- Devastating Fire in Casa de Santa Isabel, Portugal
- 15th World Congress Inclusion International
- From the Committee - Moon knot ECCE
- Searching for traces
- More conferences for people with special needs
- Appeal to members
- Save the ECI
- Next General Meeting in Finland
- Impressions of the last General Meeting in Casa Rozei, Romania
Devastating Fire in Casa de Santa Isabel, Portugal
Earlier we placed an article about Casa de
Santa Isabel, a curative-educational community for children and (young)
adults, situated in the Serra de Estrela in Portugal.
Casa de Santa Isabel is once again in the news.
A major disaster has taken place that has a
profound emotional as well as material impact on the community. In the
night of October 3rd, “Casa Elias”, the first house that was built
there, burned to the ground. The cause is still unknown.
pupils, a staff member and two children of staff members could be
brought to safety. Two people, however, did not survive the flames. A
41-year-old staff member was able to save several of the survivors, but
in the end she herself and her eight-year-old daughter were found
together in the ruins. Her final rescue effort, with her child in her
arms, was not able to give to themselves what they had been able to give
to others. Maria was a widow and leaves behind two small daughters.
Casa de Santa Isabel is facing once again an
enormous task: the rebuilding of “Casa Elias” for the residents who have
currently been accommodated in the other houses. These are largely
children placed here by the courts, for whom this is the only home they
The State of Portugal and the insurance (the
house met all fire-safety requirements) cover part of the costs, but
this is far from sufficient.
This first residential house was built with the
help of many small and large donations from home and abroad. The Iona
Foundation (Iona Stichting) played an important role in this. Again, the
Iona Foundation is prepared to help. For people who wish to make a
donation from the Netherlands, an account has been opened in the
Netherlands for the rebuilding of 'Casa Elias'. Donations made via this
account are tax-deductible.
Donations can be made into
Account number 21 21 89 840 in the name of “Iona Stichting” at Amsterdam.
Include the remark “Fonds 2146” or “Santa Isabel”.
If you want to know more about Casa de Santa Isabel, visit the website
www.casa-santa-isabel.org (this website is also in English).
In the past, during the difficult first phase of
the project, Casa de Santa Isabel received much material and hands-on
support from the Netherlands.
We hope that we can again count on your support,
this time to rebuild what was lost in a few terrifying hours.
The hearts and hands of the staff members and
residents are fully occupied with dealing with this terrible event, and
at the same time they face the task of continuing with what is so
important for these children and young people: offering them a safe
developmental living, working and learning environment.
Let us support them in this by making available what is needed.
We thank you in advance!
Bank account to remit money to support Casa de Santa Isabel in Portugal:
Account nr: 4023 9507 835
Iban: PT50-0045 4083 4023 9507 8351 1
Indicating: Casa de Santa Isabel – seguir em frente, Feia, Portugal
The 15th World Congress of Inclusion International 2010 in Berlin, June 16th – 19th 2010
Transforming Rights into Action
Inclusion International is a
global federation of family based organisations that promotes the human
rights of people with intellectual disabilities worldwide. It
represents over 200 member federations in 115 countries throughout 5
regions: the Middle East, Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia Pacific.
For 50 years, Inclusion International has
enabled the voices of people with disabilities and their families to be
Thomas Kraus, Committee member of ECCE, living in Berlin, and myself attended this 15th World Congress in Berlin.
The Congress focussed on the United Nations (UN)
Convention on the rights of people with disabilities. This Congress
welcomed 2700 participants from 80 countries including 850
self-advocates, as well as family members, policy makers, professionals
and friends. They came together to learn about the experiences of people
with intellectual disabilities and their families, throughout their
The Congress opened with a letter of support
from the Secretary General of United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon as well as a
video message from the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel.
There were many interesting workshops. The whole congress was organised in a very accessible way.
The chair of Inclusion International for 4 years
was Diana Richler from Canada. At the end of the congress she passed
the presidency on to Klaus Lachwitz, a German lawyer who works already
for many years for Lebenshilfe and Inclusion Europe. He was the main
negotiator in New York of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with
The German Lebenshilfe association is a
self-help organisation for people with intellectual disabilities and
their relatives, a professional organisation and a funding body for
institutions and services. The association was founded in Germany in
1958 by parents and professionals.
