Jean Vanier Society Meet Wendy Bulloch, a proud member of the Jean Vanier Society. Wendy’s first gift to the L’Arche Canada Foundation was in memory of her first husband, James Macintosh, who was a friend of Robert Larouche, the founder of L’Arche Haiti. Both Wendy and James volunteered in Haiti for 6 months in 1979 and took the opportunity to visit with the staff and residents of L’Arche Haiti. Historically, Wendy grew up in rural Ontario. Her mother worked at the Rideau Regional Hospital School in Smith Falls. This was a government run institution that housed hundreds of people with intellectual and severe physical disabilities. She said her mother would often bring home young disabled residents who had no family. This shaped Wendy’s view of people with disabilities, not seeing them just as patients, but as real people. Wendy herself worked at this institute during the summers and enjoyed interacting with people with intellectual disabilities. She recalled that she taught a young girl the song “Skip to my Lou” and the girl was happy as it helped her feel she had accomplished something. Wendy also had a cousin, Doug who had intellectual disabilities, who could not comprehend math, but Doug could read and was a good artist. Wendy was ordained as a minister in the United Church when she was just 24 years old. Wendy was inspired by Jean’s Vanier’s belief of valuing people with intellectual disabilities for who they are and for their unique gifts. Having seen what government run large scale institutions were like, she came to appreciate and value the idea of people with and without disabilities living in community together in smaller home settings. This is why she came to support L’Arche. “Jean Vanier is such a good spokesperson for L’Arche.” Wendy said, having both heard him speak and having read his books. She attended retreats led by Jean’s brother Benedict (a Trappist monk), in Oka, Quebec. She found Benedict quite insightful, like his brother Jean who led a more public life. As a minister, Wendy also values the writings of Henri Nouwen, a minister who lived in L’Arche Daybreak for many years. As a young couple, Wendy and James (Jim) wanted to make a difference in the world, so they left Canada in 1979 to volunteer in Haiti for six months, running a TB and vaccination clinic in Portau-Prince and other parts of Haiti. There they met up with Jim’s friend, Robert Larouche, the founder of L’Arche Haiti. Wendy and Jim visited L’Arche Haiti a few times while living there and were pleased to see the same structure of L’Arche communities in Canada also present in this developing country. Jim and Robert
were good friends, so Jim and Wendy chose to support L’Arche Haiti after returning to Canada. Although Jim passed away in 2007, Wendy has never lost her interest in L’Arche. “Working with people who have intellectual disabilities taught me to be more accepting of all people.” She said. The L’Arche Canada Foundation is one of the three charities Wendy has named in her will. “L’Arche is a place where you can see the value for your dollar at work.” she said. Wendy has decided to specifically support L’Arche Haiti through her bequest. “It is a worthwhile positive cause to support. The need in Haiti is great, there is so much poverty, we have to support them.” Wendy was in Haiti during the time of ‘Baby Doc’, Jean-Claude Duvalier, and saw the political corruption and what it did to the people. But Wendy has not lost hope, “We will see the change in society” she said, and seeing the student movement that is happening today, she feels better about what young people want to do to make a difference. Wendy wants to support the young assistants who give so much to L’Arche communities around the world. You too can help L’Arche through a gift in your will, and leave a legacy of care for those who cannot take care of themselves. Please call Marianne at 905-770-7696 ext. 105, to learn about or be sent information on estate gifts and other forms of planned giving, or go to our website at: www.larchefoundation.ca/en/jean_vanier_society to learn more about this wonderful way to make a difference in the lives of so many people. We are grateful to Wendy and all the other members of the Jean Vanier Society who have committed to supporting the L’Arche Canada Foundation with a gift in their will. Please consider this option as a way of supporting the work and mission of L’Arche, leaving a legacy that you can be proud of.
Thank you to our Jean Vanier Society members: Wendy Bulloch
John & Donna Rietschlin
Barry M. Cromarty
Gerrard & Kathie Rocchi
Michel de Salaberry
Don & Julia Flumerfelt
Stuart & Mary Swan
Dr. Laurie Lemieux
Rev. Paul Lennon
Dean and Ann Levitt
The Jean Vanier Society acknowledges all those people who have included L’Arche Canada Foundation in their estate planning. ~ and others who wish to remain anonymous ~ If we have missed acknowledging your kindness, please let us know.
