We often use the words “high quality of life” to describe the environment at Camphill Kimberton.
But what does that mean? How do we measure our success?
- Last year, Regina moved to Serena House, our special care home for village elders. She had continued to work part-time, but she recently became fully retired. While she still meaningfully contributes to life in Serena House (making the beds, ironing, washing the dishes), she is learning to spend her day differently, as often happens to people when they retire. She may enjoy a leisurely walk, an unhurried chat in the café or reading with the children of the village. “It has been a dream to be here,” says Regina. “I love having Herb next door to me. The coworkers are good to me and they help me.”
- On an outing to the store, Charlene encountered an old friend who lives in an “institution” where they aren’t allowed to dance. This encounter inspired a poem that night while she was tending to the chickens: The night of the earth, The stars to see, The moonlight glows over the chicken pen, You happen to be free.
- Mary now can play a song by heart on the cello. Our Music Director, Veronika, intended the exercise to help her become more connected to the music. But it has actually given her an incredible sense of accomplishment – Veronika believes that success has led to a new drive in her and she is learning more and more. “If you know a song “by heart” you really own the piece,” says Veronika. “Mary can read music and that is good – but it is an intellectual thing, a mechanical thing. It isn’t making music. By learning the song by heart, you are becoming part of the song. She now can make music rather than just repeat notes. There has been a shift in who she is as a result of memorizing the song, actually playing it, and then performing it for the public.”
A recent outside evaluation by AmeriCorps, determined that Camphill communities provide a higher quality of life than four other types of residential options for people with disabilities. With your help we can continue to provide Regina, Charlene, Mary and all village residents with an opportunity to live a healthy, happy life, with a sense of purpose and pride.
Please consider making a gift to our Village Support Fund by clicking here. Your gift in any amount will be deeply appreciated and carefully used to enrich the lives of the people with special needs who make Camphill Village Kimberton Hills their home. Thank you!