L'ARCHE seeks to offer not a solution, but a sign - a sign that society, to be truly human, must be founded on welcome and respect for all people, whatever their abilities.
"When we begin to believe that there is joy in working with and for others, rather than just for ourselves, then our society will truly become a place of celebration"~Jean Vanier, L'Arche Founder
The L'ARCHE story begins with a remarkable Canadian and humanitarian. In 1964, Jean Vanier, the son of Canada's former Governor General Georges Vanier, founded the first L'ARCHE in France when he invited two disabled men to live with him and discovered the spiritual gifts of living with people with developmental disabilities.
The name L'ARCHE, meaning "The Ark", was given to the first home and a movement was born that seeks to allow individuals with special needs to reach their full potential and, in so doing, to enrich the communities in which they live and work. What makes L'ARCHE unique is the recognition that all people, regardless of gifts or limitations contribute to the richness and well-being of our communities.
Today, L'ARCHE is an international federation with more than 146 communities around the world. In Canada, there are 30 L'ARCHE communities in 8 provinces. Wolfville's L'Arche Homefires was one of the first L'ARCHE communities to be established in Nova Scotia in 1981.