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Christmas Newsletter – 2004

Posted by admin on September 26, 2012

Dear Friends,

As we come to the close of 2004 we continue to hope for peace to return to Nepal. While a ceasefire was called over the autumn festivals of Dashain and Tihar, the fighting started yet again in November. How long can this otherwise most peaceful country and people sustain the enormous harm this conflict is causing? We observe the effects in children’s play as they more often act out the violent aspects of guns, killing and war. We are drawn deeper and deeper within as we remain positive, hopeful and continue to celebrate joy in life.

In spite of the very difficult situation in the country the children at Tashi Waldorf School in Kathmandu, Nepal are flourishing. Nima Sherpa’s Class 3 and Lobsang Dolma’s Class 2 children performed a play from the Ramayana in September as the second term finished before the Dashain festival. The children were very expressive in their roles, such as Kabita who has been at the school for four and a half years. Kabita played the role of a very old woman and we were mesmerized as she so deeply took this character within herself. Nirmala Gurung’s Class 1 children shared with the parent audience their Nepalese dance and recorder music.

The children are so open and full of love at the school which is observed in many ways. Recently the school dog, Lucky, wasn’t feeling her usual self. As the children passed by Lucky that day, all stopped to give her lots of extra pats. The children who come through the kindergartens are comfortable with colour as they reach the grades. Children who join the school in the grades still have some hesitation as they bring in a pencil to draw the outline first and fill it in with colour. The rice has been harvested and over the winter months the children will husk and grind it to use for baking and crafts. The class children have planted a beautiful winter garden in a pie shape planted with carrots, radish, herbs and wheat.

There are now three special needs children at the school. Tenzin joined the school a few weeks ago. He is four years old and started to walk six months ago. One side of his body has difficulty in functioning. Tenzin has joined Kripa Manandhar in her kindergarten group and is so happy to be there. He particularly loves the singing and movement during circle time. He has a beautiful strong spirit. Thanks to Kripa and Tenzin’s mother, Tenzin has made a gentle and loving transition into the school. Ayelet Idan, a special needs teacher who lives in Kathmandu, volunteers at the school twice a week to work with the children who need extra help. We are so very grateful for her love and dedication to the children.

In July, Van James came to Kathmandu to conduct a two week seminar on the Waldorf School Visual Arts Curriculum. This seminar was the first of a continued program which will take place over 3 years. There were 23 participants including the teachers from Tashi Waldorf School and Shanti Sewa School. We deeply thank Freunde der Erziehungskunst Rudolf Steiners e.V. for their contribution to the funding of this seminar.

Van James is co-director of Kula Makua, Waldorf Teacher Training in Honolulu, Hawai’i. Van trains teachers at Rudolf Steiner College in California, the Rudolf Steiner Institute in Maine, Taruna College in New Zealand, and gives training to schools throughout Asia and America. He has been a class teacher and more recently an art instructor at the Honolulu Waldorf School for over twenty years.

This first seminar was about Waldorf art instruction from kindergarten through to class 5. Van started each day with a Hawaiian greeting song, and throughout the day asked the participants to share in performing fun songs and rhymes. This helped to put everyone at ease as they experienced the various art forms.

Each day began with Form Drawing where the participants practiced symmetry exercises, ribbon forms, interlaced patterns, metamorphic designs and freehand geometry. The participants began to see that management of line is a way to take hold of one’s own thinking, feeling and willing in a practical artistic way. This was followed by Artistic Drawing including blackboard, main lesson book, gesture, animal, figure and landscape drawing using various mediums. Finally there was Painting where the participants experienced how paintings can arrive at a finished form out of attention to colour and its surface area rather than outlining shapes and filling them in with colour.

The course ended with the creation of individual Mandala’s using pastels on black paper. The finished Mandala’s were hung up on the walls so all the participants could appreciate their artistic talent. Everyone is looking forward to Van’s return in 2005 to continue this most joyful and creative experience.

In September, Meyrav Mor, returned to Nepal for several months as she does each year to work with the teachers on training and curriculum development. In spring 2004, Meyrav received her Masters in Education from Antioch University in the USA. The result of Meyrav’s thesis was a book entitled “Preserving the Past, Reserving the Future – A Foundation for a Culturally Sensitive Early Childhood Curriculum for Tibetan Children in Exile”. Meyrav will visit Nepal again in spring 2005. In the meantime she continues with curriculum development work for Tashi Waldorf School and her work as Director of Children of Nepal in England where her family lives.

