L’Arche invites Cork to ‘Imagine the World Differently’

May 25, 2017



L’Arche Cork is inviting people to do something that sounds easy, but it is rather challenging: They want everybody in the county to ‘Imagine the World Differently’.


The community is calling out for people to join them in their ‘Imagine the World Differently’ event, an open forum they will hold in UCC on Thursday 1st of June to talk about the place of intellectual disabilities in our current world.


Previous to the conversation, the organization will screen their ‘As I Am’ Web Series, a set of 8 short videos that L’Arche International has produced in partnership with filmmaker Michael McDonald to show the extraordinary stories of people with intellectual disabilities and how their gifts are revealed when living in community.


“People with intellectual disabilities live in the shadows of a persistent view, present in all cultures, that they are the undesirables. This is one of our world’s significant injustices. It is one we can change. L’Arche International’s Web Series, ‘As I Am’, is an invitation to imagine the world differently and to rejoice in who you are as you are”, L’Arche explains in their website.


‘Imagine the World Differently’, is part of the celebrations L’Arche will be hosting around Ireland and Northern Ireland prior to their Federation Assembly in June. There will be similar film screenings in Kilkenny, Dublin and Belfast, and the 4 communities in the region will welcome international visitors before they travel together to Northern Ireland, where the Federation Assembly will take place.


“All of these events have one common goal: To celebrate everyone’s unique contributions to others and to society. Each one of us, regardless of our abilities, beliefs or backgrounds, has exceptional gifts that are revealed when living in community. L’Arche is all about rejoicing in those gifts, especially the ones of people with intellectual disabilities, who so often are kept on the margins due to their apparent weakness”, Declan Counihan, L’Arche Cork Community leader explains.


L’Arche, a French word for the Ark, is an international network of communities where people with and without intellectual disabilities share life together. It was founded in 1964 in a small French village by Jean Vanier, Canadian philosopher, theologian and humanitarian. Today, L’Arche is a worldwide movement with 139 communities in 37 countries.


L’Arche Cork, the biggest L’Arche community in Ireland, started in 1985 and currently has 5 houses, which are home for 21 residential core members, as well as many international volunteers. The community also has a very active Day Service in Togher Road, which is attended by 28 people with intellectual disabilities who enjoy a variety of activities including candle-making, weaving, woodwork, jewellery making, printing, life-skills and gardening.


“Across the world L’Arche fosters residential communities, work projects and friendships that create places of belonging for some of the world’s most vulnerable citizens. These spaces enable each person to live as a full citizen and to contribute their unique gifts to society. We want more people to know about this wonderful work we do in Ireland and around the globe. Come join us in UCC and learn more about us”, Declan comments.


‘Imagine the World Differently’ will be held in Boole 1 - UCC on Thursday 1st of June, 2017 - 7:00 pm. The event is free entry. For more information please contact L’Arche through their website www.larcheireland.org or their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/larcheireland/


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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 www.larchebelfast.org.uk.  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 www.larche.org.