In a Germany-wide rally on March 11, the Waldorf Network of Peace was founded. Based on an initiative by Tia ten Venne, a class teacher, and Mischka Kaiser, an educator in child and youth welfare, an association of many schools committed to peace was formed within days. In this way, they make it possible for children and teenagers to get involved.
What does ‹network of peace› mean, how did the idea for it come about?
The Waldorf Network of Peace arose from the experience of the children at school, but also of our own children in dealing with the news of Russia’s attack on Ukraine. There were many questions and fears, but also the experience of one’s own helplessness and an overwhelming urge to want to and be able to do something. Thus, in addition to the concrete aid work for refugees, the idea arose to combine the power of our movement, the will for peace, and the care for the people into a great network of peace in spirit and in common action in many different places.
How do you talk to schoolchildren when war becomes an issue for them?
War is a topic for children. They hear the news, they experience the emotionality of adults. They have questions to which they need factual and non-catastrophic answers. They want to be allowed to express their fears and know that they are not alone with their thoughts. A deep desire for true peace lives in children and they want to express that. The older the children are, the more they want to be able to ask and discuss questions about justice and morality, about judgment and prejudice. By no means do they need images for this – images directly touch the souls of the children and connect with their imagination. We must protect children from direct images and also from the pictorial language in connection with the war.
Do you plan to expand the Network of Peace further?
Absolutely! Now that the net is connected, we want to and will certainly continue to expand it … and of course, we continue to hope for diverse support and participation from the most diverse anthroposophical institutions!