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Cooperative Living

Life as a volunteer

Volunteering 

Many of our young volunteers take a gap-year to work with adults or children with special needs. Most of them come from abroad, but we also get a number of local volunteers to help us on a daily basis. It is a great and memorable experience for them being in Camphill, and they go back to their countries or homes "changed persons", having acquired a different perspective of life in community with special needs people and being the richer for it.

Others come for a much-needed change or sabbatical from their careers or home life. Then they often find that life sharing with people with varying needs enhances their life experiences more than they reckoned with. In Camphill, there are many opportunities for opening oneself to a different way of life than one is accustomed to. One could help lead a workshop, or be a house parent or coordinator, teach a course, or help in the office. Some of these co-workers may stay on for a few years before moving on, or they may commit to long-term volunteering.

Living in a Camphill community

Living in a Camphill community presents a challenge for most people. To share one's life with children and adults with disability and other new people that you have never met before in a communal setting can be demanding and tiring, especially in the beginning when there is much to learn. Yet it can be intensely interesting, full of humour and good fun, while at the same time imbued with energetic idealism.

Every volunteer co-worker lives in a household and has a definite daily programme with main responsibilities. You will be given a room of your own, you will have your meals together with other members of the household, and be supplied with the basic necessities of living. Everyone shares the same facilities and partakes of the daily rhythm of community life. One is also entitled to free days and holidays within a calendar year and depending on a community's framework of possibilities.

As a co-worker

As a co-worker you will also take part in the weekly meetings held in each community to discuss aspects of community life. Your sharing in these meetings is considered an important part of your life in Camphill.

You are likewise encouraged to attend our Saturday Bible evenings or Sunday services together with our residents to cap the work week, and to nurture the spiritual endeavour that we strive for in all aspects of our work.

There are also fun things to do together like singing, dancing, playing music and of course going out for entertainment too! Artistic activities are considered as an essential balance to the more physical rigours of everyday life. Music has a well-established place in Camphill communities and if you play an instrument you must certainly bring it along. Individual creativity and initiative is particularly welcome.

Everyone lives cooperatively, acknowledging through trust the need for individual initiative and responsibility.

View a map of all the Camphill Communities in Ireland

View a map of all the Camphill Communities in Ireland

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