If you have put your nose into camphill history and origin… you know who “Karl Koenig” was and some of his work perhaps. I will let you in on it anyhow. Karl Koenig was a Austrian pediatrician, who wanted what is best for all – also for children with disabilities. So he started a home for special/”disabled” children in Scotland in 1939. Like you can see, he was quite a opposite of the Hitler also from Austria that we “know” so well from that same time.
Annyhow, Karl Koenig, together with his friends from Austria where the founders of camphill villages that where to start spread throughout the world during the 1950 – and until to this day still being created and developed.
His philosophy was simple to give equally. To treat with dignity and to not discriminate but to make it good and safe for everyone. He was deeply inspired by Rudolf Steiner and other thinkers and spiritualists that Europe fostered in the last centuries.
Today almost 80 years later, since the first village was established, there is still a lot of the old teachings from Dr Koenig and Rudolf Steiner with the everyday life and activities of camphill. Focus might have changed slightly, and been gently pulled by time and consumerism, but to my awareness much is still the same of duties, service, organization and structure of the everyday life in camphill’s all over the world.
I was so lucky to take part, having recently moved to a camphill in Norway, I was invited to celebrate the 50 years of camphill in Norway. The first village was started in 1966 called “Vidaråsen” in Vestfold, southern Norway.
This cause a massive party and festival with 400 guests, singing, music, food, dance, hugging, laughing and being deeply inspired by the fellow man effort and creativity as well as endurance, enthusiasm and simple beauty.
To me it was huge celebration of life, camphill and the Nordic model of one of the world best care systems for people, with “disabilities!” Though to me, the people why camphill was created for, are the real life teachers of this world. A person with down’s syndrome does not “think” like other humans think – the many painful thoughts and bothers of mind. No, they are more pure. Plain and simple.
I was honored to take part in the huge celebration with my fellow men and women from all over Norway, and also guests from the Nordic countries, and from the Baltic countries and Russia to. It was awesome. I was deeply moved and inspired by the many people and their enthusiasm and pure life joy. It appears to me that the people that have been graded as “disabled” are the real life teachers of this world – people and children who don’t depend on thinking and consciousness that much. If we help them adjust the environment and let them show the way – we can do miracles.