Now please, don’t think that the whole
congress was all that serious. The networking, making acquaintances and
friends is very important in particular for the disabled participants.
The most important moment is the Congress Party with a lot of music and
entertainment. There was among others the famous Dutch Theatre Company
‘Maatwerk’ from Rotterdam, the group SinD 4+ 3Band from Germany, the
Karavana Band from Danmark, Ramba Zamba All Stars from Germany. All well
known groups working with disabled people who enjoyed their music as
much as we, the spectators, did.
Excellent cooperation with the German association
One of the speakers during the opening session was Mr Robert Antretter, president of Lebenshilfe. His subject was ‘Lessons from history
- from euthanasia to the UN Convention’. He mentioned the excellent
cooperation in Germany between Lebenshilfe, Charitas, the Protestants
and the German Association for Curative Education and Social Therapy.
That reminded me that the 1st European conference on disability took
place in Blankenberge, Belgium, in 1992. I attended that conference with
ECCE president, Christa Schloh, Bernard Heldt, and representatives from
Lebenshilfe, Charitas, the Protestants and representatives from the
Curative Education and Social Therapy movement in Germany. That
conference was the very beginning of the European Disability Forum.
Short history of Inclusion Europe and ECCE
Christa Schloh, a German lady who lived in
Brussels was president of ECCE from 1994 – 1998. Her disabled son lived
in an anthroposophic facility in Germany. She felt ECCE had to become
part of larger existing structures. So ECCE joined Inclusion Europe
which was already well introduced in the European Union
administration/circuit. ECCE did receive funds through Inclusion Europe
to organise its annual meetings (unfortunately, that program stopped).
Inclusion Europe (IE) is the European branch of Inclusion International.
Inclusion Europe is a non-profit organisation that campaigns for the
rights and interests of people with intellectual disabilities and their
families throughout Europe, just like ECCE does. So Inclusion Europe and
ECCE became associate members of each other. On a regular basis ECCE,
Inclusion Europe and the European Association of Service Providers in
Disability (EASPD) meet on topics about the disability policy in the
European Union. The last meeting was September 7th 2010 in Brussels.
These congresses of Inclusion International
take place every four years in a different part of the world. Needless
to say that ECCE cannot be represented at every congress in whatever
part of the world. The ECCE budget does not allow this.
A few conclusions:
1. Inclusion International is part of a
movement for change in the situation of people in need of special care.
The core of this movement is the person in need of special care and
A family with a very severely disabled child
needs now and again a rest otherwise the family cannot continue to take
care of this child.
2. A relatively new aspect of the work of
Inclusion International is the relationship with the United Nations in
New York. This relationship started during the negotiations on the UN
Convention on the Rights of disabled people
3. The next big issue in Inclusion International will be poverty and disability.
4. Metaphor: Wild geese fly in a V. As long
as they fly in this combination they fly 75% faster and longer than
flying individually. That is solidarity.
Our conclusions: ECCE is part of a very large
world movement. It is obvious that ECCE aims at cooperating with
colleague organisations in the disability movement.
From the Committee – moon knot ECCE
Image and presentation of ECCE in future years
which place do we take up in the European scene?
A delegation of the Committee had a meeting
with Luk Zelderloo, EASPD, and Geert Freyhoff, Inclusion Europe,
September 7th in Brussels. Theme: which place does ECCE take up in the
European scene? After this meeting the Committee had a reflection
session about the original impulse of ECCE and the image and
presentation of ECCE in future years.
The motive behind this topic is reflection on the impulse of ECCE. ECCE will reach her first ‘moon knot’ in the 1st week of November 2010.
The concept of ‘moon-knot’ has to do with
the moment of birth. At the birth moment there is a cosmic impulse that
is connected with the position of sun, moon and earth: which repeats
every 18 year 7 months and 6-9 days. For ECCE, founded on March 26th 1992, this will be in the 1st week of November 2010.
