L`arche International

L’Arche is an international federation of communities where people with and without mental handicap live and work together. Communities offer people with mental handicap a home where they will be valued and respected, their gifts welcomed and celebrated.

L’Arche began inFrancein 1964 when Jean Vanier, a Canadian, invited two men from an institution, Philleppe Sieux and Raphael Simi, to live with him. From these humble beginnings in ruralFrance, there are now 140 communities in 40 countries. The communities, while sharing the same values are very different according to their context and culture.

L’ Arche International is legally incorporated inFrance, and governed by a 9 member International Board. Executive leadership is exercised by two Coordinators. With the support of a small international team, they are responsible for maintaining the unity and spirit of L’Arche, and shaping the overall direction of the Federation through the provision of training, communication tools and personnel, administrative and financial back-up. In each country where L’Arche is established, we seek the official recognition for our work by the state, each community operating autonomously as a member of the International Federation of L’Arche.