In Camphill the volunteer carers are known as co-workers. They live and work alongside people with intellectual disabilities and other special needs in one of eighteen Camphill communities in the Republic of Ireland. Co-workers come from around the globe and from diverse backgrounds. They come to Camphill for different reasons and for different lengths of time.
Ways of volunteering in Camphill include: doingZivildienst im Ausland or a freiwilliges soziales Jahr if you're coming from Germany; or doing a gap year abroad if you're coming from elsewhere.
It is a fundamental principle that nobody living within a Camphill community receives remuneration directly for the work done. Instead, each person's needs are met according to individual circumstances.
Working as a volunteer
Work undertaken can include teaching; personal support for individuals; cooking and cleaning for households; farming, gardening, and craft work.
As Camphill places are life sharing situations the line between work and living is not distinct -while we do 'work' in our houses outside of workshop time, caring for the home one lives in as well as involvement in social and celebratory activities is a natural part of life everywhere. Life in community is richer the more co-workers regard their involvement in these aspects of community life as looking after their own home and socialising and celebrating for themselves.
Living & working in Camphill
Young people often join a Camphill community for a short period. They give valuable help in the running of households, craft workshops, the working of the land and educational activities. More permanent and experienced co-workers form the 'core', accepting responsibility for all aspects of life within the community.
But for everyone in the community the basic impulse is that members work together to build a healing environment that encourages each person to develop his or her full potential.