Children with disabilities launch book

BULAWAYO -  Students at Bulawayo-based King George VI School and the Centre for Disabled Children have launched a compilation of short stories and poems.

The book titled Small Friends and other stories and poems was published by Bulawayo-based Amabooks.

It carries 35 short stories and poems all written by children living with disabilities.

The launch of the book at the weekend was officiated by Jillian Bonnardeaux, an assistant public officer at United States Embassy.

Amabooks co-director, Brian Jones told the Daily News that the project gave the students a rare opportunity for their voices to be heard.

“The collection gave the students the opportunity to tell the stories that they wanted told.

Some of the stories and poems tell the stories of their lives, some come straight from their imagination, and some simply speak of their dreams of a better future,” Jones said.

KGVI graduate Mokhumi Valela in his welcome remarks said the book was an insightful life changer.

“The book can be taken as a major step towards empowerment and a way of regaining lost courage.”

“Uniquely, it makes society conscious of cultural malpractices that should be adapted or abandoned.”

The title of the book was drawn from a story by Marvellous Mbulo which describes a magical day in the fields when he was an infant.

The book was published with funding from the United States Embassy through the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR).

United States Ambassador Bruce Wharton wrote the book’s introduction in which he described the collection of stories and poems as “An example of a platform that we have created for young people with disabilities to voice their concerns and dreams.”

“It is also a useful tool to advocate for an environment that will allow them to participate in national developmental programmes.”

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