About Camphill Village
Camphill Village provides a safe environment in which to live and work for between 80 and 90 intellectually challenged adults, so that they can experience a meaningful and fulfilling life. It is set on a farm, 40km north of Cape Town and has 13 houses and several enterprises in which Residents work.
Residents live in a life-sharing environment with home leaders (and their children) and young volunteers. They work in the homes, enterprises (Bakery, Dairy, Herbal Workshop), on the farm or in the vegetable gardens, producing quality produce. Each resident is respected as an individual with individual needs. A range of therapies and education is offered to further the development and skills of each person. Camphill endeavours to create a culturally rich and wholesome life for all of its people.
The products made in the various enterprises are consumed in the houses and sold in outlets in Cape Town, which forms part of the income and financial stability of the organisation. On the 1st Sunday of each month (except January), there is a market in which all Camphill products are sold.
Working at Camphill
Volunteers, both local and from oversees, spend a year doing practical work and receive a training. Staff are employed from the surrounding communities and empowered through training. Long-term Co-workers have dedicated themselves to living with residents in a life-sharing capacity.
History of Camphill
Camphill Village is part of a worldwide movement that was started in Scotland in 1939 by Karl Konig, an Austrian pediatrician and educator, and several colleagues, inspired by the works of the philosopher and educator, Rudolf Steiner. Rudolf Steiner pioneered Waldorf education, biodynamic agriculture, and new frontiers in science, the arts, sociology, medicine, and curative work.
Camphill in South Africa
In 1952, the mother of an intellectually challenged boy read about Camphill and invited Karl Konig to come to South Africa. She donated a piece of land in Hermanus as a site to start a school. Here a school for intellectually challenged was created and still exists today. Once the children reached adulthood, a new need arose, which was to create place for adults with intellectual disabilities to live and work.
The founding of Camphill Village West Coast
As a result of the need created by Camphill Hermanus, in 1964, a group of pioneers started the Camphill Village on the West Coast with a group of young intellectually challenged adults. It had humble beginnings, on unimproved, sandy farmland, but together they planted trees, built houses, a bakery, a dairy and a chapel. Today Camphill West Coast has developed into a beautiful, tree-filled village and a warm community.
There are currently over 100 Camphill Communities worldwide.
Camphill communities seek to enhance the lives of people in need of services and supports for daily living, as well as people committed to service, by building intentional "life-sharing" communities where the spiritual integrity of every human being is upheld.
Mutual support and respect for each other create a healthy environment for healing and development.