Nr. 8    December 2012
Published by European Co-operation in
Anthroposophical Curative Education and Social Therapy

Postbox 560, NL-3700 AN Zeist, The Netherlands
tel. +31 30 694 55 40; fax +31 30 694 55 90;;
Adrienne Thier, Roelien Kort, Bernard Heldt



  ♦    Word of de president

  ♦    The European Day of Persons with Disabilities 2012

  ♦    Second Russian Congress for People with Special Needs

  ♦    Celebration at Casa Rozei, Urlati, Romania

  ♦    ECCE General Meeting 2013

  ♦    Creating quality

  ♦    ELIANT

Dear members and friends of ECCE,

Excursion San JuanAfter our General Meeting in the wonderful environment of Asociacion San Juan, Tenerife (ES), under the excellent hospitality of Fidel Ortega Dueñas, his wife, his co-workers and the residents, the Committee of ECCE turned into a process of evaluation. One of the results of this process is that the office of ECCE will move next year to the premises of Die Freunde der Erziehungskunst (Friends of Waldorf Education) in Berlin, where our future secretary general Thomas Kraus has his office. The tasks in the Committee will be reshuffled and new nominees for Committee member will be presented to you in our next General Meeting in Hungary, May 2nd – 5th 2013.Roelien & Adrienne
Because of the withdrawal of our secretary Roelien Kort, of who we have taken leave of in Tenerife, and her working load for the Edith Maryon College we were not able to send out this Link sooner, which we regret strongly. Fortunately Roelien, who had to give up her work for ECCE due to personal reasons, was willing to prepare and send out this Link.

On the European level ECCE proposed to form a Platform in the EDF in order to strengthen the position of persons with complex dependency needs. I myself found a good resonance for this idea by representatives of our colleague Celabration 20 years ECCENGO’s as Inclusion Europe, Down Syndrome and Autism Europe. In the past EDF had a working group on this theme in which the former ECCE president, Mrs. Christa Schloh, had been active.
In this Link you will read more activities ECCE was involved in.

I would like to take this opportunity and thank all our members and friends for the generous support and collaboration in the past year. I am looking forward to 2013, where the new version of the Policy Paper will be presented to the members. The theme of next year will be ‘the creation of quality’. This will also be the theme of our symposium, May 4th in Szimbiózís, Miskolc, Hungary.

The Committee of ECCE wishes you all  

a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous 2013!

Adrienne Thier, president ECCE


The European Day of Persons with Disabilities 2012
3-4 December 2012, Brussels

In 1992, the United Nations declared December 3rd as the date for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. To mark European Day of Persons with Disabilities, the
European Commission held an annual policy conference, this year on December 3rd and 4th, in close cooperation with the European Disability Forum, entitled ‘Active Europeans with Disabilities – Let Us Participate!’. On behalf of ECCE Bernard Heldt attended this meeting.
The conference was part of the EU’s wider efforts to promote the mainstreaming of disability issues in line with the EU Disability Strategy 2010-2020  and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD).

European Day Persons with Disabilities

In the year 2012 the visibility of persons with disabilities was boosted by the London Paralympics. However, persons with disabilities are still critically underrepresented in all the most visible arenas of public life – such as politics, media, cinema, and most social and cultural activities.
This is why this year's Conference focused on the active participation of persons with disabilities in different areas of public life, such as politics (e.g. active and passive voting rights, involvement in political parties, participation in mainstream NGOs etc); media (quantity and quality of the presence of persons with disabilities in the media, including cinema); sports (competitive sports and leisure).

The sessions involved panels with presentations by people with disabilities, representatives of disability organizations, social partners, service-providers, disability and accessibility experts coming from the Member States and the European Commission. Useful examples of active Networking during a marvelous supperinvolvement of persons with disabilities in politics, media, sports and other visible sectors of our societies were brought into focus; as well as models of good policy practice, possible future policies and practical examples of problems and solutions.
During the panels there was substantial time for interactive discussions with the audience.
The Accessibility Award was conferred to Berlin, as the most accessible city 2012.
The Commission will publish a concise conference report online.




logo Russian CongressSecond Russian Congress for People with Special Needs
No big without the small. Find your Jewel.

