• L’Arche International and filmmaker Michael McDonald have produced a film series called “As I Am”, which aims to show the extraordinary stories of people with intellectual disabilities and how their gifts are revealed when living in community.
• The “As I Am” series will be shown in MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre from the 26th to 28th of May. Members of the L’Arche community in Kilkenny will also be there welcoming people and talking about their experiences.
• The event is part of the celebrations that L’Arche is holding around Ireland and Northern Ireland previous to their International Federation Assembly in June.

Kilkenny, Ireland – 8th of May, 2017: L’Arche Kilkenny is inviting people to do something that sounds easy, but it is rather challenging: They want everybody in the county to ‘Imagine the World Differently’.

The community is calling out for people to join them in their ‘Imagine the World Differently’ event, a film screening they will hold in MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre during the weekend of the 26th of May. For three days, the community will be screening their ‘As I Am’ Web Series, a set of 8 short videos that L’Arche International has produced in partnership with filmmaker Michael McDonald to show the extraordinary stories of people with intellectual disabilities and how their gifts are revealed when living in community.
Larry - Episode 5 - LArche Belfast

“People with intellectual disabilities live in the shadows of a persistent view, present in all cultures, that they are the undesirables. This is one of our world’s significant injustices. It is one we can change. L’Arche International’s Web Series, ‘As I Am’, is an invitation to imagine the world differently and to rejoice in who you are as you are”, L’Arche explains in their website.

‘Imagine the World Differently’, is part of the celebrations L’Arche will be hosting around Ireland and Northern Ireland previous to their Federation Assembly in June. There will be similar film screenings in Cork, Dublin and Belfast, and the 4 communities in the region will welcome international visitors before they travel together to Northern Ireland, where the Federation Assembly will take place.Rafaella - LArche Italy

“All of these events have one common goal: To celebrate everyone’s unique contributions to others and to society. Each one of us, regardless of our abilities, beliefs or backgrounds, has exceptional gifts that are revealed when living in community. L’Arche is all about rejoicing in those gifts, especially the ones of people with intellectual disabilities, who so often are kept on the margins due to their apparent weakness”, Chris Hayes, L’Arche Kilkenny Community leader explains.

L’Arche, a French word for the Ark, is an international network of communities where people with and without intellectual disabilities share life together. It was founded in 1964 in a small French village by Jean Vanier, Canadian philosopher, theologian and humanitarian. Today, L’Arche is a worldwide movement with 139 communities in 37 countries.

L’Arche Kilkenny was the first L’Arche community in Ireland. Jean Vanier and his sister Thrésé were personally involved in its foundation, together with the people of Kilmaganny. During the past 39 years the community has grown so that today L’Arche Kilkenny includes four residential houses, a Café, four Independent Living Core Member houses, a garden workshop and a craft workshop. L’Arche houses are home to 13 people with intellectual disabilities and many international volunteer assistants.

“Across the world L’Arche fosters residential communities, work projects and friendships that create places of belonging for some of the world’s most vulnerable citizens. These spaces enable each person to live as a full citizen and to contribute their unique gifts to society. We want more people to know about this wonderful work we do in Ireland and around the globe. Come join us in MacDonagh Junction and learn more about us”, Chris comments.

‘Imagine the World Differently’ will be held in the food court of MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre from Friday 26th of May – 3:00 pm to Sunday 28th of May – 2:00 pm. The event is free entry. For more information please contact L’Arche through their website www.larcheireland.org or their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/larcheireland/