Kimberton Waldorf students to visit Mexican orphanage

This month, a small group of Kimberton Waldorf School students and a parent chaperone will have the opportunity to volunteer at Tashirat Orphanage located in Tepoztlan, Mexico.

Since 2003, Tashirat Orphanage has taken in disabled children, those who are too old to be adopted or siblings who normally are separated from each other or left in overcrowded government orphanages for the rest of their childhood.

“I truly feel blessed to have this opportunity to accompany three young people who want to have an impact,” said Mary Hirsch, chaperone and Kimberton Waldorf School parent. “Esther Bissinger, a Kimberton Waldorf School alumna, has lived at Tashirat for over a decade. She’s made such an impression on us with the work she is doing with children who have been battered, abandoned and are terribly malnourished. Through the outpouring of love and support, these children eventually blossom and we want to be part of that change.”

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The Tashirat children are given the highest quality vegetarian diet with food grown at the orphanage. They are weaned off very strong medications and live ecologically. The children are being raised to be independent thinkers, globally and spiritually conscious individuals who care about themselves, others and the world as a whole. All the children understand English and most are fully bilingual.

“We have watched all the children flourish since their arrival here,” Esther Bissinger, ‘98, shared. “With every passing year, they realize more of their potential and become more confident and secure. They have become the most beautiful individuals.”

The group will stay about two weeks and the primary focus will be to make a natural cloth Waldorf doll for each of the 32 children at the orphanage. Each doll — made with very simple features to allow a child’s imagination to soar — has been underwritten by a generous benefactor.

Their suitcases will be packed with craft supplies, books to expand their library, yarn and cloth to make clothing using a new sewing machine donated by a Kimberton Waldorf School parent. The children will learn simple sewing techniques to become more self-sufficient, a virtue taught at Tashirat.

The orphanage does not receive any government support; it runs entirely on donations and its efforts in self-sustainability. The travel group will be organizing ongoing fundraising efforts, from selling handmade items to holding garage sales, to cover the expenses for this trip. For further information on their trip to Tashirat or to make a donation please visit http://tashirat.blogspot.com, call Mary Hirsch at 732-232-5159 or email hirschmj@comcast.net.