The Second Russian Congress for People with Special Needs took place in Yekaterinburg on 24–28 September 2012 and brought together 370 participants: people with special needs, counsellors and professionals. This was the second congress of its kind in Russia, modelled after the European “Living in the Encounter” congresses.
Even as in Moscow in 2010, it was organized by the “Association of Curative-educational and Social-therapeutic Organizations.” Four NGOs from Yekaterinburg participated in its execution. “Blagoe delo”, “Eco-Centre Naturalia”, “Institute of Social-therapeutic Innovation and Education”, and “Semargl”. Anne Hofinga, the initiator of the social forum in the “Petersburg Dialogue” was able to convince the coordinators of the working group civil society in the Petersburg Dialog, M. Fedotow and A. Schockenhoff, to become patrons of the congress. Thanks to this patronage there was broad support from officials and civil organisations in this region of the Urals. Great support for the congress was provided by the ombudsman, the governor, and the government of the Swerdlowsk region. The regional ministry for social policy also supported the congress financially and took care of the media presence.
Geographically all of Russia was represented, from Ussurijsk to Pskow, from Rostov-on-Don to Surgut. Delegations came from 25 Russian cities, representing 48 institutions and organisations, as well as guests from Germany, Sweden and Norway. The events were held in the cultural centre “Ural” and in the AVS Hotel, where the participants stayed.

The program was substantial and varied. Three Russian and three foreign professionals gave the lectures, among them the initiator and organizer of international congresses for people with special needs, Thomas Kraus, and Anne Hofinga from Germany as well as Brigitte Deck from Sweden. A trainer from the Russian delegation reported on his participation in the Paralympics in London.
There were 14 workshops that conveyed practical technical skills and workshops that developed creative thinking and artistic and sporting skills. Among those were unusual ones such as throat singing (overtone singing) and archery. About 100 students from colleges and technical colleges in Yekaterinburg helped with the execution.
Topical problems of people with special needs were discussed in 12 group sessions in which, among others, also representatives of the legislative and executive powers and of commerce and industry. In these discussions themes such as a barrier-free environment, protection of the rights of the handicapped, arranging for employment, occupation and training, establishing of living centres, and many other topics were dealt with. The participants had the opportunity to express their views without mediation and to exchange opinions, experiences and ideas.

There was also a trade fair on the occasion of the congress, which presented both technical rehab devices as well as methods and achievements of social integration, and psychological and pedagogical resources. The institutions that participated in the congress also received the opportunity to display products from their workshops and clubs, photos and informational materials.
The participants were offered twelve different excursions, among them city tours, visits to museums and zoos, and tours of a film studio and a circus. Fifteen teams of performing artists from Yekaterinburg and the surrounding region contributed to making the opening celebration and the morning and evening events unforgettable. Song, music, circus presentations and the performance by the famous rock musician Wladimir Schachrin, to name but a few.

A high point became the talent evening “Goldfields of my soul”, in which the participants from the various cities of Russia offered their artistic contributions. They have all proven that their possibilities are truly limitless and their inner strength, optimism and self-confidence can serve as example for all of society.
Reports on the congress appeared in countless mass media, including no fewer than four television channels. On opening day a press conference was held, and on television and advertising displays in the whole city reports were shown. In the course of the preparations, the congress has gained many friends. About 40 partner organisations have helped us to translate the idea into action; the list of those who provided support in all manner of form became very long.
At the conclusion of the congress, participants have worked out a resolution that was passed on to those in power. Also, a congress newspaper was produced that keeps interviews and reports about the event at the ready. All participants wish for a speedy continuation.

Yekaterinburg, 3 October 2012
Vera Simakova

Russia Congress 2012













The picture shows the group that came the longest way, from near Vladivostok, in front of the congress centre.


Celebration at Casa Rozei, Urlati, Romania

November 25th – 30th Casa Rozei in Urlati, Romania, was celebrating 21 years since the founding of Casa Rozei; ECCE was invited to this event. Those who had contributed to the development of the centre and those who are working for the next phase of its evolution, were brought together with the residents and co-workers.
Included was the inauguration of the renovated Day Centre.

Talk opening Day Centre Casa RozeiSo there was plenty to celebrate, much to share and opportunities to gain insight into such questions as:
* Why Casa Rozei? What has its path been about? What is asked of the centre today?
* Who are we as residents and co-workers? How can our life as residents become more meaningful, ever more worthwhile? How can we co-workers recognize life purposes and contribute to their fulfillment?
* Many centres in the West seem to be losing their character as places of curative education and social therapy, as it was understood in the 20th century. Can places in the East open new possibilities and opportunities for healing, learning and social impulses?Painting at Casa Rozei

Each morning, during this interesting week, Renate Bradbury -an art therapist from Ireland- worked in an enthusiastic way with the clients and co-workers. I learned a lot about the economical difficulties in Romania, the resulting problems for Casa Rozei and how they are being solved. I was touched to experience how the management team of Casa Rozei succeeds in working from the view points of curative education and social therapy in difficult circumstances – they are real idealists! I shook hands with the mayor of Urlati, the director and staff members of the Social Services of the county and with the Human Resource director of the local branch of a multinational which supports Casa Rozei. And I learned to know the intended successor of Roxana Byrde as director, Gabriela Dragomir, psychologist and co-founder of Casa Rozei.
Origami at Casa RozeiJohn and Roxana Byrde, who enjoy a sabbatical year in Ireland, had returned for this celebration and will stay a couple of months. They keep involved in the developments of the centre, be it mostly from a distance.

