l’Arche is a multinational organization with a network of homes and programs for serving people with intellectual disabilities. It was founded in 1964 when Jean Vanier, a catholic Priest, hosted two men with disabilities in his own home. Now, l’Arche has grown to have 147 communities in 35 countries around the world. The Bethlehem community is the first of its kind in Bethlehem and l’Arche hopes to expand throughout the West Bank to serve where there is great need. The Bethlehem community, known locally as Ma’an lil-Hayat (Together for Life), has become renowned for its effective work and genuine compassion for these often neglected members of society.
Ma’an lil-Hayat is the first and only wool-felting project in Palestine. Its products are made from the wool of sheep raised right here in Bethlehem.