Sharing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities

About Us

 Sharing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities

L'Arche is a group of over 149 worldwide communities where people with and without intellectual disabilities share life together in community.

L'Arche fosters an environment to celebrate the unique value of each and every person in those communities and recognizes our need of one another.

Support us

Working together to foster a more human society

There are so many ways you can help L'Arche continue our work with vulnerable people across Ireland. From becoming an assistant, to volunteering at events, to donating directly or even just following us on Facebook. Every little helps! L'Arche is more than a charity, it's a community and we want you to join us.

Join the movement


149 communities in 37 countries

At an international level, L’Arche works to provide support for people with developmental disabilities so that they take their rightful place in our societies. As an international organization, the Federation seeks to promote diversity and solidarity across geographical and psychological borders.

Jean Vanier

1928 - 2019

How one man's compassion changed the world

“Whatever their gifts, or their limitations, people are all bound together in a common humanity. Everyone is of unique and sacred value and everyone has the same dignity and the same rights.”
— Jean Vanier —

As a young Canadian living in France, Jean Vanier was at the forefront of what gradually became the widely accepted movement to de-institutionalize people who had developmental disabilities. Distressed by the scandalous conditions he saw in institutions, in 1964 Jean Vanier invited two men with developmental disabilities, Raphael Simi and Philippe Seux, to live with him in a small house in the French village of Trosly-Breuil. He named their house “L'Arche,” after Noah's Ark.


The three created home life together, sharing daily tasks and times of relaxation as would a family. Before long, Jean, Raphael and Philippe welcomed more men and women with developmental disabilities and many young assistants from various countries who wanted to help and to share in this unique experience of living in community.


Vanier very quickly discovered that the people whom he had befriended had much to give him and to teach him about life. This awareness of the mutuality of relationships and the humanizing contribution of people who have developmental disabilities--indeed the transformative experience of sharing life together-- is fundamental to L'Arche.

149 communities 20 projects

in 39 countries

What is the impact of our work?

Take a look at these videos and get a better understanding of our purpose, our efforts and our communities.

Following Jean's passing on May 7th we will have time for celebration and thanksgiving in The Riasc Centre, Swords, Co. Dublin on June 29th 2019, beginning at 11am.

All are most welcome to join us. 

After lunch we will also have a celebration for L'Arche Dublin's 25th Anniversary.

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L'Arche Ireland (registered name) is a charitable organization legally structured as a company limited by guarantee, not having a share capital, registered in Dublin, Ireland - Registered No. 77821. Registered Office - C/O Anne Brady McQuillan, Iveagh Court, Harcourt Road, Dublin 2. Revenue Charity No. CHY 7979 - Charities Regulatory Authority No. 20018856.  L’Arche Ireland operates in the Republic of Ireland, having three communities in Dublin, Cork and Kilkenny.  L’Arche Belfast (Northern Ireland Company no. NI 40702) operates in Northern Ireland and has one community in Belfast.  L'Arche Belfast is registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC105755. Its website is  L’Arche Ireland and L’Arche Belfast are part of an International Federation of L’Arche Communities whose registered office is in France.  Its website is