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Christmas Newsletter – 2001

Posted by on September 20, 2012

Dear Friends,

It’s hard to believe that another year has almost finished! We are so very pleased to report that Tashi Waldorf School continues to grow and blossom. Our second school year began last June with 36 children, ages 3 to 6, mixed together in three kindergartens. The children are full of energy, laughter and promise. It is especially heartwarming to see the older and younger children together. The older ones have definitely taken the little ones under their care. The same goes for a little disabled girl, Monita. All of the children look out for her wherever she is. The curriculum in the kindergartens now includes one day a week when English is spoken. Our animal corner has grown to include 6 guinea pigs, 2 dogs and a sheep. The children love to take the guinea pigs out to graze and play with the dogs. A formal medical program has been started for the children. Each child receives a medical exam and resulting treatment twice a year. With the arrival of a colder than usual winter season, your donations of socks, sweaters, hats and slippers have been essential in keeping the children warm.

Tashi Teacher Training is building a very strong foundation through it’s Teacher Training Program and Seminar Program. The Teacher Training Program is now beginning to take root with four people training to become Waldorf teachers. The first year of the two-year program (the foundation year) began on September 1, 2001. In the mornings the trainees work as assistants in the kindergartens and in the afternoons they receive training. By working in the kindergartens they receive first hand practical experience to complement their own classroom training. The trainees also attend the Seminar Program.

The Seminar Program is open to the teaching community in Nepal. . Practical aspects of Waldorf Education are taught such as child observation, child development, the child’s learning processes, physiology and ecology of the senses, games, circles, verses, songs and activities for children, storytelling, how to prepare and celebrate festivals, and doll and puppet making. Each seminar is 10 to 14 days and takes place after school hours enabling teachers to attend. This year volunteer Waldorf teacher trainers from around the world conducted seven seminars. We would like to thank these trainers for their support and dedication in helping us. They are Marjorie Theyer from New Zealand, Aban Bana from India, Halina Rubisz from New Zealand, Maria Domning from Germany, Laurence Penetrat from France, and Vera and Suzanne van Hulst from the Netherlands. This year 58 people registered for the program with many people attending more than one seminar. The participants came from predominantly the Kathmandu Valley and a few from Chitwan in southern Nepal and Khotang in western Nepal. This program is financially self-supporting. The Seminar Program for 2002 has now been set. There will be seven seminars with trainers coming from Ireland, New Zealand, India, England and Nepal. If you would like a copy of the 2002 Seminar Program please email us.

On the construction front we are very busy! The ISIS Foundation of Bermuda is funding the building of the remaining exterior walls, doors and windows of the main school building. This construction began in November and will be completed by the end of January. It is wonderful to have windows in our school hall now where sheets of corrugated metal were before. The sun pours in and creates a warm environment for teacher training, movement, festival celebrations and staff and parent meetings. Kings School in England has funded building a new classroom in the empty half of the main school building including furnishings and educational materials. Our most sincere thanks to ISIS Foundation and Kings School for their commitment to helping Tashi Waldorf School to grow.

In June 2002 we will begin a Class One, as our first group of 11 children will be ready. Another class will be added each year thereafter. Our current site can accommodate up to Class Three. Tashi Waldorf School will serve 100 children by June 2004 in three kindergartens and a Class One, Two and Three! We are investigating expansion options with the land surrounding the school so that the school can continue to grow thereafter.

We continue to look for ways to financially support the operating costs and building of the school. This year we started a business selling Nepalese handicrafts in western countries. To date the main product has been pashmina and we will add other items such as jewelry and hand made paper products. People host parties in their homes to sell these handicrafts. Please email us if you are interested in selling handicrafts on our behalf. We would like to thank everyone in Canada who has purchased pashmina in support of the school, especially to Barbara Maclaren, Lynne Atkinson, Karin Hughes, Paula Pedicelli, Pen Bridgeman and Evelyn Seggie. Your contribution has made an enormous difference to the growth and continued success of Tashi Waldorf School.

We would like to introduce you to a few new people who have joined us at Tashi Waldorf School this year. Halina Rubisz has come to us from New Zealand as Educational Coordinator at Tashi Waldorf School and Teacher Training. Halina has been working as a Waldorf teacher for the past 25 years and has a great deal of experience in working with disabled children and those with learning disabilities. Halina conducts the full time Teacher Training Program, coordinates the Seminar Program and helps to ensure that Waldorf education continues to flourish at Tashi Waldorf School.

Chandra Tamang, one of our kindergarten teachers, has been accepted to attend a three-year Teacher Training Program at Emerson College in England. Chandra has been working in Waldorf Education for the past five years. She is very excited at the prospect of furthering her own training and development. Upon completing this program Chandra will be able to return to Tashi Teacher Training and train other Nepalese men and women to be Waldorf teachers. Kamala Sapkota has joined the school to replace Chandra when she leaves in July. Kamala is the mother of two children and is a wonderfully perceptive and caring teacher.

Fionnuala Daffy, our Project Officer, returned to Ireland in September. We miss her very much and are so grateful she was able to work with us for one year, establishing and documenting many of our programs. A Nepalese woman, Eva Bhujel from Kathmandu, has now joined us to work in this function.

Especially at this time of year we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has worked so hard to support Tashi Waldorf School. As always we so grateful and touched by the continued generosity and support we have received from people and groups all over the world. Without your help, our school would never have become a reality. We would especially like to thank our child sponsors who have committed to supporting a child through their time at Tashi Waldorf School. However our future is never secure. Any help you can give through a one-time donation, child sponsorship or donations of vitamins and clothes is so much appreciated and needed. We thank you for all of your help.

Wishing you and your families a very Happy Christmas and New Year,
Everyone at Children of Nepal & Tashi Waldorf School