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Ma’an Lil-Hayat (Together for Life)

In a world that often looks with disdain on people with intellectual disabilities, Ma’an lil-Hayat celebrates their creativity, transparency, and great capacity for joy as important gifts to be shared. Ma’an lil-Hayat is the first and only wool-felting project in Palestine; founded in August 2009. It is a project of the International Federation of L’Arche Communities, founded by Jean Vanier.

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 Some of us may be different on an intellectual level, but we are all the same at heart. Happiness is something than comes only from within, from the feeling of belongingness, from the feeling that “I Matter”. At Ma’an lil-Hayat, you are able to see the hope in each individual’s eyes and the contentment they share with one another at every accomplishment. When we visit them, they are always existed to show what they are working on and how they are able to make such beautiful products. They are happy at their ability to be productive, and this is further encouraged by supervisors and other volunteers working with them. 

The way the center is decorated expresses unity, it shows commitment to one another, and the way their pictures flow on the wall in harmony is inspiring. It is a home for them, a place they feel recognized and their talents make a difference. This is all they need, a home and a heart to feel with them.

Members of Ma’an lil-Hayat activities include items such as felted-wool ornaments, nativity sets, and other creative shapes. Please click here to view their products. The effort and production implemented at Ma’an lil-Hayat is a healthy way in attempting to shape the society’s vision towards people with special needs.

As the center welcomes and opens its arms to any individuals with a special need and eagerness to take part in this life; it promotes humanity!

Participating in felt-wool making gives members the sense of responsibility and encourages genuine participation between one another; which leaves members feeling empowered. The way the center runs is around positive sharing and spreading enthusiasm through positive feedback between members. 

They have three main aims: therapeutic objectives, social objectives, and economic objectives. The type of relationship they have aims at empowering their self-esteem and their ability to take part and grow in a learning environment. The way they cooperate with one another, gathered around a table working hand-in-hand gives them the satisfaction of being a part of a team; belongingness. And the economic objectives are obvious so as those with special needs earn an income for their input, efforts and participation. 

The common term used between them is “ours” those are our gifts, our joys, our suffering, and our dreams. 

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