The European Co-operation in Athroposophical Curative Education and Social therapy (ECCE) is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to the support of special needs people. It was founded in 1992 by members of the International Council for Anthroposophical Curative Education and Social Therapy in Holland with the aim of representing people with special needs (especially those unable to represent themselves) on a European level. The ECCE is made up of 29 member organisations. These include linked associations and organisations of professionals and trainers who base their work on anthroposophical curative education and social therapy. Through their membership around 400 organisations across 19 European countries are represented.
Cooperation with other organizations
The ECCE was a founding member, and is now a full member organization of the European Disability Forum (EDF). This forum was established in 1997 with the aim of promoting the equality of people with disabilities in Europe (around 50 million) and to strengthen their fundamental rights. In addition, the ECCE is an associate member of Inclusion Europe, an umbrella organization of parents’ associations for the inclusion in society of people with disabilities. For the living and working communities, the ECCE is a member of the EASPD (European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities). The ECCE is also a member of the International Conference for Anthroposophical Curative Education and Social Therapy, Medical Section, Goetheanum, Dornach.
Cooperating with other European organizations
Through its participation in European organisations such as EDF, Inclusion Europe or EASPD, the ECCE is able to join in discussions about a political strategy for improving conditions for people with special needs on a European level and provides input for reports and other materials. The ECCE also supports its members through being aware of funding opportunities for Europe-wide projects (for instance the EU Lifelong Learning Programme).
We are taking up the challenge of working with the European authorities to secure the social inclusion of people with special needs. We do this because we know it is possible and can be done: We are doing it every day.
We do it in groups living together, integrated in the local community or in similar situations: Several hundred organisations working on the basis of Rudolf Steiner's anthroposophy already provide the supported living conditions that are designed to meet the individual requirements and wishes of people with special needs.
These organisations provide the appropriate schooling, further training and work opportunities for people with special needs. They offer a wealth of social, cultural and artistic activities for them to choose from.
An accredited professional training is offered in various countries in the form of study courses that combine theoretical, practical and artistic development.
The first curative institution based on anthroposophy was opened in Germany more than 90 years ago (1924). This is where socially disturbed and retarded children could find a place to live and learn. It was the beginning of a worldwide movement. Many curative institutions (for children) and social therapeutic centres (for adults) have been founded since then, including some 400 in Europe. Curative and social therapeutic work is taking place in more than 50 countries across the world. The aim of curative education and social therapy is to offer children, young people and adults with special needs the chance to pursue an individual path of development, help them live in dignity, determine their own future, encourage their integration in human society and make their contribution to the world visible. How we meet and interact with people with special needs depends on our inner convictions and perspectives on life. Their social situation can be a support but also a hindrance. This is why social integration is so fundamental to curative education and social therapy.