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About | A worldwide movement

A worldwide movement

BY THE 1950s Camphill was ready to create communities away from its base in Aberdeen. Parents in England wanted opportunities for their children with disabilities and Camphill schools opened near Bristol and in Hampshire in 1951. A lecture tour of Ireland by Dr König in 1953 brought an invitation from parents resulting in the establishment of a community at Glencraig, near Belfast.
Soon a community for adults was requested so that those who had benefited from the schools could continue to develop through the Camphill philosophy of mutual care. So in 1955 a working community was established at Botton, North Yorkshire, which would grow to become the largest Camphill community.
Camphill's innovative approach began to be adopted overseas and communities were established in South Africa, Germany, Holland and the USA. In the 1960s, Switzerland and Norway joined the Camphill family, and urban, as well as rural communities became established, with Camphill Houses Stourbridge becoming the first in Britain to provide support for adults with learning disabilities in an integrated urban setting. Through the ‘70s and ‘80s Camphill came to Finland, the Irish Republic, Wales, Botswana, Austria, France, Brazil, Sweden and Canada. During the 1990s, liberalisation in Eastern Europe allowed Camphill communities to begin work in Poland, Estonia and Russia. The first community in Asia was founded in India in 1999.
The new millennium brought Camphill to Latvia and a continuing spirit of innovation has seen existing Camphill communities pioneering new initiatives to meet the changing needs of people with disabilities in modern society.
Today, Camphill consists of a world-wide network of more than 100 communities in over 20 countries where people of all abilities - including some 3,000 children and adults with learning disabilities, mental health problems and other special needs - live, learn and work together in an atmosphere of mutual respect.
Camphill succeeds because it integrates those with disabilities into caring communities that recognise all people as equals with each capable of making valued contributions to community life.

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