Servant Forge (SF), along with Nazarene Compassionate Ministries (NCO), entered into a one year contract with the Waldorf Kakuma Project (WKP) on July 1st, 2016. As per this contract, SF and NCO began providing financial support to WKP in order to build the capacity of the ground-level staff in the Kakuma Refugee Camp. This partnership has provided a platform for SF and NCO to engage in spiritual guidance with the 385 children reached through WKP programming each day. Through such spiritual guidance, disciples can be created among the children, strengthening spiritual engagement throughout Kakuma Refugee Camp.
The Waldorf Kakuma Project began in 2012, and aims to provide non-traditional educational and development opportunities for vulnerable refugee children in the Kakuma Refugee Camp. More specifically, WKP provides safe opportunities for social, emotional, spiritual and moral, and rational development through the arts (storytelling, painting, clay modeling, song, dance, etc.). WKP makes an effort to use as many locally available resources as possible. A key goal of programming is to maintain a consistent rhythm so as to help reestablish a sense of normalcy for children whose lives have been disrupted of a daily routine.
The Waldorf Kakuma Project has a total of twenty staff members on the ground in the Kakuma Refugee Camp. Fourteen of these staff members are incentive teachers, all of whom are Kakuma refugees. These incentive teachers represent five of the major nationalities represented in the camp: Somali Bantu, Oromo, Sudanese, Congolese, and Burundian. This cross-cultural and language representation is essential to the programming of WKP. However, there is an urgent need for additional incentive staff in order to represent additional cultures and languages at each of the programming centers. The remaining six staff members are Kenyan nationals that take on dual roles as administrators and teachers. This is largely due to intense understaffing, given the breadth of programming and beneficiaries.
WKP operates six Child Friendly Spaces (CFSs). These sites are spread throughout the camp to engage as many children as possible. Additionally, though currently under capacity both in staff and material resources, their programming continues to be requested at additional sites throughout the camp. WKP is doing a phenomenal job of collaborating with other organizations in Kakuma, engaging in space and resource sharing. Currently, WKP programming engages three class-levels: Kindergarten (ages 3 to 5 years old), CFS 1 (ages 6 to 9 years old), and CFS 2 (ages 10 to 13 years old). According to weekly program reports in September, across the six CFS sites, Waldorf is engaging an average of 385 children on a daily basis. Attendance increases largely during the close of traditional, mainstream schools. At each site, a maximum of two teachers, but often only one, are responsible for each class.
- Purposeful spiritual guidance & discipleship during daily activities
- Effective & positive collaboration with other agencies
- Strong referral networks to ensure holistic care for children
- Thorough follow-through for all referral cases
- Critical emphasis on engaging and empowering parents/guardians
- Enthusiastic commitment to the children and the work, even under difficult circumstances
- Staff desire for continued learning opportunities through trainings
- Funding support for staff salaries and for increasing Kakuma Staff
- A reliable vehicle to transport children to and from referral appointments and transport staff
- Program Materials such as paint and brushes, clay, easels, balls, etc.
- A shelter for the Protected Center Child Friendly Space