In Camphill, we believe that mutual support and respect for each other create a healthy environment for healing and development.
We offer homes for children, young people, and adults with intellectual disabilities and other special needs - to live, learn, and work with others in energetic reciprocal relationships.
Everyone's contribution is valued and individuality is recognised. We acknowledge every person's right to equality and self-determination, and encourage participation in decision-making in work, social, cultural, spiritual, and home life.
We Have 18 Special Needs Communities
In the Republic of Ireland we have 18 communities with around 500 people that are mostly land-based, where we endeavour to create places that promote healing and growth in and around nature.
Care for the land is a central part of our work. Our communities practice bio-dynamic agriculture, offering great opportunities for our people to work with organic farming and gardening methods.
Some of our communities are located in urban places, where we run shops and cafes that sell our farm or garden produce, crafts, and baked goods.
Life-sharing is our Way of Life
We meet each other as individuals and form a community working together in the households and workshops, whether it is in the bakery, pottery or weaving shop, or in the farm or garden. By helping each other fulfil a task, we enrich ourselves and empower the other to develop further in their own special way.
Through our daily work we follow a rhythm of awaking to life and carrying out what needs to be done in the course of the day. And in the evening when we go back to our houses, we settle back to reflect on our deeds and prepare for the next day's challenges.
We Learn from Each Other
We give of ourselves and take from the other, in a constant gesture of mutuality that allows us to flourish and grow with one another every day, through the seasons, in rhythm with the ebb and flow of life.
Whatever we do in community, as individuals and as a group, our residents and volunteer co-workers weave a pattern of reciprocal relationships wherein our deeds find their corresponding echoes in the actions of the other.
Having a Spiritual Life is Essential
Honouring the natural kingdom and spiritual world that nurture and sustain us is an essential component of Camphill life. We uphold Christian values in our Sunday services and Bible evenings. We are very much conscious of the seasons of the year and celebrate their festivals in various ways, through plays or harvest offerings, music or dancing in the halls, or just through a few moments of prayer and silence.
We Work as Volunteers
We value our work differently. Most of our co-workers are volunteers, and don't get paid according to the amount of work we do, but according to our individual needs. Some of us have families, and they form part of our community. Young co-workers usually come for a year of practical experience and then they leave to take up further studies. See Volunteering in Camphill.