The year 2018 has started out with such wonderful energy all over the L’Arche world, it is hard to believe that we are about half way through the year already. L’Arche communities are growing, impacting Canadian society more profoundly than ever before and providing a better quality of life for people with intellectual disabilities. This past year, new community gathering spaces have been completed in a number of communities allowing them to offer more programs, social enterprises and opportunities to welcome more people. And, many more communities are dreaming and planning for their own growth. All this is happening supported by generous donors like you. Gary E. Sim CFRE, President & CEO
Read on and you will discover a number of the programs and projects that your donation has enabled. We will continue to work very hard to earn your valued philanthropic support. Thank you again for caring and if ever I can be of service, please do not hesitate to contact me at the Foundation offices.
L’Arche Toronto L’Arche Toronto recognized the need for opportunities for young people with intellectual disabilities to explore options for living a more independent life in their city. The Trying It On For Size (TIFS) project is responding to this need. TIFS provides individuals with intellectual disabilities (primarily aged 25-40) support to gain experience living more independently through short-term stays in an apartment where they will develop confidence in their independent living and decision-making skills. Through its innovative coaching and experiential model, provided with the support of L’Arche Assistants, TIFS offers each participant support to review existing skills, assess strengths and needs, and develop and implement a personalized plan to achieve identified goals. Gaining independent living skills doesn’t necessarily mean that people will choose to live on their own, but it does allow them to achieve increased autonomy within their family home or other living arrangements. In time, strengths-based skill development and lived experience will help those who are Trying It On For Size transition successfully to the home life they desire. The circles of relationships that L’Arche Toronto builds through this initiative will spread the Mission of L’Arche to more people in this city. L’Arche Toronto’s TIFS program is an innovative, well-rounded approach to exploring how to live independently, through a personcentred curriculum and experiential learning. Participants increase their confidence and their capacity to discover their own places of belonging. The L’Arche Canada Foundation provided support for this innovative program as a result of our generous donors. This program is being run for the first time in 2018 and we anticipate 10 individuals will benefit from the program. If you would like to support the TIFS program please call the Foundation office.
L’Arche Canada Foundation 300-10271 Yonge Street, Richmond Hill, ON L4C 3B5 1.800.571.0212 • T. 905.770.7696 • F. 905.884.4819 www.larchefoundation.ca • Charitable Reg. No. 88990 9719 RR0001
L’Arche Comox Valley
The country of Haiti is vulnerable to many natural disasters, including hurricanes, severe earthquakes, floods and mudslides. When disasters do strike, there is a lack of basic infrastructure to support the population through these times. To compound these regular setbacks, the country has been plagued by decades of political instability, corruption and violence. According to a 2015 World Bank report, Haiti remains the poorest country on the American continent, with more than 59% of Haitians living below the poverty line, and more than 24% living below the extreme poverty line (meaning that they live on less than $1.23/day).
The new I Belong Centre in Comox Valley features a number of new options for welcoming people into L’Arche.
Although there was a significant increase in awareness of physical disability after the 2010 earthquake, the culture remains full of taboos and negative prejudices towards persons with intellectual disabilities. They are often locked up and hidden from society, or are abandoned and left to fend for themselves. As an extreme example, in 2016 three sisters that were deaf and unable to speak, were killed because people mistakenly thought they were witches. Outside of the family, there is very little social support, and very few institutions that house and care for persons with disabilities, or even offer any kind of daytime programing. These factors create an extremely vulnerable situation for persons with intellectual disabilities, often leading to unthinkable suffering. There are two L’Arche communities in Haiti, L’Arche Carrefour and L’Arche Chantal. Between them, they provide community to 32 core members as well as providing a school which is attended by 38 children with intellectual disabilities primarily from outside the community as well as running a daily workshop for 11 individuals. Members in the workshop produce both honey and peanut butter for local sale helping raise some funding.
The residential options included in the new centre are referred to as the Vanier Suites. They include 6 supportive Independent Living apartments offering living space for 6 core members and the Good Friend and Neighbour who lives on site Meet the Moffat-Dukart family – Tom, Donna and their son Kevin, who is twenty-seven and a resident of the Vanier Suites at the I Belong Centre. Kevin moved into his suite in early June, officially ‘leaving home’ for the first time!
