Chantal Thompson and Kyra Walker Pearson presenting as invited guests at the Build Bridges Not Walls Event at Sydenham Street United Church, Kingston.
We are both local singer- songwriters, artists, teachers, Kingston Mosaic board members.. and, we both have a developmentally delayed, disabled child. The great gift of our very special children, and our deep love for them, brought us together, that is why we are here today.. Kyra ..and also the fact that there is an independent Waldorf School here in Kingston, Mulberry Waldorf School which is celebrating it’s 20th anniversary, where both our children and other Mosaic board members, Brooke Splinter and Dr. Anja Troje’s children attended for a time.
This is where we discovered Waldorf Education and the philosophy of anthroposophy, which lead us to Camphill, each other and other like minded people. We aspire to build a bridge to connect these principles with the mainstream.
Currently both our children attend a lovely public school, Central. The two schools are located in a vibrant downtown neighbourhood influenced by incredible parent, educational and arts communities.
Anthroposophy, the philosophy behind Waldorf education has within it components of Medicine (anthroposophical medicine); Education (Waldorf), Agriculture (Steiner is the founder of bio dynamic farming); the Arts (culture and community building), and non-denominational Spirituality.
It is a holistic view of human beings in body, mind, spirit and soul, and of the world spanning all time and religions. Rooted in spirituality, namely, love and striving for equanimity, objectivity, the constant striving of loving yourself, others and the world, and ultimately finding meaning and purpose in ones own life through sharing of ones individual gifts for the betterment of humanity.
Dr. Karl Koenig, founded the first Camphill Community, he was born in 1902 into a Jewish family and grew up in Vienna. In Austria he had a large medical practice as a paediatrician, and was also the mentor to a group of young people interested in Steiner’s anthroposophy. Koenig and other dedicated Jewish refugees, fled to Scotland in 1939 to escape Nazi persecution. Out of their group came the founders of Camphill. During the darkness of the Second World War, Camphill was to provide care to handicapped children who had been rejected by society.
‘The candle on the hill’ symbolizes a beacon of hope, illuminating the darkness and showing the way forward to a new and better world.
Now the Camphill movement has grown to more than 100 diverse communities in 22 countries around the world. The Kingston Mosaic’s vision of Camphill, will be an inclusive refuge not only for children with developmental disabilities but eventually encompassing a community of elders and others in need of support, whose programs and resources in these economically challenging times are scarce.
Kyra and a group of others founded the Kingston Mosaic Group inspired by the Camphill movement in 2013, and became a non- profit incorporated as Kingston Mosaic, and currently we are in process of changing our name to ‘Kingston Mosaic’, once our name is changed we will be applying for charitable status. Kingston Mosaic has the support of a dedicated board, parents, faculty and members are mentorship from Camphill Ontario. Kingston Mosaic intends to promote the creation and development of a holistic program of care, education and vocational training for children and youth with developmental disabilities, within the context of a social therapeutic community setting. We aim to move from occasional programming to regular programming within the next few years while building relationships with community partners. Eventually we envision owning our own building and rural property for Kingston Mosaic and community alongside the ever growing urban component.
Our current website is: www.kingstonmosaic.ca where you can sign up for our infrequent newsletters, or get in touch if you will like to offer your services that may help this initiative to grow. At the moment we are looking for volunteers to help us with professional accounting, grant writing, organize fundraising events and graphic design.
Please visit us at our table if you are interested. Thank you to the organizers of this event , we are very proud to be part of it.
In the words of Koenig –
“Let us, not do it in words, but in deeds. To serve, and not to rule;
to help and not to force; to love and not to harm will be our task.”