It has just been announced that Camphill Community Trust, a non- governmental organization based in the village of Otse, has been selected as one of three winners of the international 2019 UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). Camphill was selected for the the secondary education and training it provides to people with developmental and learning disabilities – in particular its Integrated Learning for Living and Work Programme.
Camphill Community Trust, started in 1974 as a charitable trust and provides primary and secondary level education and training, as well as other services for people with developmental and learning disabilities.
The school and training facilities are integrated with:
- social enterprises,
- 12 hectares of sustainably run lands and gardens,
- and health and wellness services.
Partnerships with organizations and businesses in the wider community further enable transition facilitation for people with disabilities, including: workplace attachments, supported volunteering, and supported employment opportunities.
The Integrated Learning for Living and Work Programme (ILLWP) was born out of an association between Camphill Community Trust, Ruskin Mill Trust and Crossfields Institute. Begun in 2011, the ILLWP is modeled on Ruskin Mill Trust’s highly successful Practical Skills Therapeutic Education programme.
The Integrated Learning for Living and Work Programme uses person-centred and participatory approaches, working individually with learners to develop their own interests and personal goals that then becomes guides for the next steps of the learner’s journey. The experiences of learning practical skills in a socially engaging and validating environment helps to foster a confidence to make informed choices and decisions, whilst knowing what feels safe.
The ILLWP is innovative through its development of an Inclusive Sustainable Livelihoods Model. The Model emerges from three perspectives:
- A participatory curriculum;
- A person-centred facilitated transition process;
- Developing community partnerships aimed at capacitating inclusive sustainable livelihoods.
“The international jury for the Prize recommended the school and community-based Project for its “unusual and integrated approach to education for sustainable development (ESD) across a number of educational levels, with an emphasis on inclusion for those youth with special needs”. The programme was considered to transcend “conventional practice by facilitating transition from school to sustainable livelihoods within the wider community, through engaging a range of stakeholders in collaborative initiatives and projects that engender a transformative effect on participants”. The jury commended the programme, which benefits individuals, households, local communities and beyond, as a “quintessential model of inclusive learning with innovative but reachable and replicable approaches”.
More information on the prize and the award process on the UNESCO website.
Richard Blake, Camphill Community Trust