L’Arche Kenya is an ecumenical faith based organization founded in Nyahururu by Fr. Gabriele Pipinato, the then director of St. Martin, and some volunteers and staff of St. Martin who were responding to the need of adults with intellectual disabilities to be fully integrated into their com-munities and to live meaningful lives. Fr. Gabriele Pipinato in his quest to find the best model to actualize this dream discovered the existence of L’Arche communities through the books written by Jean Vanier, the founder of L’Arche communities. After reading the books of Jean Vanier, he together with the staff and volunteers of St. Martin were attracted to the model and spirituality of L’Arche communities.
On reflecting how some of these adults with disabilities could be have a home or community of love and care built around them; where their weaknesses as well as gifts could be welcomed and nurtured, Effatha home was established to be a family like setup, where they would live a near normal life together with those without disabilities. This new model of welcoming people with intellectual disabilities to live in a normal home was envisioned to be a sign of hope and an encouragement to families. On 11th November 2008, Effatha home was officially opened and few volunteers moved in. On 11th January 2009, the first 3 core members were welcomed and later in April another core member joined.
The community grew in the years and later Betania home was established. To date L’Arche Kenya has 25 core members, 7 of who live in Effatha and 5 in Betania while the rest are living with their families.