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Emil Molt, the owner of the factory, asked Steiner if he would undertake to establish and lead a school for the children of the employees of the Waldorf Astoria cigarette factory. Steiner agreed but set four conditions, each of which went against common practice of the day...
The founders aimed to "…educate young children in freedom in order for them to properly develop and mature into responsible, thinking, moral human beings possessing the strength and courage to take concrete steps initially, to develop one's self, and eventually to contribute to the good of the bigger community/society."
MWSI has gone even a step further by making all parents and teachers "owners" of the school – they are all legal Members of the corporation until they leave the school. The school has three primary organizations: the Board of Trustees (BOT), the College of Teachers (COT), and the Stewards.
Manila Waldorf School is a private non-stock, non-profit educational foundation recognized by the Department of Education since 1994. It is also a certified donee institution by the Philippine Council for NGO Certification (PCNC) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).