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Summer Newsletter – 2007

Posted by admin on September 26, 2012

Dear Friends,

Tashi Waldorf School’s eighth school year is in full swing! The last several months have seen many important events. The school year began on May 3, 2007 with 120 children enrolled.

The annual opening ceremony took place in the playground, with the faculty, staff and children all in attendance.

Some TWS parents were present. 34 new students joined the school in May

Class 1 students hold marigolds given by new friends in class 3, who have led them to their teacher

At the end of March, Tashi Waldorf School’s third class 3 graduated. Three of the five graduates have enrolled in public schools, one of which is supported by the Tibetan government-in-exile, and the other two are attending private schools. Their teacher Nirmala Gurung will be following up with them and monitoring their progress in order to better prepare future TWS graduates for the transition into mainstream curriculum schools. Nirmala, having completed her first cycle of classes 1-3, is now teaching a new group of 18 class 1 students.

We want to express our gratitude to all child sponsors and land sponsors for their most generous contributions and commitment to the continued education of TWS students and to the purchase of the land TWS currently must rent. The sponsorship community has grown to 76 members. The Tashi Waldorf School community sends a huge welcome and thank you to all our new land sponsors and child sponsors. All child sponsors should have received an annual progress report for their sponsored children in June or July. If the report hasn’t arrived by August please let us know so we can re-mail it. There are currently 49 children at the school, most of them new students, who need sponsors, and land sponsors are constantly needed so that TWS can successfully complete the land purchase. Any assistance finding new land and child sponsors would be deeply appreciated. For those child sponsors whose students recently ended their enrollment at Tashi Waldorf School we thank you for your patience and understanding. The political situation in Nepal remains unstable, causing many Nepalis to migrate to other areas of the country. Since civil unrest in the countryside has recently diminished, many families have returned to their home villages. Moreover, factory workers and construction laborers often move to where they can find work, frequently temporary. Unfortunately TWS can as yet only afford to offer school bus service to a small part of the Kathmandu valley. Additionally, after graduating from kindergarten many of TWS’ Tibetan students join Tibetan language schools that will take them through class 10. TWS is striving to retain more students each year, and thus a regular program of parent meetings was established last year to better inform parents about the advantages and benefits of Waldorf education.

From March 16th to April 6th, Nima Sherpa, who is currently teaching Class 3, participated in the fourth session of a 3 year part time Steiner Primary Teacher Training program. The program was held at the Tridhaksa School in Bangkok and included lectures, seminars and workshops on The Study of Man – Body, Soul and Spirit; Rhythms of Sleeping and Breathing; Thinking, Feeling and Willing; The Enlivening of Education; Working Together as Colleagues and Parents; Teaching Geography and History; Music Teaching; and Art Therapy.

Principal Eva Bhujel also visited Thailand from the 26th to the 29th of April to participate in the Asia-Pacific Initiative Group’s anthroposophical conference. Eva had a wonderful learning experience at the conference, and told us how touched she was by the philosophy and positive wisdom conveyed there. Eva remarked, “After attending this conference, I felt that one should make it one’s destiny to do good. Now I’ll try to live my life with a positive mind, even when I encounter difficulties, because those difficulties can be learned from.”

Marjorie Theyer, Advisor for the New Zealand Federation of Rudolf Steiner Schools, visited TWS in May to give teacher-training and meet with the trustees and parent community. One of the items Marjorie’s training highlighted was the importance of regular implementation of a child study. The faculty has now begun to hold regular child study sessions in their weekly meetings. In her lecture to the trustees, Marjorie discussed, among other things, the roles of trusts in Waldorf schools, the history of Rudolf Steiner and his work, the role of a Waldorf teacher, the background of Waldorf education and the situations of various Waldorf schools around the world. Marjorie’s talk with the TWS parents focused on a parent’s role in Waldorf education, child development from birth to age seven, and Waldorf school curriculum and educational theory.

In January, class 3 took its final field trip of the school year to Chobar Gorge, as part of studying the Kathmandu valley creation story. According to legend, an enlightened being named Manjushri came to meditate on an island in a lake was then Kathmandu, and split the valley with his sword of knowledge.

Losar and Shiva Ratri were celebrated in February. Losar, Tibetan New Year, was observed with a butter lamp lighting ceremony, chanting of “Om Mane Padme Hung” (“All hail the jewel in the lotus – the essence of awareness), singing and dancing, and a special meal. Shiva Ratri, the festival marking the first flowing of the rivers in spring, was celebrated with a bonfire, drumming, storytelling and song and dance

Holi, the spring festival of colors, was celebrated in March with circle dancing and water throwing in the playground, and a visit to each of the classrooms by the Holi Fairy, where tikas (blessings placed on the forehead) were given and songs were sung.

At the end of March, Tashi Waldorf School marked the conclusion of its seventh year with performances of plays, dances and songs by each of the classes, as well as a graduation ceremony for class 3.

Class 3 had their first field trip in June, a pilgrimage to Sleeping Vishnu, to complement their study of the Hindu creation story. At this Hindu holy site, Vishnu, the “Great Preserver”, dreams the universe as he sleeps upon the cosmic ocean. The students made drawings of Vishnu, left an incense offering and participated in a puja (religious ceremony) with a Brahmin priest.

Class 2 also took a field trip in June. As part of their lesson block on the Buddha’s life, they visited Namo Buddha, a Buddhist temple that marks the place where the Buddha offered his flesh to a starving tigress and five cubs. The students hiked part of the trail to the temple, lit butter lamps as offerings, and discussed and drew the story. A generous monk made a donation to the class members.

The TWS community gives thanks to the many generous visitors and donors who helped keep the school supplied with Waldorf educational materials, such as water color paint, colored chalk, beeswax and wooden colored pencils. If you are traveling to Kathmandu we would really appreciate your bringing along any Waldorf classroom materials that you can. Keeping these supplies on hand for the school is a challenge, since most of them are not locally available.

Children of Nepal is still working to register Tashi Waldorf School as a trust. We are waiting for the Nepal government to finish revising its trust laws and resume the process of registering new trusts. We hope that this will happen soon after the elections, slated to take place in November 2007.

We thank all of you for supporting Children of Nepal and Tashi Waldorf School. Without your help, Tashi Waldorf School would not be continuing well into the first term of its eighth school year. To support its continued growth, TWS plans to add class 4 in May 2008, and class 5 the following year. We are now trying to raise funds to construct these two classrooms. The primary class teachers are developing and learning the curriculum for class 4, and Nima Sherpa will become class 4 and 5’s first teacher. We need considerable assistance this year as we try to find additional child sponsors, and to obtain funding to purchase the school’s land and finance the construction of classes 4 and 5. All of us here at TWS are looking forward to solidifying the school’s foundation and strengthening its mission for the children of Nepal.

With our gratitude and kind wishes,
Rachel Amtzis

You can help:

  1. Please send a donation to our funding associations as listed below and on our website, www.childrenofnepal.org, and have a visit to the site.
  2. Sponsor a child for $25 USD or $50 USD a month.
  3. Sponsor the purchase of the school’s land for $18 USD a month.
  4. Sponsor a TWS teacher for her Waldorf education training seminars in Bangkok, Thailand.
  5. Tell your friends about TWS and encourage them to make a contribution.
  6. Publish this newsletter in your school, organization, or community newsletter, and link to www.childrenofnepal.org on your website.
  7. Volunteer to sell pashmina products or jewelry to support the continued operation of TWS.
  8. 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