I have had many messages over the course of the last year asking the question, “How does Waldorf or anthroposophy meet individuals with cognitive and or physical disabilities?” There are a few ways one could answer this question and from what I’m learning there is more than one perspective. Within the Waldorf school, the extra lesson would be something of interest for anyone asking this question. There’s also curative education, which I’m just learning about. Curative education meets the needs of children with intellectual and physical disabilities. I hope to be able to cover both the extra lesson, and curative education in individual episodes sometime soon, but the focus of this episode is the Camphill movement. As my guest Ben Davis and I discuss, the first Camphill community was founded in 1939. The founder of the Camphill moevement, Karl Konig, wrote an essay on the three essential principles that guide this movement. They are to recognize the wholeness of each individual, to strive towards personal, inner development, and to bring equality, freedom, and fellowship into their communities.
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Ben Davis, originally from Philadelphia, PA, trained as a biodynamic farmer in Germany and the UK. He and his wife Valeska and their family lived in Botton Village in the UK for 12 years as house holders while he managed Botton Farm. In 2010 they moved to Triform Camphill Community where he is now a house holder, supports the agricultural work there, and serves as president of the community.
As Ben Davis mentions in this episode, there is a serious shortage of volunteers for Camphill communities in North America this year due to the COVID-19 crisis. If you're interested in becoming a volunteer click here.