The Camphill movement is made up of over 100 communities in over 20 countries around the world. where people of all abilities work and live together. Each community is different but all share the belief that we are not defined by our ability. Our communities are places of meaningful work, friendship and a springboard to engage with the wider community.
The essence of a committed Camphill community is the belief that we are defined not by our abilities but by our humanity. Our communities in Britain, Ireland and around the world provide a space where people of all abilities share their lives or their work -or both- as equals. A place where there is no sense of being disabled and where people can live the life they choose.
Camphill was founded in Scotland by Karl König a refugee from Nazi-occupied Austria in 1939. A founding principle of Camphill is that we are at one with the world around us, that we have a spiritual connection to the earth and the seasons. Camphill was one of the pioneers of biodynamic farming rooted in the belief that for the earth to keep giving you have to put something back.
The essence of a Camphill community lies in the word reciprocity. People of all abilities live and work together each drawing strength from the other. Anna Falch, a volunteeer at Ploughshare Farm in New Hampshire, USA, describes why volunteering at a Camphill community was a defining experience for her: “What makes us human is not a special IQ; it’s not one single ability like being able to speak or walk like anyone else; it’s not a look. It is true love between all beings, the energy that makes the world go round. It is staying true to yourself and meeting others and life itself with respect. Once when I felt deeply sad and lost I went to the living room at Plowshare Farm and there was Emily a wonderful 45-year-old woman with physical and mental challenges. As I sat down I laid my head on her shoulder and told her: ' Emily I’m so sad' She knew exactly what to do. She put her good arm around me and said : ‘ Don’t worry I’m here for you ‘ and then she gave me a kiss on my head”.
Following the Irish financial collapse of 2008, a group of people in and around the Camphill community in Callan Ireland began to work towards a new model for housing in a new era of rights and social inclusion, of spatial justice. This brilliant project offers privacy and self-determination for people with support needs in an inter-dependent social context,
A year in the life of Newton Dee, a village where people with learning disabilities and those who care for them live and work together. Warm,
funny and life affirming. Watch the video
Camphill Milton Keynes blends theatre with real life; This film, Based on a modern take of the ‘The Three Little Pigs’ the story tells of the dangers sometimes faced in the modern world and suggests some ways to keep safe. Watch the video
Camphill Village in Copake, NY, is a community of people, some volunteering, some with special needs, sharing a full life together in work, celebration, and devotion. Watch the video
Music is an essential part of the lives of humans and so it is in Camphill communities around the world. Here is a festival laid on by Camphill Village West coast in South Africa. Watch the video
Ninety miles east of St. Petersburg in Russia, a small community of people is growing its own organic food together with dedicated volunteers from Russia and around the world, Watch the video
The starting point of our work is that we are all human beings, we are all equal, equally deserving of respect and love. We are also deserving of the privilege of responsibility Watch the video
Ever since the dawn of man culture and the arts has been part of who we are and how we see ourselves. The arts - music, dance, weaving, song, plays - helps us to relate to each other and tell our story as human beings. The arts are a crucial part of life in Camphill communities allowing people to find self-expression and fulfillment.
Camphill Svetlana in Russia is a living breathing organism, The word "handicapped" loses its meaning here and people of all abilities take part in the daily care for the earth which feeds us, the houses which stand on it, and nature which makes our lives beautiful
Our campaign, like most, was born out of adversity. Camphill, a pioneering way of caring for people with additional support needs, thriving for 60 years- has been under pressure from a care system that has lost its ethical moorings. Find out more.
As a movement we are interested in wider social and political issues that impact on the struggle for equality and inclusion. Our Facebook page, updated regularly, covers a wide range of news, comment, videos and stories about social care and social justice.
Alliance for Camphill is an association of individuals who have come together to promote the ideals of the Camphill movement and social justice for people with learning disabilities. It does not speak for individual communities. It is supported by the Camphill Foundation. It is separate from the Association of Camphill Communities (AoCC) and Camphill Families and Friends.