Bonjour! Ciao! Sveiki! Howdy! Guten Tag!

Through 250+ screens, across 38 countries and countless languages, contexts and cultures, the L’Arche Light Festival 2021 threw open the doors of communities as far apart as Punla in the Philippines and Bouaké in the Ivory Coast. Each added their own unique color, voice and character to the on-line, world-wide collage.

Community members with and without an intellectual disability teamed up for key presentations. Sandrine, from L’Arche Montpellier, France, who presented the plenary, said later, “honestly, it was super-cool. I hadn’t expected to see the world in front of us like that. That was a really powerful moment for both of us. It was a beautiful celebration.” Co-host Blandine agrees: “we really enjoyed the whole thing; at one point during the celebration, we totally got the giggles, but I don’t think anyone saw…. with Sandrine, I was really thrilled to see all the faces, spotting people we knew: it was like, ‘hey, look- there’s Grasse, and over there, that’s Tegucigalpa, oh Portia, Toinette and Tony…’”

“The Festival is a laboratory for inclusion. We are still a long way from getting that right but we are trying.”  says International Leader Stephan Posner.

It’s also a great way to welcoming the incredible diversity found across the Federation; expressing the life of L’Arche in Bangladesh as much as in Canada, Uganda or Ukraine. It reminded us that we are better together than apart; better when we remember we all share the same planet; better when we use the abilities and gifts of each person, whatever their background, nationality, intellectual or physical ability.

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