Anthroposophical training and professional development in Africa (AAAT) go back ten years and most recently took place in Uganda from 14 to 21 August.
Following five years of International Post-graduate Medical Training (IPMT) the question was whether this provision of training and professional development should continue in Africa. The participants – mostly teachers, nurses, eurythmy therapists, integrative therapists, and people working in farming – wished for more and so the All African Anthroposophic Training was born. In addition to generally relevant social topics, the open curriculum was extended to include aspects of economics, social sciences, ecology etc. In addition to that, therapy-based fields such as medicine, nursing, early childhood, home care, community, adolescent education, digitalization and obstetrics will continue to be offered.
Over the years, a team of colleagues has evolved to assume responsibility, forming a core group of 14 people from African countries. The newly conceived All African Anthroposophic Training has since been held in different countries: 2018 in Nairobi (KE), 2019 in Harare (ZW) and 2021 in Dar es Salaam (TZ).
The next venue, in August 2022, was Kampala (UG) on the shores of Lake Victoria. Being able to gaze out, whatever the weather, over the cradle of humankind, gave spiritual depth to the lively and intensive week. The biggest work group was on biodynamic farming and for the first time there was a group on climate change. The more than 120 participants came mostly from East Africa and from Zambia, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Namibia and South Africa.
The question was not only what Anthroposophy has to offer to Africa but above all what Africa can contribute to Anthroposophy and what kind of fruitful developments can be initiated and supported. Most impressive were the diverse anthroposophical initiatives that have grown and are now working in Uganda under the umbrella of the Green Forum. They include eight Waldorf-inspired schools as well as numerous farms and tree nurseries that have worked for years largely to organic and biodynamic principles.
The day always began with eurythmy in the morning, followed by nature observation and textual work, an extract from Rudolf Steiner’s Knowledge of the Higher Worlds (GA 10). The main focus was on the afternoon specialist groups while the evenings were devoted to sharing, discussions with question-and-answer session, review of the day and the presentation of projects by participants and their countries.
We experienced a lively festival presented by an invited Waldorf School: filled with singing, dancing and fascinating stories about the relationship of human beings and nature and the need for peaceful coexistence for the benefit of the earth. More countries have already registered their interest in organizing the All African Anthroposophic Training in 2023 and beyond that.
Author: Friedemann Schad, Berlin (DE)
Image: All African Anthroposophic Training in Kampala (UG) on the shores of Lake Victoria, photo: Friedemann Schad