Leonardo Fulgosi and Bernard Heldt are ‘founders
of the first hour’. ECCE was founded in 1992 from the Council for
Curative Education and Social therapy by parents and
professionals. In the statutes is stated as purpose: ‘the promotion
of the interests and needs of people with special needs within
Europe. The ideas and impulses of anthroposophical curative
education and social therapy, as developed and upheld by the
International Council for Curative Education and Social Therapy
within the Medical Section of the School of Spiritual Science in
Dornach, Switzer land, are the essential basis for this work.’
This is why the Committee will reflect on
how ECCE has developed in the past and how it is moving now. Perhaps
things can be expressed better. There are also new steps to be taken
because Europe is no longer what it was twenty years ago. We have a
renewed UN-Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, on
which the EU bases her New Disability Strategy.
ECCE supports the curative education and social
therapy movement at the European level. What questions are living in the
movement, what is the content to bring out and what instruments do we
have at our disposal?
In January 2011 there will be a meeting with
Rüdiger Grimm to discuss these questions. Also during the General
Meeting, May 19th – 22nd 2011 in Sylvia-Koti, Finland, we will bring
this discussion further.
5th European Congress Living in the Encounter
‘Searching for traces’ in Vienna,
August 3 - 6, 2011
The European Congresses 'Living in the encounter' are
held for people with special needs. After Berlin, Dornach, Prague and
The Hague, the fifth congress is taking place in Vienna, the capital
city of Austria.
700 congress participants from all over the
world are expected again for an extraordinary festival of encounters. In
this city of music, with its special atmosphere, the coffee houses,
horse-drawn carriages – in Vienna, they are called Fiaker – and
Diverse opportunities for encounters will be
offered and the history of famous personalities can be traced. Let`s
search for traces…
An important person for humanity lived in Vienna: Rudolf Steiner.
His 150th birthday will be celebrated in the
congress year. We intend to find out more about his life and legacy.
This time, the theme of the congress, which was jointly found in a
preparatory meeting with congress participants, is called "Searching for
In lectures, in art, on excursions to the most
beautiful sights in the city and in numerous workshops, we will search
for traces together.
The congress will take place in the Convention Centre of Messe Wien and can be easily reached using public transport.
Accommodation will be available in the
Jugendgästehaus Wien-Brigittenau and in the Academia Hotel in single-bed
to 3-bed rooms.
Please register soon, as the congress will be
fully booked with 700 registrations. We will put the registrations into
order by receipt and will confirm after the deposit is received.
Participants or their institutes should find
sponsors for themselves to cover the costs of the congress. The real
costs are € 500,- a person. You will be registered after payment of the
first € 250,-
Find more details and the application form in German and English on:
More conferences for people with special needs
In November 2009 the first Brazilian Congress
for People with special needs happened in Rio de Janeiro. More than 100
participants had the chance to travel and live some days without their
families for the very first time. Many of them are living
under very poor conditions in the so called ‘favelas’. They liked the
Congress so much that they immediately started to meet monthly in Sao
Paulo to prepare the second and first Latin-American congress which will
be held the 16. - 19. November 2010 in Sao Paulo.
In September 2010, after the fires burnt all
over Russia, there could happen the first Russian Congress in Moscow.
More than 200 participants from all over that immense country came to
gather for 4 days. The United Nations and the universities of Moscow
sent delegates. Ministries asked
for advice referring the ratification of the UN Convention on the
rights of persons with disabilities. It was an extraordinary festival
and all anthroposophical initiatives from all over the country came
together. With a lot of hope for their difficult daily life the
participants travelled back and are looking forward to meet in another
Russian city for the next Russian Congress for people with special
Thomas Kraus (International Congresses for People with Special Needs)
Appeal to our members to send in copy
In order to make our ECCE Link more vivid and
actualized, the editors of our ECCE Link would be very pleased if our
members send in news items or memorable issues to
inform the other members. It is our intention to develop the Link
to an information platform for what is going on in ECCE member
We also would like to get information about events and conferences which would be of interest for our members and other Link readers.
Please send your copy to email@example.com
European Alliance for Initiatives of Applied Anthroposophy / ELIANT
1 million signatures
greater quality of life
Please help for the last push in ELIANT’s petition campaign!
