Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle...

I saw a documentary recently called Emmanuel's Gift. This guy Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah is from Ghana. He was born with a deformed leg. In his society, a disability is often looked upon as a punishment for something one of the parents did wrong. Many people just drop babies off somewhere to die. Sounds so cruel, I just can't fathom it, but in any case, Emmanuel's mom resisted other people's advice to do away with him, even though his father couldn't cope and left his family. She took him to every doctor possible to see if anything could be done for him. She was not able to find anyone who could help him, so she just did her best to work and put him in school and helped him to learn to do everything. He always found a way around any obstacle, and she insisted that he never beg, which is what most all disabled people were expected to do. She raised him to believe in and have pride in himself and to stand up for himself. At a very young age she became quite sick and finally died when she was only 37. On her deathbed she encouraged Emmanuel one last time to live a good life. He went on to be a pioneer for change in Ghana. He petitioned a foundation for funds to purchase a bicycle to ride across the whole country of Ghana to show people that disabled people were capable of many things. He created quite a phenomenon and many disabled people have been helped through his work, and perceptions are changing. The way he talks about his mother in this documentary and the things she instilled in him are impressive, as is he. Comfort Yeboah may have lived in poverty for 37 short years, and died unknown but she made a huge impact on the world by the way she raised her son. What a tribute to the great job of mom!

1 comment:

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