Ekululameni Graduation Ceremony

Last week I visited "Ekulameni" for the graduation ceremony under the motto "dis-ability is not in-ability". Our gathering lasted more than three hours and it was not much about speeches but about showing how much God has blessed our brothers and sisters with different gifts. 

The sang and presented a drama in which they showed how much their families struggle to accept them. They believe they are unable to be of help at home. Ekululameni has proved them wrong. 

In fact, one of the most moving moment was when one of them, without arms, sliced a potato with her feet. Not sure the video is good enough for everyone to see but I hope it will help you get an idea.

Many of them got their certificates at the end of their courses in sewing, carpentry, crafts... I was then asked to address them all (students and their families). Our gathering seemed to be a copy of the Gospel I had read in the morning (Mt 15: 29 - 31):
"Jesus went on from there and reached the shores of the Lake of Galilee, and he went up onto the mountain. He took his seat,  and large crowds came to him bringing the lame, the crippled, the blind, the dumb and many others; these they put down at his feet, and he cured them.  The crowds were astonished to see the dumb speaking, the cripples whole again, the lame walking and the blind with their sight, and they praised the God of Israel."

Blind, deaf, lame going to Jesus and being healed by him. We, at Ekululameni, were witnessing a God who was giving them back their dignity.

I wondered with them why is it that as Christians we seem to talk so much about love, loving each other as Jesus loved us and so on but then we seem to leave the disable out of the picture.

I then told them I believe that the familiar text of Matthew 25: “Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take as your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you made me welcome..." will also include "I was a disable and you welcomed / not welcomed me..."

As we always say, so much has been done for them in our diocese but so much needs to be done to help their families understand that dis-ability is not in-ability.


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Bishop of the Diocese of Manzini (Swaziland)

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