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The Charter of the International Federation of L’Arche Communities has been adopted by the General Assembly in Mai 1993. It unites communities in a common vision and defines the goals, fundamental principles and major characteristics of a L’Arche community.
The communities of l’Arche around the world form the International Federation of l’Arche Communities (the "Federation"). The purpose of the Federation is to unite in the common vision and spirit declared in the Charter of the Communities of l’Arche. To fulfill this purpose, the Federation is legally incorporated in Compiègne, France.
The communities of l’Arche adopt this constitution and structure in order to foster solidarity among communities, unify their diversity, establish the conditions for membership, and to create conditions for trust, service, dialogue, and mutual support. (Preamble of the Constitution)
L'Arche communities who have been welcomed as probationary or permanent members form the International Federation of L'Arche Communities. The “Federation” is a non-profit association headed by the International Coordinators and the International Board.
The Federation is divided into nine zones, Africa, Asia West-Pacific, Canada, France, Latin America & Caribbean, Northern Europe, South Asia, Southern Europe & Middle East and the USA. The Federation's 131 communities, established as separate legal entities in more than 30 countries, are financed by private donations and, depending on the country, by government subsidies.
The Federation’s purpose is to unite the communities in the common vision and spirit announced in the Charter of the Communities of L’Arche. The Federation seeks to foster solidarity among communities, ensure unity in diversity, establish the conditions for membership, and to create conditions for trust, service, dialogue, and mutual support. (Extract from the Constitution)
Financial background of the Federation
The income of the Federation consists of members' gifts, donations from any association or foundation, subsidies and income earned on the assets of the Association.
The General Assembly
Ultimate authority in the Federation rests with the General Assembly, which brings together representatives of L’Arche around the world and which meets at least every three years. The General Assembly sets the primary agenda for the Federation over the next three years, reflecting the experience and concerns of the long-term members of the communities. It reviews, amends, and adopts the Federation’s Charter, Constitution, policies, statements, and recommendations. The General Assembly approves the international mandate, elects the International Coordinators and the Board President and reviews the financial management of the Federation.
The International Board
The International Board governs the Federation between General Assembly meetings and takes the necessary steps to ensure the functioning and growth of the Federation. This includes adopting policies and procedures, fundraising, selecting the auditor, creating needed structures and positions, and approving the budget, annual accounts, and financial reports.
The International Coordinator
The International Coordinator leads and represents the Federation. He is elected by the General Assembly for a term of six years, renewable once. The International Coordinator is accountable to the Board. He is to fulfill a mandate given by the General Assembly. Together with the Board President and the Executive Committee, the International Coordinator ensures the overall good functioning and administration of the affairs of the Federation. The International Coordinator is assisted by a Vice-International Coordinator.