What do you do, when you need a really good story book for children, about a person with a disability, but there isn’t one available? Well, why not follow the example of L’Arche Zagreb (Korablja Arka), and produce your own!
The community in Croatia might not be the biggest in the world, but that doesn’t stop them having a big impact. Both locally and further afield. The illustrated story book is a really handy resource for connecting with children at local primary schools, and also for their regular visits to families with a disabled child. It is all about bringing hope and know-how.
Now translated into German as well, ‘Prica o Vedranu’ (The story of Vedran) was one outcome of a generous 45,000€ grant from Aktion Mensch (a German social charity) arranged by Thomas Bastar, fund-raiser of L’Arche Germany (Arche Deutschland).
In Zagreb, people with an intellectual disability often live with their families but can be quite isolated, so the overall aim has been to establish a support structure through family visits, therapeutic services, and day and weekend programmes. Comments Miron Peric, the Zagreb community leader: “The project with L’Arche Germany was a big support for the community in Zagreb because at that time, our ideas were really taking off, but we only had low funds, so making them happen was a problem. So, we needed a few big projects to really support us in that growth. And in fact, we are still benefiting today from the Aktion Mensch project. A transformative investment in the power of partnership!”
And the closer relationship with Germany has produced other fruit as well: community visits have taken place in both directions, with L’Arche Ravensburg and Landsburg, as well as an invitation to the National Gathering of L’Arche Germany/ Austria. And that could just be the beginning, says Miron: “I am excited about our future and looking forward to find some new ways of partnerships with Thomas and L’Arche Germany.” Watch this space!