Chances are that you’ve never heard of L’Arche Genesaret. But you should have.
One of the oldest charities in the ACT, L’Arche has been operating in Woden for almost 40 years, where the group has four homes offering accommodation and support for the disabled.
L’Arche – which translates to ‘The Ark’ from the French – was founded in France as an intentional community. It has since extended to 37 countries.
In a big step, the group will be launching its “Hub” in Phillip next month, which aims to be a space that promotes community and learning.
“It’s a place where people with and without a disability can meet and do things together,” said Maggie White, Community Leader for L’Arche.
“We’ve got performing arts happening, for which we’ve partnered with Rebus Theatre.
“We’ve got creative arts, which is really the normal foundation year that anyone would do if they went to CIT, but taught in such a way that if you’ve got a disability you’d learn a lot.
“We’re developing training courses that will allow people to set up micro-businesses and social enterprises.”
While the centre itself opens 1 May, the website has been launched ahead of time to raise awareness of the Hub.
The group has about 60 active members and several staff.
While targeting those with disabilities, L’Arche is not exclusively for the disabled.
“Anyone who is interested in being part of the community is free to join. Anyone, for example, will be able to start a micro business in the Hub so long as it involves or benefits someone with a disability,” Ms White says.
“We want it to be a community space for people with disabilities to meet, learn, work, and have fun together.”
The parent group, L’Arche International, is headquartered in Paris. L’Arche Genesaret receives its funding from the National Disability Insurance Scheme, as well as private donors.
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/thehubinphillip
The website is available at www.larchecanberra.org.au