Changing the world, one heart at a time.

What is L’Arche

In 1964, Canadian Jean Vanier invited two men with developmental disabilities to live with him in an old home in the French village of Trosley-Breuil. He named the house L’Arche (French for ark) after Noah’s ark and gradually welcomed not only more men and women with developmental disabilities but also the assistants who would live and work with them. Since then L’Arche has grown into an international federation of more than 140 communities in close to 40 countries around the world.

 Each community is unique, yet we all share a common vision of the basic dignity of each human person. We seek to create homes and provide meaningful work for all our community members in an attempt to create a world where everyone, regardless of ability or disability, is recognized as being of equal value.

 L’Arche is built on the recognition of the ability of individuals with intellectual disabilities to welcome and accept others as they are. We believe that this gift has an important and transformative effect, helping each one of us to become more fully human and thus helping to humanize our entire society and transform culture.

Jean Vanier

We seek to be communities where people whatever their race, religion, culture, abilities or disabilities can find a place and reveal their gifts to the world.