Learning, working, meeting

Holistic education for people with disabilities

The Fundación Arca Mundial opened a special needs home for people with disabilities in the year 2000 in Medellin, the second largest city in Colombia, which provides the individuals who are being looked after with a holistic education. The children, adolescents and adults can continue their education here and learn skills such as weaving, baking or carpentry. The aim is to help people to become largely self-reliant and therefore free them from exclusion and isolation.

In its special needs home, Fundación Arca Mundial offers therapeutic activities and lessons, as well as support and treatment for children, adolescents and adults with an intellectual, affective-emotional or physical disability. As a result of this support and the activities corresponding to the individual opportunities available to them, the people can acquire a new feeling of self-esteem, a new quality of life and more joie de vivre. Every day, disabled children, adolescents and adults from all strata of the population come to the home, where they learn and receive support according to their age category. They work, laugh and meet together.

Three years after its establishment, the Foundation was able to purchase a piece of land with the help of the "Friends of Waldorf Education" on which a previous house was temporarily converted to make it suitable for the disabled. Thanks to the continued support of the "Friends of Waldorf Education", it was possible to expand the daycare centre and refurbish the house, which in the meantime had threatened to collapse. In addition to the basic refurbishment, a four-storey building was erected on the existing land in 2013 and 2014. The resulting significant increase in the residential and usable floor space meant that it was now possible to build suitable rooms for educational purposes, art therapy, workshops, ramps and a lift. In addition to classrooms, the home also provides facilities for baking, carpentry, weaving, sewing and pottery.


Fundación Arca Mundial

The Fundación Arca Mundial was founded in Medellín by a group of courageous people associated with Juan Restrepo Florez and his wife Sandra Domínguez Rendón. At a time in which the authorities began to close special schools for people with disabilities in order to incorporate them into standard schools, they decided to set up afternoon working with disabled children, adolescents and adults at the "Micael" anthroposophical centre. Since the standard schools often refused to accept people with disabilities, a project was created whose aim was to provide these people with a holistic education. Approximately 80 people from all strata of the population attend the home every day, where they can learn and are supported according to their age category, with this figure expected to rise to up to 120 in 2015.

What are the funds of the MAHLE FOUNDATION specifically used for?

During the construction and renovation phase, unexpected major damage to the core of the building was found which had to be urgently repaired. This was associated with significant costs. The funding provided by the MAHLE FOUNDATION was used for the completion of the two storeys.