Catholic Franciscan Volunteer Service Experience for Post-Graduate Young Adults| Costa Rica & New York

Assistant at L’Arche

Where will I serve? In one of three L’Arche houses located across the city of Syracuse.

Who will I serve? Individuals with intellectual disabilities.

What will I do? You will be directly responsible to the House Coordinator of the home to which you are assigned and the House Coordinator will provide day-to-day supervision. Together with the House Coordinator, assistants and core members strive to establish an atmosphere where all live as peers, following the ideology of Jean Vanier and the L’Arche movement. L’Arche is a community based on the concept of life sharing; it is not a “place of work.”

What will my day look like?

  • Assist individual Core Members of L’Arche to develop specific skills. The goals will include implementing and carrying out elements of a structured program as developed in an individual’s program plan.
  • Accompany the Core Members to various appointments, such as medical, dental, vocational, etc.
  • Accompany Core Members in their leisure and non-structured activities; to become friends with the Core members, not just supervisors of the Core Members. You will also facilitate community integration in recreational aspects of life.
  • Attend meetings that relate to the development of programs for the Core Members, i.e., individual program planning meetings, annual/semi-annual reviews, quarterly reviews, team meetings, L’Arche community meetings, etc.
  • Be responsible for the completion of all required documentation: fiscal, programmatic, medical, log, etc.
  • Assist in the ongoing day-to-day operations of the household, e.g., purchase of supplies and groceries as needed; preparation of meals for either house or community occasions; provide routine maintenance and upkeep of the residence and residential vehicles; facilitate Core Members’ transportation needs, assist with personal care as required or needed, etc.
  • Nurture the philosophy of L’Arche in the residence; encourage a sense of hospitality and spirituality within the residence; encourage and facilitate exchange visits (through mailings) with other L’Arche communities.
  • Treat all Core Members with the dignity that their being deserves. Foster among friends and associates that same sense of dignity and respect for all people with disabilities. Be aware that the Assistant’s own conduct, appearance and attitudes may have direct negative repercussions for the Core Members and/or the entire Community.

What gifts and talents will I bring and grow in? Interest in ongoing education through in-service training and certification in things like CPR/ basic first aid, administration of medications, and other topics required by L’Arche. Ability to serve harmoniously in a Community with people with intellectual disabilities and with other Assistants. Ability to balance the needs of multiple communities.

Which partner organization provides this service site? L’Arche

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