At the heart of Ma’an lil-Hayat are relationships between people with and without intellectual disabilities. A respectful relationship between people who treat each other as equals provides security and allows for growth, personal development, and freedom to become more fully the people we want to be. Most importantly, mutual relationships foster the acceptance of each person as a unique and valuable individual, whatever his or her abilities or disabilities.

Ma’an lil-Hayat is founded on a pedagogy of relationship that is based on the person’s gifts and not on his/her limitations; on trust and personal growth through specific projects; and on the experience of each person’s unique value.

People with intellectual disabilities (referred to as our core members) are given a central place at Ma’an Lil-Hayat; they are welcomed and acknowledged as having rights and responsibilities, that is, as people who are not simply to be taken care of, to be assisted, but as full human beings who have something significant to offer to others.

For these reasons, core members take part as far as possible in decision-making processes at Ma’an lil-Hayat. Based on the abilities of each person, various means are used in order to encourage people to express and share their opinions.