L’Arche in Haiti is not just a place for persons with intellectual disabilities to live, it is a community of people, a place of true belonging, and an opportunity to engage in meaningful, productive, and dignified daily life activities. L’Arche in Haiti has become a real source of light and hope in a very challenging context. Through its homes, workshops and schools, L’Arche Haiti is working to make known the gifts of persons with intellectual disabilities, and bring about a change in the perspective of our fellow Haitians. The current need is first and foremost for support for operating costs. The annual operating budget is funded almost exclusively by generous gifts from private donors. L’Arche Canada stands in solidarity with our communities in Haiti. We will raise the $135,000 required to cover their annual operating costs not covered by local initiatives. Won’t you help us towards this goal and give generously. Please contact our offices to let us know you will help.
L’Arche Cape Breton L’Arche Cape Breton is excited to be planning the grand opening of The Gathering Place — their new, fully accessible building. The Gathering Space will serve a variety of purposes for L’Arche Cape Breton including for core members, community meetings, professional development and training sessions for L’Arche and nearby organizations, as well as fun events such as movie and pub nights. It will also include the L’Arche offices. The Gathering Place will provide market space to display and sell products from the community’s craft studio and other day programs on a rotational basis. “Pop-up markets” will feature produce from the community’s garden program. As part of its market garden program, there are plans to build on a growing relationship with the Cape Breton Food Hub hopefully serving as one of their local distribution centres. The 3800 square foot Gathering Place will be a modern, barrier-free setting where the community, friends and associates in the wider community, can meet, play, perform, entertain, and educate. It will be the centerpiece of a community that has contributed greatly to life in Cape Breton Island and Nova Scotia. If you would like to make a donation to help finish the campaign please call the Foundation offices.
“L’Arche and the Vanier Suites have been a dream come true for Kevin and for us” says Donna. “He has the opportunity to live independently with support within a caring and inclusive community, close to amenities, friends and us.” “We are so proud of how Kevin is developing independence, maturity and responsibility,” Tom adds. “It’s his own home – he’s not living in someone else’s home. He can have people over without anyone feeling like they’re intruding.” And for Kevin, the Vanier Suites mean friends to watch movies with on Friday night in the Common Room, or sharing a meal on a week night. Donna sums it up: “This is not just a place to live, it’s a community.” If you would like to support growth projects like the I Belong Centre, please call the Foundation offices to make your pledge.
L’Arche Beloeil Work is important. Contributing to our communities is important. L’Arche Beloeil is bringing the two together by developing innovative employment support programs that align with the learning goals and interests of members with intellectual disabilities. Atelier de travail de L’Arche Beloeil project enables each person to develop and contribute their skills and abilities in a valued way.
The Lawn Maintenance team now provides its services 1.5 days per week attending to work projects within the L’Arche community (painting, seasonal maintenance, etc.). Additionally, the team has secured external contracts and developed a pricing grid which is a step towards realizing opportunities for paid employment for persons with intellectual disabilities, a critical outcome for the Atelier de travail.
The Atelier de travail launched three new social purpose businesses, each with a dedicated manager working alongside industry “volunteer experts” to build on existing day support options and develop and implement their plans for success. The Jardin Biologique (Organic Garden), Collective Kitchen, Lawn Maintenance and House Painting Team are proving to be fertile environments for both skills and relationships to flourish.
Call the Foundation offices now and make your pledge of support to employment opportunities like Atelier de travail.
Working together, a 4000 square foot organic garden was prepared and planted. Raised planters were built to accommodate an additional 2000 square feet of gardening space, offering maximum accessibility for people with reduced mobility. The harvest gleaned from the garden not only provided food for the L’Arche community, but also product that was sold to neighbours. Selling produce from their garden in the local neighbourhood raised the profile of L’Arche Beloeil in the broader community. The expansion of the organic garden in spring 2018 will enable more people to be part of this enterprise. The Collective Kitchen now operates three days a week and has expanded to include bakery items and catering meals for gatherings within the L’Arche community that will be developed into a product line that will be sold in the broader community.