It was decided during the transnational meeting in Turkey that the partner schools would work together to raise money for a charitable project the Freie Waldorfschule Saar-Hunsrück was actively supporting, called ‘help’ as well as a charity [Freunde der Erziehungskunst] involved in helping people overcome trauma in their lives, in this case refugees. In so doing, the partner schools wanted to work together co-operatively on something that affected all of their countries to show solidarity with each other and be supportive of events happening throughout Europe.
In addition to this, each school is involved in its own project(s) – eg. Ringwood Waldorf School is involved in the charity WE Charity (formerly ‘Free the Children’), a worldwide development charity and youth empowerment movement working in less developed countries, founded in 1995 by human rights advocates Craig Kielburger and Marc Kielburger.
The Freie Waldorfschule Saar-Hunsrück started a charity after the first Erasmus workshop in the UK as pupils at the school became aware (through preparation work for the workshop) that unaccompanied underage Syrian refugees were being housed nearby. They asked the school if it would be possible to support them, which it agreed to do. The project is now being supported by the Ministry for Social Affairs.
TED Aliaga Koleji Vakfi Özel Lisesi and TED Aliaga Koleji Vakfi Özel Ortaokulu schools in Turkey have wide ranging charitable interests. Mostly money is raised for poorer students at different schools throughout Turkey. The schools send them educational materials, books and sometimes even boots and shoes (in the Eastern part of Turkey some children have to walk to school on bare feet in extremes of temperatures). There is also a scheme whereby English is taught for free for a total of 360 hours to less privileged children. English teaching is a strength of the school and this strength is shared with others. Fundraising donations also go to support the children of miners, who died in Soma, Manisa in the Aegean region of Turkey on 13 May 2014 in Turkey’s worst mining disaster in which 301 people were killed.
At the end of each workshop there was a final evening celebration and during this event each school organised a craft fair. Each partner school brought to the workshop crafts that had been made in their schools by pupils, staff and parents. Not only crafts were sold. Partner schools also brought typical food or souvenirs from their countries; for example the Turkish schools sold lots of Turkish delight. These were sold and all the money raised was used to help the refugees.
Other fundraising ideas used for this charity as well as other charities supported by individual schools included:
- Cake sales
- Sponsored walks / bicycle rides
- Musical performances by pupils, staff and parents
- Plays put on by pupils
- Christmas carol service
- Themed clothes / fancy dress on a particular day
- Car washing
- Voucher collection
- Plant or book sale
- Brick fundraising
- Afternoon teas