I would like you to meet Jenny. She is young, smart and creative and has made some significant contributions to L’Arche over the past two years. Here is what she has to say.
I could not have imagined…
I can’t believe it but this is my last week with L’Arche. I could not have imagined but in the space of less than two years since I graduated from university I’ve ‘lived L’Arche’ in three different ways.
I worked with the L’Arche Foundation as donor administrator for several months. I gained a new understanding of the scope and impact of L’Arche across Canada, and worldwide, and how L’Arche Canada works to extend Jean Vanier’s vision. I grew in my appreciation of those who support L’Arche. I had no idea that there were so many people who were passionate about the work of L’Arche.
As writer and researcher for L’Arche’s new website www.ibelong.ca I learned about the isolation and loneliness that many people with intellectual disabilities experience. It is terrible. It is endemic. It is to the loss of people with intellectual disabilities. It is also to the loss of society.
My own life has been made so much richer by the relationships I have formed living in a L’Arche home as a part-time assistant. I sometimes imagine how fundamentally and beautifully altered our society would be if everyone was given the opportunity to experience such relationships!
My experience in a L’Arche home living with people who have a disability was made up of both big and small moments - tea times together (or coffee!), a game of Sequence, celebrating birthdays, Christmas dinner and many others. It is those moments that most helped me to grow in my understanding of L’Arche and what it means.
I learned that L’Arche is people, not an organization. It is true community (even when it is hard!). And it a place were vision and passion abound.
For me, being able to share in this community for even a short time has been transformative. And I believe that this community has the power to change the world.