Providing a New Home for Refugees: Crowdfunding for International Class in Graz

The refugee project of the SEKEM Friends Austria is now in its third year. 24 students from Afghanistan, Somalia and Gambia attend the International Class at the Free Waldorf School in Graz. Financed mainly by the SEKEM Friends Association, the young refugees do not only learn German but also English, mathematics, eurythmy, music, sports, geography and gardening.“We could already experience wonderful personal developments and great achievements in the past years. Besides, the first students received their school certificates”,  says Andreas Kräuter, class teacher of the International Class in Graz. Despite the great willingness to help and donate, which the project receives from various sides, the further financing of the International Class is not sure anymore. The responsible Austrian governorate will not continue its current funding; in general, no public funding is prospective.

Crowdfunding for the current academic year of the International Class

The SEKEM Friends from Austria do now commit themselves to ensure the resumption of the project. Therefore, they need about € 120,000 per school year. This amount includes not only staff costs but also teaching materials, travel expenses, costs for meals and excursions. “For 25 students this means € 4,500 per person. For comparison: in the Austrian federal section already 2 years ago, the per capita costs in public schools had been more than € 10,000. We try our best to use as less money as possible!”, explains Dr. Hermann Becke, Chairman of the Austrian SEKEM Friends Association. To finance the coming school year, it needs at least € 17,550. The SEKEM Friends want to collect this amount by a crowdfunding campaign.

The teachers of the International Class in Graz. Some of them are members of the SEKEM Friends Austria and regularly support SEKEM in Egypt and from Austria.

Support refugees in the spirit of the SEKEM Vision

Refugees often have to wait months, even years, in uncertainty until their status is clarified. And they are not allowed to be employed during that time. The refugee education project of the International Class prepares young people for working life and with a school degree. “The aim of the International Class is not only intellectual education but also to support the people on an emotional basis. Providing them with the feeling of a new home shall support their arriving in themselves as well as in our society”, Dr. Hermann Becke says.

The Austrian SEKEM Friends Association is working in the spirit of the SEKEM Vision already for many years; the refugees’ project is exemplary for this. SEKEM itself also deals intensively with the refugee issue, as also in Egypt the number of asylum applications is increasing. Heliopolis University, for instance, supports public school teachers in raising awareness of educating refugees’ children and also prepares a special program for adult refugees.

Here you can support the crowdfunding campaign of SEKEM Austria - free of charge from all over the world!
SEKEM Austria
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