When the Redemptorist Vocational School for People with Disabilities opened in 1984, those admitted into the school were all living with a physical disability. Students were expected to be able to get themselves ready each morning, mobilize around the school and all were able to live independently.
Today at the school there are students with cerebral palsy and others with severe cases of polio. There are teenagers with limbs missing, or if they have limbs they are often deformed leaving them with difficulty in using them. Others are born with such deformed bodies that they are in need of constant assistance to help them do the things we take for granted, such as showering and getting dressed.
But no matter the disability, or ability, that a young person is living with, most still want to be educated. They want to find a job, earn their own money and live as independently as possible.
The vocational school recently held its annual graduation ceremony and sixty nine students gathered to receive their leaving certificates.
It was a mix of students, male and female, physically and mentally disabled, but all with one thing in common, their achievements.
Before coming to the school many were told they would never achieve much in life. They were told they couldn’t do anything even before they had tried to go to school, play a sport and even have a social life.
But now they have achieved something, they have gained knowledge and they all have a job to go to.