Zenzeleni School, Lesedi School
Tanzania – Hekima WS
Georgia – TEMI Initiative, Michael School
Moldova – Kishinev WS
Israel – Shfaram WS
Nepal – Shanti Sewa
Pakistan – Roshni Green Earth
Philippines – Gamot Cogon
Tadjikistan – Khudjand WS
Vietnam – Kindergartens

How does it work?

The day is September 29, 2011, but a school can decide on another day. A problem with the date should be no reason not to participate! The students are informed about the different projects and then they decide which project they would like to support. Make sure you tell The Friends of Waldorf Education that your school wants to participate on WOW-Day.

All grades, from 1 to 12 can take part in the WOW-Day, if the following conditions are fulfilled: the organization and carrying out of the event should be age appropriate, the teacher must be involved in the decision making in the class and the regulations must be followed. By doing one-day jobs, organizing sponsored runs, making and selling crafts, putting on circus performances in the pedestrian zone or other activities, the pupils can raise funds for better learning and living conditions for children all over the world.

The lower classes can collect ideas with their teachers on how they can participate, e.g. craft work, baking or music making. Older pupils can look for jobs and then donate the money they earn.

The whole school community can gather ideas that are suitable for all age groups. The WOW-Day can also be brought into context with the curriculum, as it is an excellent opportunity to discuss issues such as wealth and poverty, globalization, history, politics, geography, cultures, etc.

The WOW-Day can be a real celebration and is also a good opportunity to get together with the other Waldorf schools in your region. The press can also be informed, which creates good publicity.

…and after the WOW-Day?

The money that was collected is given to the Friends of Waldorf Education who then give 100 % of the proceeds to the various projects. The administration costs are covered by the Friends of Waldorf Education, so that not one cent of the money you collect is lost.

The Friends of Waldorf Education will keep you up to date about the results and the responses from the projects. As soon as the majority of the proceeds have reached us we will send a letter of thanks to your school.

We recommend projects which are most urgently in need of help. You can either choose a project or collect money for the WOW-Day in general (which can help to avoid that some projects receive to much and others too little support). You can also support other projects, of course, if you have a personal relationship to a particular project. In that case we will also gladly pass on the money to that project.

If you are interested in participating, please send a short email to Leslie at na.wowday@gmail.com or to Truus at artofliving@yahoo.com.

Any monies collected will be sent to the Rudolf Steiner Foundation, 1002 A O’Reilly Ave. San Francisco, CA 94129.

Ideas for Your Campaign

* Apple rings
* Sell freshly pressed apple or orange juice
* Find a one day job (in a business or firm, tidying up, washing cars,
* Offer craft activities
* Felting, batik cloths
* Make crafts to sell (earrings, bracelets, rings, key rings, etc.)
* Presentation in residential home for elderly
* Paint or draw pictures and sell them to your grandparents,
shadow painting
* Go shopping for elderly people
* Help to harvest crops (fruit, potatoes, vegetables) and sell them
at a market
* Organize a flea market
* Make autumn wreaths to sell
* Put up a games booth at a fair or market
* Offer face painting for children in the pedestrian zone
* Organize games for children in the pedestrian zone
* Put on a benefit concert
* Do a cake sale
* Collect trash or clean up a company’s grounds
* Bike ride
* Put on a pantomime
* Sing in the pedestrian zone
* Sing or play the recorder
* Offer soap stone carving for children
* Organize a sports competition
* Perform street music or theater
* International Days about a foreign culture/Waldorf Initiative
* International days
* Put on a play or a Michaelmas play
* Do a raffle (toys, etc.)
* Second hand sale
* Sell coffee, cake, corn on the cob, popcorn, waffles, etc.
* Sell pictures, postcards, bookmarks, etc.
* Sell homemade things…bunches of flowers, bread, rolls, jam…
* Sewing
* Put on performances with diabolo, unicycle, juggling, magic
* Have an auction
* Charity party
* Put on a circus performance or offer a participatory circus course

and many other ideas!

For more information, The Friends of Waldorf Education has an English language web site with all the information that you need to join WOW-Day 2010