The seed of our community was planted by Br. Frank, a Brother of Taize, who cared deeply for persons with disabilities. He recognized the need for a l'Arche home in Bangladesh, after visiting the l'Arche community in Kolkota, India. He was advised to start with a 'Faith & Light' group in the locality. In 2002, Riko and Shohag founded our first house, Asha Nir. Br. Frank continued to accompany the community during the remainder of his life, helping to ensure that the community stayed close to its mission: to make known the gifts of persons with disabilities.
The community today
Now the community has expanded to three homes with 21 residential core members. Around 30 core members come every day from the locality to the Day-Care and the Workshop. More vulnerable core members are supported by weekly home visits from our residential core members and assistants. This is an important role for our core members; their simple presence brings much joy and consolation to the family.
The spirit of the community
The richness of our community is its diversity and closeness to the poor. Daily prayer is the wellspring of our community life. We listen to the readings from the Koran and the Bible every day, and also the Gita when Hindus are present. Muslims go to the local mosque while Christians go to the local Church. At a time of fasting, Christian assistants give support to the Muslim members and the timetable of the community life is changed. The form of prayers at each house is slightly different as it depends on the taste of the members, but a moment of silence is important. There is no easy answer to how to pray together as Muslims and Christians, but being still together brings us joy.