Celebrate Life!

at Ma'an Lil-Hayat/L'Arche Bethlehem
What Makes Us Unique?
Ma'an lil-Hayat - Dar Salah
In response to our growing awareness of the needs of people with disabilities in the area and the ever-increasing number of names of people waiting to be welcomed into our community, we opened a second day program in September 2016 in a village on the outskirts of Bethlehem. Ma’an lil-Hayat – Dar Salah was founded by four long-term core members (people with intellectual disabilities) and two assistants from Ma’an Bethlehem. Today, there are ten core members and three assistants, along with numerous volunteers and student interns who form this satellite community. The beginnings of this project are quite remarkable. When the village council of Dar Salah learned that we were hoping to open a center in the village, the head of the council offered us a recently renovated house to use rent-free for the next few years. We are grateful to the village council as well as to the founders of Ma’an Dar Salah for their generosity!

Ma’an lil-Hayat (Together for Life) is the first and only community project in Palestine that brings together people with and without intellectual disabilities to engage in creative textile-arts activities and share daily life together. Founded in August 2009, in Bethlehem, Ma’an lil-Hayat is a member of the International Federation of L’Arche Communities, created in 1964 in France by Jean Vanier (see www.larche.org). Members of Ma’an lil-Hayat use the wool of Bethlehem sheep to make felted-wool ornaments, nativity scenes, and other unique gift items. The raw wool is purchased from women shepherds in a village on the outskirts of Bethlehem.

Ma’an lil-Hayat seeks to affirm and empower people with intellectual disabilities in their claim to adulthood. Meaningful, challenging activities encourage a sense of personal responsibility and genuine participation in the building of civil society.

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