… To welcome difference and disability
“People with learning disabilities invite us to look beyond appearances, to forget the stereotypes and prejudices that burden us and to reject all forms of discrimination. (...) With them, our humanity is revealed in all its splendour.”
Excerpt from the magazine La Vie, “50 years of shared life”, a special edition published to celebrate L’Arche International’s 50th anniversary.
Our basic philosophy is to welcome every individual as they are, complete with their differences and particularities. Every individual is important regardless of their origins, abilities or limitations, culture or beliefs. Every individual has value and something unique to share.
…Trusting and reciprocal relationships.
Experiencing reciprocal and community relationships allows people to form connections and achieve their full potential, by developing their humanity and their spirituality in a high-quality professional environment.
Trusting, mutual relationships are based on a “being with and doing with” approach rather than on “doing for”. These mutual relationships can inspire transformation and personal fulfilment for all the members of our communities.
“People with intellectual disabilities are at the heart of L’Arche’s communities.”
Each community comprises residential homes and a day centre. It offers an experience in which relationships are formed and fostered in a family environment and in a climate of trust, mutual respect, safety and mutual support.
As a community, we create a unit around each individual and with a common goal, with a particular focus on parties and celebrations.
… Professional skills and know-how acquired together
We are constantly changing, and are being shaped with each and every day thanks to the core members and to the other participants in our work, who provide their expertise, their interpersonal skills and their know-how.
The diversity of approaches results in reflection and collaborative working, in a spirit of compassion. Our primary objective is everyone’s well-being.
L’Arche promotes a participative approach in which issues are dealt with as closely to the person concerned as possible, by offering friendly and personal services and infrastructure.
…A spiritual place
Drawing from Christian humanism, a philosophy upheld by its founder Jean Vanier, L’Arche views differences as an asset, including those stemming from philosophical and religious beliefs. In an environment of mutual respect, all participants in our work are invited to give meaning to their experience at L’Arche.