Announcing a major investment in L’Arche Canada

Posted 2019-05-24

The Social Development Partnerships Program – Disability Issues – Grant

Honorable Carla Qualtrough announces investments in organizations that promote inclusion at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg

On April 5, 2019, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, announced that L’Arche Canada is one of the 28 national organizations to be approved for an SDPP-D grant “to improve the participation and integration of people with disabilities in all aspects of Canadian society with respect to social inclusion.”

We are grateful that Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) is making a strategic investment of $500,000 in L’Arche Canada. This funding will help us increase our organizational capacity and impact. It represents a new partnership between the federal government and L’Arche Canada.

ESDC recognizes that “Canadians with disabilities can face unique personal, social and economic barriers to participation.” For persons with intellectual disabilities, the service system itself is often a barrier to inclusion. Community-based, person-centred supports that promote belonging and inclusion are central to systems change. L’Arche Canada is now a national partner in achieving that systems change.

The SDPP-D grant that began on April 1, 2019 will not fund the whole of our mandate for change – and it’s not permanent funding – but it will support the development of a compelling strategic plan and organizational renewal that will help us find new ways to achieve greater impact in creating a world where everyone is valued and belongs.

How did we get here?

Over the past three years, the leaders of L’Arche in Canada have been reaching out to a wide range of partners to share knowledge and explore potential collaborations. The development of our Theory of Change through the Innoweave Impact and Strategic Clarity Process helped us imagine the increased impact we will have by strengthening L’Arche capacity and building strategic partnerships for belonging and inclusion.

A primary approach of our Growth Strategy was to build a community of learning across the country. We discovered that some communities were applying for federal government grants while others did not know they existed. We identified that increasing our profile and seeking opportunities for L’Arche Canada to partner with the federal government would enable us to access resources to increase our impact.

When a call for proposals for national organizations was announced in December 2017, L’Arche Canada successfully applied for this status. This allowed us to apply for the SDPP-D Grant in May 2018. Our Theory of Change, the emerging Mandate (calling us to deepen in our vision, reach out, and renew our organizational structures), and support from potential partners were key components of our grant application.

Our Intended Outcomes

  • More persons with intellectual disabilities are living meaningful lives and taking valued social roles within L’Arche and in the broader community; they are supported by a spectrum of innovative, person-centred, and community-based options;
  • The L’Arche network (members with/without disabilities, families, friends, volunteers, donors, partners, neighbours) is unified, mobilized, and expanding;
  • Internal systems and practices of learning organizations are sharing knowledge, replicating success, producing efficiencies, and keeping focus on impact;
  • L’Arche is sharing experience and expertise, working with multi-sector partners to build community capacity for belonging, diversity, and inclusion.

L’Arche has a vision, experience, and practices that help Canadians with intellectual disabilities take their place and make a difference, yet we also have much to learn as we engage Canadian society working for change. Partners in the private, public, and community sectors are essential not only to complement this ESDC investment, but also to have the social impact we desire.


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