Monday, March 30, 2009

A permanent home for our Kindergarten.

After 4 years of housing our Kindergarten in various temporary rooms on our Finca, we now succeeded to give it its own 390 m2 home, consisting of two classrooms for 25 children each on the first floor and a 3 room teacher apartment on the second floor.
We where very fortunate to have found 2 trained Waldorf kindergarten teachers, from Colombia and Peru with 2 local assistants in training. We hope that with this step we can give Waldorf education a significant boost in our country, creating a space for internships and conferences.
On March 10 we where able to accept the second group of 26 children aged 3 ½ to 4 years old and move them in to new building, and on the first day of spring, March 21 we celebrated the inauguration with parents, coworkers and many friends.
The construction costs for the building of US$80,000 was mainly raised through a “Fair Trade” initiative of our client “Weiling” a organic food distributor in Germany, where banana customers where willing to pay a additional premium of US$0.01 per banana, as well as by the contribution of our Export company.
We separated a 7'000 m2 lot from our Finca and conveyed it to our Fundacion Nuestro Porvenir, the legal carrier of our Educational initiative, enough space to develop a full school.
After much deliberation we found that the Kindergarten needed a protected and sheltered area (this is already implicit in its naming, garden has its root in “guard” a guarded and protected area where valuable crops and flowers are tended with special care). Placing the Kindergarten close the center of our commercial operations appeared to be the best solution, it gives it the necessary protection from noise (nearly unbearable in the villages with unmuffled motorcycles and perpetual disco music) and burglars. It creates efficiencies in sharing some infrastructure and the availability of a helping hand of company staff is often of great help to the Kindergarten teachers. This nearness and presence of small children who need our help as well as the not for profit activity radiates a very positive social influence on our work.
It is very satisfying for me personally to be able to develop a educational initiative supported by our commercial activity, a reversal of the past where I have been farming inside the economic shelter of tax exempt educational foundations. As we have reached conventional “retirement” age I am happy do devote myself increasingly to cultural / educational activities, a privilege which is rare in our modern society, and I enjoy being called abuelito (little grandfather) in an environment where I am respectfully adressed “Don or Señor”. And my wife Annelien has renewed her mothering instincts creating a variety of dolls and animals. Small children and old people have a special affinity to each other, both are close to the spiritual world, the former fresh arrivals, the later mature departures.

1 comment:

Juan Carlos Arbeláez León said...

Felicitaciones Chistoph por este trabajo con la pedagogia waldof, la cual al igual que la biodinamica hace parte de la Antroposofia.

Que bueno para el mundo que existan personas como tu.

Juan Carlos Arbelaez Leon