THE HISTORY OF HERTHA
In August 1987, a group of 40 people gathered at the initiative of the Hertha association. The task that the group gathered around was to work out a vision for how adults with learning disabilities could be given an optimal life in a community of so-called normal. The association Hertha had for approx. 10 years worked in the Central Jutland area to establish a school in the form of daycare for people with intellectual disabilities based on Rudolf Steiner’s human view.
The group had its roots in collective movements, in biodynamic agriculture, in youth rebellions, in ecological initiatives and in the work of people with learning disabilities. Some were engaged in various anthroposophical initiatives. The group met for over 7 years on a Saturday each month, and it soon became clear that a good life for the mentally retarded also had to include considerations of a good life for the so-called normal. After several years of work – and having worked through most aspects of the human being – in 1994, the group formulated its vision: A Living Community with Adult Disability, based on Rudolf Steiner’s human vision.
The first actions for building the Hertha Living Community was taken in 1995 and in 1996 the first inhavitants moved in. In 2019, we are about 140 people living here, 30 of whom are adults with learning disabilities.
The original vision was that a village should be the outer frame around the lives of approximately 150 villagers. The goal was to create a social foundation that in everyday life could give way to a common life with a group of approx. 30 developmentally disabled. The first thought of the initiative was to try to achieve a desired and mutual integration. Those who move to such a social context must be more or less willing to stand side by side and support each other. We believe that such a community between groups operating under the common conditions of society and groups in need of care and special attention enhances the quality of life of both groups. A coexistence to both benefit and joy. An experiment with integration as a headline.
Read more about the idea of Hertha Living Community here.