We plan to hand the signatures to the EU Commission in December
Only 9,000 signatures still needed
In recent years, many friends have made a
major contribution to collecting the 991,000 signatures we have so far
obtained. We cannot thank you enough for this. Today, for the last time,
we’d like to ask for help with this campaign, so that we can take the
final, all-important step in 4 weeks’ time.
Currently we only need another 9,000
signatures from EU countries. But since these must have been collected
by the end of November – we’re planning to submit the signatures to the
Commission in Brussels in December – we are asking a big favour to help
us secure these last, essential signatures. You can help in one of these
> Display the signature list (see www.eliant.eu) in your GP practice, therapy centre, pharmacy or health-food store, and encourage people to sign it.
> Pass on an email to your friends and
acquaintances in EU countries, with a request to them to support our
signature campaign by online voting www.eliant.eu
> Make a
brief personal announcement at a lecture, working group or conference
in the next 4 weeks, and at the same time distribute signature lists for
signing and passing on.
> Publish a brief announcement about the last phase of the petition campaign in your next newsletter.
> Please send back lists with signatures to our office until End of November!
Michaela Glöckler MD highlights the concerns
which are at the core of this petition campaign: “It seems to me that
the most important thing would be to create legal framework conditions
that enable parents to decide for themselves how their child is to be
educated, that enable everyone to choose the medicine they trust, and to
promote the sale of products and agricultural produce that ensure
sustainable care of the earth and the environment. Please support our
campaign with your signature.”
With warm thanks and greetings
on behalf of the ELIANT Core members
Andreas Biesantz PhD, Jürgen Erdmenger LLD, Nikolai Fuchs, Michaela Glöckler MD,
Thomas Göing, Günther Schulz, Heike Sommer, Christof Wiechert, Bernard Heldt.
We will be pleased to send you further information, and help in all practical matters. Please send us an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or fax 0049 7621 168 1863
ELIANT campaign - Postfach 1180 I D-79501 Lörrach - Germany
Fax. +49 7621 168 1863I email: email@example.comI www.eliant.eu
Save the European Citizens’ Initiative
Please support our friends from the Initiative for the European Citizens’ Initiative and spread this message among your members
ACT NOW! Three Changes to Save the ECI
Due to the tireless efforts of many
citizens, officials and politicians, much progress has been made toward
developing a citizen-friendly regulation for the European Citizens'
Initiative (ECI). However, three major and potentially fatal barriers
• The European Commission's required follow-up
to a successful ECI has still not been clarified in the regulation.
Specifically, there is no mandatory public hearing.
• Each Member State can decide which personal data to collect and how to verify signatures.
• The time limit to collect 1 million signatures still remains an insufficient months.
There is no danger for ELIANT.
We are with ELIANT in a pre-phase of the coming regulation. But for ECI
Initiatives that have political effect in future it is a high hurdle
that makes a million EU signatures nearly not possible to get.
A draft report on the ECI will be discussed
in committees of the European Parliament on 8-9 November 2010. A final
vote will be taken by the entire European Parliament on 16 December
Given the vital role of the European Parliament
at this important moment, we strongly urge you to contact MEPs from your
country on the AFCO and PETI committees NOW to save the ECI.
Here are resources to help you:
• Sample letter to MEPs
• Instructions for contacting MEPs.
• Additional background on the key changes needed to save the ECI.
You find them on: http://www.citizens-initiative.eu/?p=427
At this critical time, we need the support of
as many people as possible to save the ECI. So please distribute this
Let's make ECI alive.
If you have questions contact
ECI Campaign Director
Next General Meeting in Finland, May 19th – 22nd 2011
The representatives of our members are heartily
welcome to our next General Meeting in Camphill community Sylvia-koti in
Lahti, Finland on May 19th 18.00h – May 22nd 12.00h 2011.
Tel: +358 3883 130
Fax: +358 3883 1315
As you have read in this Link, the
main topic of this meeting is the reflection on how ECCE has developed
in the past and how it is moving now in a changing Europe. The EU bases
her New Disability Strategy on the renewed UN-Convention on the Rights
of Persons with Disabilities.
What questions are living in the movement, what
is the content to bring out and what instruments do we have at our
More information will follow...
A selection of pictures of the last General Meeting in Casa Rozei, Romania
To get a taste of the atmosphere during a
General Meeting we present some pictures from the last General