Strategic plan 2018-2021
L’Arche is part of the global movement for inclusion and diversity. With more than 50 years of experience, L’Arche is a unique model of life-sharing where people with and without intellectual disabilities live, work and learn together, creating communities of friendship and belonging. L’Arche is built on a radical vision of belonging, diversity, and inclusion. All who are part of the L’Arche network, whether in communities or national and international structures, are called to live the mission with a renewed passion and commitment, to bring it forward into our neighborhoods, our societies and the world. The world we belong to is changing. Decades of emphasis on independence, competition and consumerism have left many people feeling isolated, devalued and without hope. We are aware of the rise of sectarianism, populism and racism that threaten people who are different. We are slowly beginning to recognize the impacts of global warming and our need to find new ways to share our resources. At the same time, human rights and inclusion movements led to the creation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and, now, the Accessible Canada Act. Implementation of these groundbreaking legal structures is bringing together governments and disability organizations in a new partnership for social change. L’Arche has been invited into this new partnership because of our experience in promoting the gifts and rights of people with intellectual disabilities and our experience of shared living. At Jean Vanier’s funeral, Stephan Posner, the International Leader, named this call: “We have the responsibility and privilege to receive the legacy of the founding generation passed on to us by Jean; the responsibility and privilege to receive the message from the messenger and to transmit this message and this legacy in the future. We are the successors, but it is up to us to open new paths. We are the heirs, yes, but it is also up to us to be founders in our own way, founders who are both faithful and free.” At this crossroads in time, L’Arche Canada is reclaiming its vision and values while finding new ways to increase its impact, strengthen internal support systems, foster innovative ways to live L’Arche, and build more partnerships for belonging, diversity and inclusion. With the International Federation, L’Arche Canada (members, communities and the national organization) has a mandate for change: L’Arche Canada recognizes the need to renew itself in order to meet internal and external challenges. The mandate is a call to mobilize the entire L’Arche movement to have a greater impact in achieving our mission today for our friends, neighbors, societies and our world. The Mandate calls all of L’Arche members in Canada to work towards strengthening cohesion, reconciliation, confidence building, respect, subsidiarity and clarification of relations between the different parts.
Context: Mandate for Change 2018-2021 A mandate for change is accompanied by a number of risks, in particular, risks related to resources, risks of division or dispersion and risks of disparities that, while we move forward with our bold strategy, we must remain equally aware of. The implementation of a strategic plan is directly dependent on the human and financial resources allocated to it, so the challenges of recruiting, funding and fundraising will be decisive for its implementation. The strategic plan aims to ensure the cohesiveness of the body and to strengthen it by coordinating an efficient use of resources, while allowing each community to develop its own specificities according to its environment, with a constant concern for quality. Funding of our communities is largely dependent on government legislation and policies. Traditional funding models are changing, and they generate stress on our operating mode. Broadening revenue sources from government service dollars and charitable donations is now vital. The better we can harmonize our practices and ensure its quality, the better we will be able to lobby our respective governments and access diversified sources of funding. The mandate is not to head in three separate directions one after another, but to go deeper as we go out and we go within: unity and diversity. We have developed this strategic plan by seeking to combine the pragmatism of our experience with the idealism of L’Arche’s vision for our society.