Integration is the key to breaking down the barriers of discrimination Photo courtesy Hannahs
Learning from each other CREATIVE COMMUNITIES
In the UK, over 20% of adults and children live with some kind of disability. That’s a large slice of the population that finds itself marginalised from everyday life experiences that most of us take for granted. Despite legislation designed to overcome discrimination, people who are less able still struggle to find meaningful work or to participate fully in community life. However, there is a place in South Devon that is changing the way we work and learn by integrating people of all abilities in the most imaginative ways.
Hannahs at Seale-Hayne is a creative community that sees no difference in the potential of people of any ability. The magnificent buildings of the oncefamous agricultural college now house a vibrant school of learning where artists, craftspeople and musicians hire studios and workshops at a low rent in return for sharing their knowledge and skills with the less able members of the community. Learning from each other through apprenticeships, mentoring and work placements, the vibrant community has a recording studio and live performance space; Camp Mawazo, which runs outdoor experiences on Dartmoor; a sustainable garden project; a sports hall and fitness suite; a hydrotherapy pool for mothers and babies; an excellent bistro and cake shop; a market called The Souk; a retro shop; and even therapeutic horsemanship courses. A percentage of all income from the shops and courses is donated to support the running costs of Hannahs at Seale-Hayne. Writer Nick Stimson was so inspired by his visits to Hannahs that he wrote about it in a new book on the imagination called The Gist. “The cake-makers, the blacksmiths, the artists, the musicians, the technicians and the therapists all share a commonly held understanding that what they are doing is making the future possible for the less able people with whom they work, and in so doing the less able people are making the future possible for them. It’s a two-way thing, this creative commerce at Seale-Hayne: the people you see and meet working there, those who are doing the doing and making the making, are people of all abilities working side by side.”
It seems so simple and obvious that integration is the key to breaking down the barriers of discrimination; yet the imaginative response to disability exemplified at Seale-Hayne is the exception rather than the norm. Every community should have a ‘Hannahs’ at its heart – a place of learning by doing and sharing the wealth of right livelihood. www.discoverhannahs.org
PEOPLES’ SUSTAINABILITY MANIFESTO
Action beyond Rio+20
By the time you read this, the Rio+20 Earth Summit will seem like a long time ago – but the decisions world leaders failed to make will have far-reaching repercussions affecting generations to come. So serious was the lack of vision and commitment that Kumi Naidoo, International Executive Director of Greenpeace, put it this way: “Rio+20 has turned into an epic failure. It has failed on equity, failed on ecology and failed on economy.”
That’s why a group of concerned world citizens has drawn up a Peoples’ Sustainability Manifesto for Action Beyond Rio, which outlines the steps that should have been taken by our government representatives (whom we cannot call leaders).
Key to initiating a New Ecological Order, a New Economic Order and a New Social Order, through sustainable transition, is the building of a Global Citizens Movement. So founding signatories to the Manifesto are calling on students, teachers, representatives of Indigenous people, local communities
Resurgence & Ecologist