South Africa: Raphaeli Waldorf School is located in the town of Plettenberg Bay (locally known as “Plett”), which has a unique character. Its about 45,000 residents experience the rhythm of this coastal town like the tides of its ocean shores. During holiday times many visitors surge into Plett; then ebb away again, leaving the small quiet town to the peace of its surrounding beaches, mountains and forests.
In 2009, a small group of people with experience of Waldorf Education came into contact with a former Waldorf parent, who was teaching her daughter at home. Soon parents and children were drawn to this “class of one” and over time the initiative grew into a proper school. In the next few years the school moved four times. It currently occupies a large and lovely house with big trees that invite children to climb them, and a little river to explore at the bottom of the garden. Currently about 90 children, from 3 to 13 years, run into the school every day.
Moreover, the surrounding area offers ample opportunities for field trips. As part of the world geography term, students went on a spectacular outing witnessing fold mountains, river gorges, caves, water and wind erosion at its finest – right on the school’s doorstep at Keurbooms Beach. They pretended to be David Livingstone the great explorer venturing into the African Wild, imagining how he would have felt all those centuries ago. The children had a sharp realization, however; they would have to get a lot fitter and a lot braver if this were this case. A few mosquitoes and spiders did not deter Dr. Livingstone!
Over the last two years the Raphaeli’s dedicated staff has carried the school in a tremendous growth spurt. Each year as new classrooms are needed, funds are urgently raised and high quality log-cabin-style structures go up, seemingly in the blink of an eye. It’s as though miracles become commonplace.
The Friends of Waldorf Education support the Raphaeli Waldorf School with funds from WOW-Day and through the sponsorship program. As growth is expected to continue exponentially in the future, the school faculty is currently looking to find a permanent site to finally settle down.