Friday, March 8, 2013

The prayers of the righteous are powerful indeed . . .

Pictured below are Edward and Helena. They are some of the most advanced students at Huruma Special Unit right now. Edward suffers from cerebral palsy and Helena has deformed shins that bend midway, looking almost like she has two sets of knees. Both are extremely sharp. In fact, I strongly believe that if they had the accommodations and supports that many children have in countries with developed education programs (such as the U.S.) they would be learning alongside their peers in regular ed. classrooms.

I've been thinking about how these two could be included in the regular government schools with their peers. However, current conditions make inclusion nearly impossible, if not detrimental. For example, the bathrooms at the local primary schools are absolutely disgusting. Imagine trying to crawl across a feces ridden floor to attempt to urinate in a hole when you cannot stand above and have nothing to hold onto to hold you up. Furthermore, the teachers at these schools have refused to help a person with physical disabilities go to do such things as go to the bathroom (Bertha Haas, Huruma's founder, has already tried).

So, with the public school not being a viable option, I have been wondering about some of the local Catholic schools. After all, isn't it the work of Christ to care for the marginalized and the disenfranchised? Aren't we showing love for our Lord when we care for "one of the least of these"? Education of students with disabilities should be one of the priorities of Catholic Education, here in Mwanza and everywhere.

There are a couple of possibilities for sites here in Mwanza, but I am not totally sure they are ready yet. My request is that you bring these issues before the Lord, that miraculous movements may happen in order that students like Helena and Edward can learn in appropriate settings, alongside their peers, without hardships.

As always, thanks for all of your support and prayers.. We hope you and yours are having a very blessed year.

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