Each Australian L’Arche community is made up of a number of households and/or independent flats. The people with disability and a support team made up of Assistants live and work alongside each other.
Our aim is to create communities where people with and without an intellectual disability live relationships of mutuality and trust.
Live-in Assistants are volunteers who choose to live alongside people with an intellectual disability, they receive an allowance and are expected to contribute fully to the life of the Community.
Surrounding the community is a network of friends, community members and a Board of Directors, with financial support coming from government, those who live within the houses, and from fund-raising.
Those with a disability are supported in their personal needs, to move into the wider community including the workplace, and to maintain contact with their family and friends.
L’Arche is based on a fundamental belief in the dignity of every person.
Our aim is to create communities which welcome people with an intellectual disability and those who choose to live with them, or support them.
Through this welcome, L’Arche seeks to respond to the distress of those who too often are rejected, and to give them a valid place in our society.
L’Arche also seeks to reveal the particular gifts of people with an intellectual disability.
While not providing an answer to the needs of all people with a disability, L’Arche provides an innovative model of supported accommodation in a community environment.
Central to the life of the community is the belief in the unique value and gift of each person with a disability, and in the spirituality within each one of us. This brings with it a way of living which is about mutuality and life-sharing.
In Australia, L’Arche is an ecumenical, Christian organisation. It is not aligned to any one church, and people are welcomed with the right to their own personal belief system.
The following is the L’Arche International Indentity and Mission Statement, approved October 2008 in Kolkata India.
We are people with and without intellectual disabilities,
sharing life in communities belonging to an International Federation.
Mutual relationships and trust in God are at the heart of our journey together.
We celebrate the unique value of every person and recognise our need of one another.
Our mission is to…
Make known the gifts of people with intellectual disabilities*,
revealed through mutually transforming relationships.
Foster an environment in community that responds to the changing needs of our members, whilst being faithful to the core values of our founding story.
Engage in our diverse cultures, working together toward a more human society.