Bernard Heldt





Symbiosis Foundation, the next host of the ECCE General Meeting

From May 2nd till 5th 2013, the members of ECCE will be welcomed by Symbiosis Foundation in Miskolc, Hungary. We received a short description of the initiative.

SymbiosisSymbiosis Foundation was established in 1999. Symbiosis provides a wide range of services for people with intellectual disabilities as well as with autism, their parents, and persons with reduced ability to work in North-Hungary. Our main aim is to help the lives of these people and their families and to improve the quality of their lives. We support education, training, employment and social integration of persons with special needs.

Our activities:
1. Social services: day-care center for 40 disabled people and a residential for 28 disabled and autistic adults in two settlements. The day-care center provides community and leisure-time activities for Symbiosis Hungarydisabled people (e.g.: therapies, sports, other leisure time activities).  Barathegy Rehabilitation Farm is a complex system with different kinds of elements in 5 hectares near the Bükk National Park, including living centre, stable, cheese manufacture, kitchen, glasshouse, garden, farm guesthouse, carpentry and ground stone manufacturing workshop. In the farm guesthouse we host families having disabled children and open-air school and summer camps are also regularly organised for schoolchildren.

2. Employment activities: Symbiosis provides all the existing types (institutional, transit and supported employment) of employment programs in three settlements.

3. Special Transport Service: transport, personal help and supervision, personal assistance for disabled people.

4. International Activities: involvement in several international projects and host volunteers in the frame of European Voluntary Service since 2007.

Contact: Address: Augusztus 20 út 12, 3527-Miskolc, Hungary
tel: +3646357637 - -


Creating quality

As you may have read in the opening of Adrienne Thier, the committee chose as a theme for 2013: ‘creating quality’. Why?
To be short: modern quality systems are mostly built on quantitative data and cross-off lists. Many people act from the idea that our world has become almost entirely manageable. Only if you can count and measure you can be sure, is a nowadays slogan. However a lot of situations have proved that quality of care and guidance has not so much to do with quantitative data but more with the inner quality of the person who cares and guides.

About this, there are several questions to think over:
Quality can be achieved or be neglected in many different areas within the work of Curative Education and Social Therapy. One of the most important issues of quality is that it is established in the relationships between people. Realizing this brings us to the first and most important question. The most important bridge between two people in which quality can be realized is in intercommunication, in the process of dialogue between both. A dialogue may be conducted in many different modes and is not restricted to the use speech alone. We interconnect with our fellow human beings on many different levels and in many separate ways, i.e. with our attitude, our approach, our gestures, exclamations, mimic, expressions, our thoughts, our emotions and clearly evident with our actions.
So the first question could be -bearing the above in mind-:
How do we cultivate and secure a sophisticated (high level) and loving quality in the relationship with those we work with and care for through dialogue as conceived above?” (thanks to Michael Mullan)

In the next ECCE Link we will continue with these questions.


Call for Friends of Alliance ELIANT

ELIANTAlliance ELIANT – the successor to Action ELIANT, which turned over more than one million signatures to the European Commission  – wants to establish a circle of friends consisting of private donors.
Since Action ELIANT accomplished its goal last year, Alliance ELIANT has been established with representatives from the affiliated NGOs as “core members,” of which I am one. The whole is under the direction of the Steering Group Alliance ELIANT.
The Alliance follows the 15 spearheads described in the Memorandum that was handed, together with more than one million signatures, to the European Commission. In order to implement this, contacts are maintained, lobbying efforts are made, meetings are attended, trips are made, lectures are given, a digital newsletter is published and secretarial work is done, such as maintaining the address list.
Action ELIANT had found a small home with the International BD Association in the Rue du Trône 194 in Brussels. The Alliance rents a small office space of its own, also in the Rue du Trône.
At present the budget for 2012 is € 129,000. This amount is in part provided by the member-NGOs; the balance comes from funds who temporarily offer support for the start-up phase.
Within a few years, the Alliance wants to be able to operate as much as possible independently from support from funds and foundations.
This is why we want to ask the signers of Charta ELIANT to participate in this circle of friends.

See also


M. Glöckler (Steering Group; IKAM, IVAA, FAM), H.-J. Schumacher (gesundheitaktiv), A. Biesantz (Steering Group), M. Sieh (Steering Group), B. Heldt (ECCE), S. Küffer (Steering Group; Demeter International), U. Hurter (Steering Group; IBDA), C. Aerts (IASWECE), C. Clouder (ECSWE)