News from Italy: our summer conference

News from Italy: our summer conference

After 3 years of covid-related restrictions, we were finally able to organize an in presence convention in Italy last August, in the beautiful Steiner School “Novalis” in Conegliano (TV). Since 1992 the Italian Association for Curative Education and Social Therapy has been active in connecting people and organizing lectures and conferences. Although we have been able to keep up with our network through zoom meetings, we’ve been really striving to be able to meet in presence and work together again – and we are happy and proud that we made it!

About 100 people attended our 4 days of intense work, through lectures, workshops, singing and music, creating a very warm, enthusiastic atmosphere and setting the mood for a deeply shared work. Participants came from different professional backgrounds – curative educators active in Steiner-Waldorf inclusive projects, teachers, therapists and parents – making it possible to work in a truly multidisciplinary setting, where we could experience how we can work together, bringing each one’s different perspective into the picture.

We had very enthusiastic lecturers who accompanied us in building these living and heartfelt connections.

Bart Vanmechelen from the Leadership Team of the Anthroposophic Council for Inclusive Social Development joined our convention, leading several lectures and workshops, as well as supporting us in all of the plenum meetings – where we have spoken about our Association, as well as projects and struggles of all the initiatives active in Italy. The presence of Bart has enabled all of us to connect even more with the role and work of the Council, allowing all participants to get a clearer picture of the worldwide network and feel involved and supported. Experiencing that the Council is actively engaged and interested in our local developments – through our ups and downs – plays a big role for us, and makes our network stronger. We feel that our questions can have a wider perspective and that enthusiasm and commitment are fostered and enhanced.

The topic of our conference was: how can we understand the questions that kids bring to us? We had the chance to explore this topic in many different ways, and everything resonated beautifully, creating a weaving of insights, opportunities and experiences.

The first block of our conference was held by Claudia Grah-Wittich and Stefan Krauch, from the early intervention center “Der Hof”, near Frankfurt/Germany. Their work brought us into the topic of how to observe children with a fresh look, be able to “simply observe”, as Steiner says, through lectures and workshops that actively put us into situations where we had to let go of our preconceivements, and work on a simple yet even deeper observation.

The second block was held by Bart Vanmechelen, who guided us through reflections and inspiring images about the inner work and path of an educator – providing also some insight on the School of Spiritual Science – bringing the topic forward to its impact on the social aspect, so as to be able to work with to the Spiritual worlds as a circle of colleagues. The work of the group on Intervision and inclusion in Waldorf schools, coordinated by Bart together with our board members, was also shared.

The third block was held by Raffaella Brambilla, curative educator and trainer in curative education, as well as former Council delegate, who led us through a powerful lecture along the images of the curative education course lectures about epilepsy and how this can have a reflection on our social work.

All this was beautifully connected through music and singing, guided by Yuri Lanzini and Federica Tarsitano, that also offered a chance of connecting with the participants to the Waldorf Teachers Conference, which was taking place at the same time.

We feel that the warmth and light that filled our hearts during this conference will nourish us through the winter, and look forward to more events like this to come.