President Baschar al-Assad’s brutal suppression of peaceful protests in the context of the Arab Spring in early 2011 and the following violent conflicts are said to be the catalyst for the ongoing civil war in Syria. The invasion by troops of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has further intensified the situation. There are now around 11 million Syrians fleeing. The civilian population, in particular the children, are the tragic victims of the fighting. Especially children find it difficult to cognitively process the man-made disasters of violence and cruelty.
Many Syrian refugees, especially those with a Kurdish background, took up the long, difficult journey to the Northern borders of Syria. As stated in Iraq’s new constitution of 2005, the region of Kurdistan is acknowledged as an autonomous region. Kurdistan borders Syria to the northwest and Turkey to the north. Many more refugees come to Kurdistan from other parts of Iraq too, for example many Yazidis who had to flee from ISIS.
In August 2013 an emergency pedagogic assignment took place in Lebanon, which provided emergency-pedagogic relief for Syrian refugee children. In cooperation with UNHCR, the United Nations’ refugee agency, with which the Friends have worked in Kenya since early 2012, the emergency pedagogy team has been trauma-pedagogically active in the autonomous region of Kurdistan in refugee camps since the end of 2013. There are now many local colleagues, who can work with the children and adolescents in the camps on a regular basis.
Emergency Pedagogy Mission from November 4th to 18th
A team traveled once again to Northern Iraq to support and train local pedagogues. Courses will also be introduced at the University in Dohuk. continue.
From August 26th till September 9th, an emergency pedagogy team from the Friends of Waldorf Education will travel for the tenth time to the autonomous region of Kurdistan in Northern Iraq.They will work under the direction of the Welthungerhilfe (World Hunger Aid) together with three other aid organizations in the so-called “summer schools”. continue.
The search for a new cooperation partner is over: our work will continue in Iraq!
The established long-term project in the camps Berseve I and II will be expanded in cooperation with the GIZ (German Society for International Cooperation). continue
From April 22nd to May 3rd 2016, a six person intervention team was once again in northern Iraq. The focus of this mission was the further training of local pedagogues and teacher and parent education. This will ensure that the work on the ground can be substainably continued. continue
From November 6th to 20th an emergency pedagogy international team traveled to northern Iraq. The focus of this seventh emergency pedagogy mission of the Friends of Waldorf Education, in addition to the work with the children, was the further training of the local team. continue
In September and October, a team of volunteer German emergency pedagogues was once again in northern Iraq. In cooperation with UNICEF, their project in schools there was continued, teachers and local specialists were supported and further trained. continue
In cooperation with UNICEF, nine local pedagogues could be installed and a local office set up in northern Iraq in April. A volunteer German team was on site from 29th of May until the 12th of June to train the local team. The teachers at the UNICEF schools were also offered further training. continue
At the end of March an emergency pedagogy team from the Friends of Waldorf Education visited recently traumatized children and youths in refugee camps in the province of Dohuk in northern Iraq. In four UNICEF schools 1,300 children could be supported in the processing of their terrible experiences and teachers were trained in dealing with traumatised children. continue
Since summer 2014, scores of Yazidis have fled the terror of the IS militia to north-eastern Iraq. By now, thousands of people camp out on the roadsides, live in building shells or refugee camps. From August 21st until September 4th a team of emergency pedagogues visited Dohuk to provide emergency pedagogic assistance for deeply traumatised children. continue
As the big refugee camps for Syrians in Lebanon and Jordan are often the focal point of media-attention, the numerous smaller camps in neighboring countries are easily overlooked. An emergency-pedagogic team of the Friends of Waldorf Education visited two of those smaller camps in the autonomous region of Kurdistan-Iraq from March 29 until April 11 2014. continue
For quite a while now the war-like conditions in Syria have been at the emergency pedagogues’ center of attention. The peoples’ sorrow is just as overwhelming as their need for psychosocial help and stabilization. Unfortunately, the security situation in Syria, makes it impossible to work directly in the country continue