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Special Ed at Mt. Selinda and Chikore

Written by Lisa Grace
August 13, 2010

One of the things I remember my mother drilling into my head was that special education did not mean stupid. It meant that they were born with something—a physical disability or learning disorder—that made them unable to learn in the typical classroom setup. The challenge then becomes two-fold: how to setup a classroom where a variety of students can learn, and how to combat prevailing attitudes that say that learning differently means you are stupid.

In a country like Zimbabwe which is struggling so much in so many ways, economically, politically, etc., I would not have expected to see any kind of schooling or attention paid to children with special needs. I thought there simply wouldn't be the resources, whether it be finding teachers or finding the right kind of supplies.

I was thrilled to see I was wrong.

Both Chikore and Mt. Selinda had programs for special education. They found a way to perform miracles in finding the resources and devoting attention to kids with special needs. They test for hearing impairments, and teach sign language. They find ways to teach the blind. They make sure they do absolutely everything they possibly can to make sure that every child at these schools knows that they are loved both by God and by the people running the school. Just walking into the room, even when the kids weren't there, we could feel the presence of God and the love flowing through the air. It was inspiring to see such miracles happening in the midst of their everyday struggles.

Lisa served as a 2010 College of Mission Intern in the Indianapolis Office, working for the Mission Personnel Office. Lisa is a student at Eden Theological Seminary.

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