Pahkla, Estonia

Pahkla Camphill Village was founded in 1992 in Kohila parish, Rapla county. Our village is a life-sharing community with adults who have special needs. In Pahkla we now have four households, or "extended house communities". In each house a group of 5-10 people enjoy and benefit from living with each other. There are three to six people with special needs, with a co-worker family and volunteers. Rhythm and order are brought about through a regular morning gathering, shared mealtimes and the routine of shared housework. However, we do have the flexibility to allow us to be individuals with our own habits and patterns of life.

Besides the daily work on the land and in the houses and workshops, a wide variety of other activities takes place in Pahkla. These include the weekly village meeting, social evenings, various hobby/sport groups, Bible evening on Saturday, a Sunday morning gathering, musical instruction and performances, and the production of various plays. Many of these events are connected with the celebration of the major Christian festivals around the year. Outings to special events in Tallinn and elsewhere take place. Our working life in Pahkla is essential to the well-being of our community. Not only does it bring in income which helps to cover our living expenses, but a large part of the fruit, vegetables, dairy products, and meat which we use throughout the year come from our own biodynamic farming and gardening.
Skills are developed through work on the farm, in the gardens and households, creamery and cheese workshop, wood-workshop, weavery, and candle workshop. During winter-time there are music lessons/therapies, where people learn to play different instruments. We also sing a lot.  In the weavery we make rag carpets in rainbow colours, shoulder bags of woven material, tablecloths, socks and woollen shawls. This particular textile piece was created by Ants who is our oldest weaver and Piret who wove the flowers. She has learned to weave different patterns and many bags and tablecloths have her ‘signature'. Our national colours are blue, white and black. We Estonians take it very seriously to live under the blue sky and to work on the fields of dark soil. We always have hope that is pure and white which keeps us going. Against this background the colourful buttons are very special - they represent us as individual human beings.