The daily program includes the following components:
a. Arrival and morning gathering to share news, distribute responsibilities, announce any special events or changes that will happen during the day (assistants arrive at 7:30am, people with disabilities arrive at 9am)
b. Focused activity period that usually consists of felt-making activities, sometimes other activities that include life skills and community-building exercises.
c. A break that includes sandwiches and tea and a time to relax (this can sometimes be a time to dance, sing, and/or engage in sports activities)
d. Focused activity period that usually consists of felt-making activities
e. Lunch break – a hot lunch is provided for the people with disabilities and assistants who benefit from the afternoon program (from 1:30 to 5:15pm)
f. Focused activity period
g. Break – a brief rest period that includes a very light snack
h. Focused activity period
i. End-of-day brief gathering and farewell
A number of times every year we plan one-day trips/picnics together with and without family members of the people with disabilities. Once every year we take a five-day holiday together in Tabgha on the Sea of Galilee.
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.
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.