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L'Arche International
What is l'Arche

L’Arche is an organization which exists for 50 years and has communities in more than 35 countries all over the world. To learn more visit:


Individuals are invited to share fully in community life, in both residential and non-residential settings, as suited to specific needs and hopes. It is more than just inclusion but it is about creating a society where all are welcome!


Together we can make it happen.

L'Arche's history

The beginnings of L’Arche (French for “the Ark”) started in 1964, when Jean Vanier became aware of the struggle of thousands of people with intellectual disabilities who were institutionalized in France. He felt moved by God to invite two men, Raphael Simi and Philippe Seux, to leave the institutions where they resided and share their lives with him in a home in Trosly-Breuil, France.


Jean has challenged us to see the world in a new way. Those we lock away and think worthless, he says, have the power to teach and even to heal us. We are all “broken” in some way, he believes. (…)

“When you start living with people with disabilities”, he says, “you begin to discover a whole lot of things about yourself.” He learned that to “be human is to be bonded together, each with our own weaknesses and strengths, because we need each other.”

L'Arche Today

Getting its start with that first home in Trosly-Breuil, France, , L’Arche has expanded to countries all over the world. There are 151 communities in 37 countries, L’Arche communities are calling together persons with and without disabilities to share their lives together in profound ways.



To celebrate is to give thanks for the gift that God has given us in having brought us together from a place of loneliness into a place of belonging. I know that you have accepted me and I you. I know your gifts and also your darkness. Yet I accept you...
-Jean Vanier
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