ABOUT l’aRCHE zimbabwe
L’Arche Zimbabwe is a home for persons with intellectual disabilities created by Fr David Harold Barry SJ and registered as a Social Welfare Organisation W.O.10/86. The home is part of the L’Arche Federation which was founded by Jean Vanier in 1964. L’Arche gives value and a place of recognition across religious and cultural traditions for those with disabilities. In this way, L’Arche prepares the ground for each person touched by disability to shape their own unique role in society. The Home / Community is not simply an institution to care for people living with intellectual disabilities. It is far more: it is a home with a family-like way of living where each person, disabled or abled, would find a place which would open them up to mystery; their own and others.
The community comprises of two homes which house 22 core members (persons with intellectual disabilities). The primary house which is called Ngoma is located at 1/21A Forbes Road Waterfalls in Harare and it houses 12 people with intellectual disabilities. Brook House which is at number 6/24 Lynsted Lane in Waterfalls has 10 respectively. The core members live together with assistants, people without intellectual disabilities dedicated to share their lives with them. Currently, L’Arche has 11 distributed within the two houses.
The Home referred in L’Arche terms as a community is not just a place of residence; it provides support to persons with disabilities through Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy exercises. It recognises the need for nurturing physical, mental and social needs of persons with intellectual disabilities.
I am not a disability
I am not a disability but I am a person
I am a person who is trying to achieve my dream but as much as I try,
people keep reminding me of my challenges
I cry and I lose focus to my dream
As I cry I hear my inner voice
Whispering to me, saying,
You are a person not a disability
Keep reminding yourself that you are a person not a disability
Today believe in yourself and you can reach the new heights which are immeasurable
Believe in yourself and you can make the world consider you as a person not a disability
Believe in yourself and you can make the complicated things simple
This poem was written and performed by Tatenda at the official opening of the Therapy Centre. She is a core member at L’Arche Zimbabwe