The month of March is Intellectual Disability Awareness Month internationally.
Accordingly, Camphill Communities Hermanus, both Farm and School, would like to encourage you, this month especially, to celebrate people with intellectual disabilities within your communities.
In 1939, Dr Karl König, an Austrian Pediatrician, together with a group of young professionals established the founding Camphill Community in Aberdeen, Scotland, which celebrated their 80th anniversary last year. They would care for, live with and educate children with intellectual and developmental disabilities in a Community setting.
The heart of Camphill was inspired by Anthroposophy, a philosophy of Rudolph Steiner that seeks to integrate body, spirit and soul – in providing an environment and way of life where children, young people and adults diagnosed with a learning or intellectual disability, can live and work together in a mutually supportive and safe Community environment. His influence is still felt throughout all Camphill Communities and today there are over one hundred Camphill Communities worldwide in over twenty countries, all of which offer a unique service to children and adults with special needs, within in their respective communities. Camphill School Hermanus (established in 1952) and Camphill Farm Community Hermanus (established in 1978) are two such long-standing Camphill Communities supporting children and adults both from the local Overstrand communities and further afield, all of whom have intellectual & physical disabilities of varying natures.
Camphill Farm Community Hermanus provides residential accommodation and meaningful work opportunities for adults with intellectual disabilities (‘residents’) in order to support them in experiencing a better quality of life.
Camphill School is a day-school offering specialised education, various therapy interventions and care to learners aged between 6 to 18 years. Each learner has an Individual Education Plan (IEP) and is and referred by an educational psychologist. The environment, in which their leaners are nurtured is one of love, respect and affirmation and it is characteristic of Camphill School children that, no matter what their disability, they are self-confident and happy.
Both Camphill Communities operate under significant financial constraints, largely as a result of the fact that a significant number of the residents and learners come from poor backgrounds and are unable to pay for the support offered to them. 96% of the children at Camphill School are collected on a daily basis from the surrounding previously disadvantaged communities, namely Mount Pleasant, Zwelihle & Hawston, and dropped off at their respective homes after school.
We are grateful to each and every person who plays a role in supporting Camphill’s vision and ethos; to improve the lives of our residents & learners through programmes & projects (as funds permit) in this extraordinary environment, adding a calming and supportive aspect to their lives, however complex their individual needs may be. They are highly valued as unique human beings.