Through these fall months the teachers of Tashi Waldorf School have been working very hard to further develop the Waldorf curriculum to include the Nepalese and Tibetan cultures. It is so enriching to be in the midst of such creative work. New stories and circles are being written, new games are being practiced, new puppets and dolls are being made. A wealth of poems, songs, verses and stories used in Waldorf schools around the world are being translated into Nepali and Tibetan. There is a flurry of activity in the library as the teachers research and plan their new lessons. The group discussion is full of ideas on what to celebrate from the cultures of Nepal.

When the school year ends in spring 2005 Tashi Waldorf School’s first class of grade 3 students will graduate. Together TWS and CON are starting to work with these parents and future schools to ensure the transition goes as smoothly as possible. We will continue to observe the children as they move to other schools through contact with their new teachers to see how they are doing.

We would appreciate help with resources for class plays for grades 1, 2 and 3. If any teachers have plays which they think could be of help, we would be grateful if you could please send them to us. We also need help with watercolor paints, coloured chalk for blackboard drawings and beeswax for modeling in specific colours. If anyone is coming to Nepal and can help with these supplies we would appreciate it ever so much.

We most sincerely thank all of our child sponsors, without your continued support we could not keep the school running. 14 children are now without sponsors at the school. We would also like to thank our team of extremely talented and committed handicraft sellers and those who support the school by buying the products. To all of you who raise money for the school through craft sales, local shops, community and school events, and family celebrations; thank you for your very dedicated work. To those of you who give what you can, when you can, thank you for your enormous generosity. And finally to everyone who sends and brings donations of clothes, vitamins, and art supplies thank you for your most caring help. We cannot express deeply enough how much we appreciate and value everyone’s help and support.

Children of Nepal and Tashi Waldorf School are truly a global community which would not exist without the love and commitment of the group in Nepal and each of you around the world. Thank you so very very much for the difference you are making in the lives of the children at the school!

With much love, many thanks and warm wishes to you and your families for the Christmas season,
Heather Maclaren and Meyrav Mor

You can help:

  1. Please send a donation to the associations as listed below
  2. Sponsor a child for $25 a month
  3. Tell your friends and encourage them to make a contribution
  4. Publish this newsletter in your school, organization, or community newsletter
  5. Please see our website at www.childrenofnepal.org
  6. If you are traveling to Nepal let us know and we would be delighted to have you visit

RSF Social Finance
Please write in the memo portion of the cheque: "Children of Nepal"
1002A O'Reilly Ave.
San Francisco,
CA 94129-1101 USA
Tel: 415.561.3900, 1.888.RSF.3737
Email: mail@rsfsocialfinance.org
RSF Social Finance also accepts donations made via other means, including credit cards. For more information, please visit their website:
www.rsfsocialfinance.org/donate-now/

Freunde der Erziehungskunst Rudolf Steiner e.V.
Please write in the memo portion of the cheque: “Children of Nepal – Project # 4405”
Weinmeisterstr. 16
Berlin, D-10178, Germany
Tel: 030 61 70 26 30,
Email: berlin@freunde-waldorf.de

Internationaal Hulpfonds
Please write in the memo portion of the cheque: “Children of Nepal”
Herengracht 276,
1016BX, Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS
Tel: 020- 6274856
Email: info@internationaalhulpfonds.nl

King’s School Worcester Nepal Trust
Please write in the memo portion of the cheque: "Children of Nepal"
c/o John Walton
King’s School, Worcester
England, WR1 2LL, U.K
Tel: 01905 350065
Email: j_walton2@hotmail.com

Waldorf School Association of Ontario
Please write in the memo portion of the cheque: “Children of Nepal”
9100 Bathurst Street, No. 2
Thornhill, Ontario, L4J 8C7, Canada
Tel: 905 889 2066
Email: manager@waldorf.ca

Prometheus Ethical Finance
Please write "Children of Nepal - Account#4144" in the memo.
P.O. Box 969
Napier, NEW ZEALAND
Telephone 06.835.7138
Fax 06-8351628
Email: ethical@prometheus.co.nz