St. Martin CSA and L'Arche International have come together to establish L'Arche Kenya. In Kenya, thousands of individuals with intellectual disabilities are being locked away and thought to be cursed. We want to change things, to make known the gifts of people with intellectual disabilities. After years of work, we have finally established L'Arche Kenya as one of the 137 communities in 40 countries round the world. We currently have two homes (Effatha and Betania) and several workshops.
In Effatha and Betania, people with intellectual disabilities live together with people who come to assist. The family-like environments are supported by the local community who volunteer, visit, and offer us prayers and donations. Our homes are known for their warm welcome, greeting visitors with song and dance, and for their outreach, visiting local communities weekly to offer testimonies on how disability is not a curse but a gift.
Though our homes are for people with intellectual disabilities, our workshops are open to workers with physical or intellectual disabilities, as well as people living with HIV/AIDS, former street children, and survivors of violence. For those with physical disabilities and other challenges, our workshop provide them with skills and incomes to built better lives for themselves and their families. For those with intellectual disabilities, our workshops are a form of occupational therapy, allowing them to make unique contributions to the wider community and convincing them that "disability is not inability". Knowing this, they can wake up each morning with a sense of purpose nd fall asleep each night with a sense of pride.
If you want to know what L'Arche is about, you can come and see! The "Come and See" Programme is for young people who wish to have a three-week experience as an assistant.