The Arche community is now an international federation of communities in which people with a developmental disability and assistants live, work, pray and share their lives together. In this shared daily life, assistants discover that people living with a mental disability often possess qualities of welcome, carrying, spontaneity and directness. And also that they are able to touch hearts and to call others to unity through their simplicity and vulnerability. There are over a hundred of communities around the world. They are bound together by a charter which defines their common values and goals.
The Arche community want to be places of growth, where each person is encouraged to grow in love, self giving and wholeness, as well as independence, competence and the ability to make choices. One of the key principle is respect for everybody and a strong will to recognise and valorise the potential in every human being and to maximise each person's competences and gifts. Arche communities also try to work for a better integration of people with a handicap in society
The main activity in the communities is to live and work with disabled people.The volunteer has the same duties as the other assistants: taking care of the people with a handicap and helping them in their daily life (getting ready in the morning, going to work, etc...); taking part in the management of the house (preparation of the meals, maintenance of the house, doing the shopping etc. ); supervising the activities at the occupational workshops, organising and taking part in leisure activities in the evenings and on the week-ends. The volunteer is expected to come up with ideas for organising activities that will give the chance to the community to learn about his/her country and culture.
Volunteer requirements / Skills
Male and Female. Age 18-30. Sense of adaptation, psychological balance, autonomy, to be pedagogical, good social skills. Experiences in association(s) would be well appreciated.Most of the work is based upon the relationship with the handicapped people so volunteers must be mature, responsible, patient and aware of the difficulties this kind of work involves. The Arche is looking for open-minded people, taking initiatives and eager to acquire a human and spiritual experience.They will have to share the life of the community (celebrations, meetings') and therefore to show a respect and an interest to the people living there.
L'Arche L'Espérance is located in a very pittoresque town called Pierrefonds in the Oise region, to the North of Paris (about 70 km, 45 mn by train). This town is know for its beautiful castle, impressive mansions and landscape. It used to be a termal town and it still attracts a lot of tourists. Pierrefonds is a dynamic town where lots of cultural activities are offered. The community is very well integrated in the town.
Hosting Situation (Board and Lodging)
The volunteer gets a room of his/her own in one of the house/Foyer. Facilities are shared with the other people living in the house.