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L'Arche Uganda 2009 L’Arche is…

L’Arche is an international movement which builds faith-based Communities with people with learning disabilities all over the world.

Founded in France by Jean Vanier, L’Arche stands for a world where all belong, where everyone can exercise their gifts.

In a society that puts such a high value on success, L’Arche Communities are places where people with and without disabilities can take time to explore who they are, not just what they can do.

The way of life in L’Arche, inspired by Christian teaching, creates an environment in which people of all faiths, and none, can find their place.  A place where the emotional and spiritual life of people with learning disabilities – too often neglected is celebrated and nurtured.

L’Arche is a collaboration of gifts, expertise, resources and time, which brings together people who are not prepared to accept the status quo but are inspired by each other to want more, for people with learning disabilities and for society. 


What Difference Do We Make?

L’Arche is the only global organisation working in this field.  It makes a lasting difference to the lives of 3,750 with learning disabilities worldwide.  L’Arche Communities are places where some of the most vulnerable people in society feel they are valued, feel they belong and are challenged to reach their full potential.

L’Arche welcomes 3,000 new people each year, to work and live in Communities, giving them a unique experience and understanding of community and respect of difference that will inform the rest of their lives.

“I commend L’Arche for the work they are doing to help people around the world.  Through our combined action let’s make a world where all can exercise their gifts no matter where they live.” Archbishop Dr John Sentamu


L’Arche in Africa

Many L’Arche Communities in the developing world, like those we support in Uganda and Zimbabwe, do not receive any state funding and rely on donations made here in the UK for even the most basic needs. The cost of bare essentials like food, water and clothing is extremely high and life is hard. L’Arche needs to raise a minimum of £100,000 a year to cover the running costs.

Our African communities support children and young adults with severe learning disabilities and most have multiple disabilities. They come to us either because they are abandoned or orphaned or because their families cannot cope. In some cases, it is not even possible to find out their names or date of birth.

Our dream is to support these Communities to grow and become more independent but that is made particularly difficult by the high levels of local poverty and the stigma attached to people with disabilities.


How Can You Help?

Friends of L’Arche in Africa are a group who support our African Communities.  If you are interested in joining email [email protected] or if you would like to make a donation go to or

Heather Coogan, Regional Coordinator, L’Arche

The Archbishop of York has been Patron of L’Arche Africa Appeal since 2010.