One of the hidden impact of L'Arche is the effect it has on young people who spend time in our Community before continuing with their career.
Many of the people who choose to work in L’Arche do so as part of their own journey, often spiritual, rather than it's financially rewarding. The experience they receive of disability, difference and community goes on to enrich the rest of their lives. Often that impact comes from a key relationship with a person with learning disabilities.
Hugh Campkin, L'Arche Bognor Regis Community Leader writes:
"It’s a completely unique experience to be able to live and work alongside people with learning disabilities – and not simply working for them. We are not here to simply support: we are here to deepen in our understanding of our individual, human need for growth, and to do so together."
Sergio Archondo, L'Arche Bognor Regis Deputy House Leader writes:
"The core members are a mirror. I see myself in them and show me how I need to change. When I am tired they are an inspiration."
Former assistant Aaron writes about his relationship with Fred:
“It was an experience that has defined my life. Fred is like no other man I have met before.
Fred Loves live, he loves people, he loves to sing loud enough so you can’t even hear your own thoughts, and most of all he loves Native American culture. Underneath it all is a man born with an intellectual disability, but the term disability does not define Fred, the moment you meet Fred you won’t want to leave his presence."
Former Assistant Tim writes:
“L’Arche taught me two of the most important lessons I have learned in life: every person is uniquely gifted and the transformational power of relationships based on equality and mutual respect.
Too often we fail to recognise that by respecting, listening and collaborating with others, we can all live more hopeful and fulfilled lives. L’Arche is a place where we find the way to live together whatever our weaknesses, sharing our gifts for the common good, and where weakness is no longer something to be frightened of or ashamed by. I am me, you are you, together we can live better lives than we could possibly live on our own or apart. At L’Arche you learn to trust more in human nature and less in the usual definitions of ability and success.
I am immensely grateful to L’Arche (and Fred especially) for helping me understand why relationships matter, why intelligence is so much more than mere cleverness and what a life lived well might look like.”