WelCom February 2021
An ‘intentional community’ is a planned residential community, designed to have a high degree of social cohesion and teamwork. The members of an intentional community typically hold a common social, political, religious, or spiritual vision.
Natalie Rosedale, Assistants Coordinator/Community Life Coordinator
L’Arche Kapiti is a small intentional community located in Paraparaumu on the Kāpiti Coast. The community is a dynamic example of how people of different abilities, cultures and religions can learn to share life together. It is an intentional and inclusive community grounded in spirituality that celebrates, respects and welcomes the diversity of everyone’s gifts. We strive to reveal the dignity of every human being by building a community of faith and belonging, where people with and without intellectual disabilities live together in family-style homes.
L’Arche Kapiti is part of a network of over 150 L’Arche communities around the world.
L’Arche is a way of life and a model of care. People with intellectual disabilities – Core Members – are at the heart of our L’Arche community. They are not seen as clients, patients, or recipients of services, but rather as friends, teachers, and companions.
In Paraparaumu, our Aroha Day Activities programme hosts friends from within and beyond our community to morning tea every Friday. Noeline, one of the Core Members, is the ‘hospitality queen’ and makes sure anyone who walks in has a cup of tea and a treat before sitting down. It is an open invitation and a great way for people to get to know what L’Arche is about.
Wednesdays are our days on the land. Core Members and volunteers from the St Vincent de Paul Foodbank work on gardens around our homes. This is an opportunity for everyone to get their fingers into the earth and enjoy some hard mahi together and produce wonderful fresh vegetables. Others provide encouragement, cold drinks and snacks to keep the gardeners going, which is always appreciated!
Caring for our shared land develops the concept of kaitiakitanga. Our hope is to get people out into creation to breathe deeply and be refreshed by being outdoors and learn how to produce food and beauty.
We always need support from people in Aotearoa New Zealand, but especially now with the borders closed as we are unable to welcome Assistants from overseas.
Natalie Rosedale is Assistants Coordinator/Community Life Coordinator, L’Arche Kapiti.