The Impact of L'Arche on Young Leaders
'' Since L’Arche’s inception several thousands of young people have come to L’Arche communities around the world as assistants, to live with, care for, and build relationships with those who have an intellectual disability. They have become better people because of L’Arche. Many have found themselves transformed. Through their relationships with people who have intellectual disabilities they have discovered at a much deeper level who they are and how they would like to contribute to our world. They have grown into fully mature adults, able to face and grow through the challenges of life and to give leadership in many different fields.''
My time in L’Arche influenced me in a lot of ways, personally, spiritually and professionally. The international environment and the diversity that I had the privilege to experience enriched my perspective and challenged me to develop the ability to put myself into other positions and to understand the others point, which helps me a lot when dealing with people in my professional context. The life as a live-in assistant also called me to find a vocation where I don’t feel a strong separation between “life” and “work” but where the two are connected by my passion. But most importantly my L’Arche experience encouraged me to stay true to my values and to ask the “why”- and not just the “how”-questions, when navigating through the world of business. This has led to my growing interest in the concept of social business – solving social and ecological problems.
Social Work Student
Before I came to L’Arche I worked as a graphic artist in an advertising agency. I was happy but felt that I needed to try something different. So I came to L’Arche and lived a totally different life full of very important, beautiful, unique, deep, fulfilling experiences. I discovered that I didn’t want to go back to my job as a graphic artist. I wanted to work and be with people instead of computers - So I started all over again and began to study social work.
Laura Hurst Fidler
Assistant for children with autism
My time living at L’Arche has enriched my life and has taught me EVERY ONE has a story to share, a gift to be recognized, a song to sing, a dance to dance, moments of vulnerability, and a need for love respect and acceptance. Living at L’Arche has made my time with family, friends and co-workers rich and meaningful and I am thankful to all who have opened my eyes and heart to see a beautiful way to live life.
L’Arche Canada congratulates El Arca de México on their move to a new home in Mexico city. We are happy to provide financial support for this important, new chapter in the life of their community
All over the world, L’ Arche welcomes people who often are at great risk and in need of important care. In poorer countries, most of them come from the streets. In Canada, young adults will come to L'Arche after high school, eager to begin adult life. Others come when caring parents are ill or have died. All are supported to grow to their full potential. They discover a new family and happiness in L’Arche and they know they are welcomed to make L'Arche their home for life.
Kim meeting Jean Vanier for the first time in 2009
In Kim's Words
Don't talk to strangers, people that you don't know. Was I stranger when I walked in here? I guess everyone starts off as a stranger, tries to figure out what they’re doing and get to know the place.
L'Arche—it was a strange place. Everybody was a stranger at that time. I didn't even talk.
Now, it's a good place. New place, you have to get used to things. Living together now--there's more support that way. You get used to the house first, then gradually get used to the community. Go out for dinner and get to know the community better.
Then you get into things you never dreamed of doing--like dancing, doing crafts, being on the council, altar serving, mentoring, going to yoga from 7 to 8pm on Wednesdays. This is my dream home! Jesus says go into all the world. That's a commandment. Just go to the places where you like to be. You'll meet new people. You'll get to know people you never dreamed of meeting. You'll get somewhere.
By Kim Lageer and Janna Payne, L'Arche Daybreak
You may be a family member, a friend, caregiver or health practitioner of someone with a disability who is aging and becoming more fragile and dependent. L'Arche offers wisdom and practical tools to face the challenge of aging with grace and dignity.
“How will my child find her way in the world? Who will love and care for my son after I am gone?” These are the spoken and unspoken questions of all families who have a child or a sibling with an intellectual disability. L’Arche impacts the lives of thousands of family members across Canada who have someone in L’Arche. In turn, L’Arche celebrates the many ways families help to make L’Arche the best it can be.
Since L’Arche’s inception several hundred thousand young people have come to L’Arche communities around the world as assistants, to live with, care for, and build relationships with those who have an intellectual disability. They have become better people because of L’Arche. Many have found themselves transformed. Through their relationships with people who have intellectual disabilities they have discovered at a much deeper level who they are and how they would like to contribute to our world. They have grown into fully mature adults, able to face and grow through the challenges of life and to give leadership in many different fields.
One of the little known but powerful dimensions of L’Arche is its impact on the women and men who spend time in a L’Arche community as assistants. L'Arche has shaped the personal and professional lives of thousands of young people who take learning and wisdom from L’Arche into all walks of life. A far-flung network carries L’Arche values into careers around the world.