The programme is designed mostly for young people (from 16-years-old onwards) in order to give them a taste of L'Arche. It lasts for three weeks and is said to be quite intense. During the first two weeks, come-and-see volunteers discover life in the house, during last week they are invited for full-time experience in the workshops. Many young people come without ever having related to people with intellectual disabilities. Oftentimes, they are intimidated by the core members, not knowing how to talk to them or even how to look at them. But over time, their confusion turns into courage and their concerns turn into compassion. They enter the rhythm of our daily life, they begin to build relationships, and they discover their unique gifts and limitations. During this time, come-and-see volunteers have weekly meetings with their House Leader. He or she is there to answer their questions and to help them understand their experience and responsibilities.
For many, this is a crucial time in their lives when they are able to review their values and make decisions about their future. Volunteers often come in order to help "the weak", but soon, they discover they are the ones being helped by the "weak". It is important that young people leave the house for at least two weeks before deciding to make a longer commitment. If after this time they still desire to commit for six months, the taste of experience in the house and in the workshop will help them to decide if they want to apply for a voluntary position of a house or of a workshop assistant.
Unfortunately, not all young people will be able to join the community for longer periods, but all are welcome to a three-week "Come and See" experience. If you wish to share life with us in this unique University of Love, then please contact the community leader. He will get in touch with you shortly.