WOW stands for Waldorf One World. But why exactly is this campaign called WOW-Day? Once a year, students at Waldorf schools dedicate one day to support developing Waldorf initiatives around the world. Through artistic activities or one-day jobs children and adolescents raise money for Waldorf facilities in urgent need of help.
With the help of the Friends of Waldorf Education and its partners, the German Federation of Waldorf Schools and the European Council for Steiner Waldorf Education, the student campaign continues to grow. As a result more and more students learn to develop an interest in a foreign culture and to dedicate their efforts to help others. They also experience what it is like to collectively become active and implement own ideas turning them into concrete results.
Since 1994, students have raised an impressive total amount of 3 million euros through the WOW-Day campaign. This has enabled children from disadvantaged backgrounds to gain access to independent education.
As students you can participate and contribute to support schools, kindergartens, curative education facilities and social projects allowing them to continue with their valuable work. As a result children in Kenya can finally attend school, adolescent in the favelas of Brazil learn that there is an alternative to crime and people with disabilities in Georgia are able to live a dignified life.
The idea for the WOW-Day campaign was developed in collaboration with the "European Council for Steiner Waldorf Education - ECSWE". In a meeting, the Norwegian Waldorf teacher Astrid Bjönness talked about the tradition of "Operasjon Dagswerk" which was a campaign in all Norwegian secondary schools (or in Germany "Schüler Helfen Leben" which supports projects for example in the Balkans). Each year students spent one day to raise money for charity (in Germany there was a similar campaign "students give life" which supported projects in Eastern Europe). Her colleagues were thrilled, and immediately she was given the task of organizing such an event for European Waldorf Schools!
In the early years, about 20 schools participated on WOW-Day. During subsequent years the number of participating schools increased with each campaign. Apart from German schools especially Scandinavian initiatives joined. Through the annual campaign, dedicated teachers and students are able to raise a lot of money!
In most countries, Waldorf schools, kindergartens and curative education facilities are not subsidized by the state. Many are struggling for their survival on a daily basis, while they enable children to access a dignified education. Often this means simply being able to enjoy one warm meal per day!
The money raised through WOW-Day is donated to the Friends of Waldorf Education and we then distribute the funds to the projects in need at 100%. We do not deduct administrative costs in the process and therefore not a single penny gets lost!