Taking a bold step among churches in the country, the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) King’s Court has given its edifice a facelight with several commendable amendments to encourage inclusion of persons with disabilities.
The King’s Court (TKC) also appointed a sign language interpreter, acquired Braille books for the visually impaired, and set up entry and exit ramps among others.
The church made this known at its Diversity Inclusion Sunday on May 21 this year. The day was specially observed to create awareness, propel empathy, and make persons with disabilities feel undeniably welcomed.
The Convener of the programme and Disability Rights Advocate, Ms. Adeola Obagun commended King’s Court for putting all the necessary facilities in place.
“We have tried to put quite a few things in place including the menu in TKC cafeteria. One of our other goals is putting necessary amendments in place,” she expressed.
According to Obagun, the next goal of the church is to considerably boost inclusion, show undiluted love, and ensure persons with disabilities are included in all its activities as much as possible.
While she conceded that the church consulted widely with different persons with disabilities, Obagun, who anchored the session, said it was to make sure that none is left out.
The advocate emphasised: “While we want to make them feel welcome, we have also provided some relief for them. We are building capacities to encourage those who have disabilities.”
Surprisingly, 12 students from Bethesda School for the Blind enthusiastically led the congregation in a 10-minute electrifying praise and worship rendition that got everyone on his feet. They didn’t only sing in melodious tunes, some played the guitar, the piano and the drum with great show of effective ability. Five others exhibited their dance skills.
In his reaction, the General Manager, Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs, Dare Dairo, gave thumbs up to their performance. “I’m happy that The King’s Court is taking that bold initiative to remind us of the humanity and inclusiveness in the message of Christ.”
For Dare, this step alone helps to prepare the minds and opens the spirit of everyone. “This puts us in a disposition to be more open and acceptive of people with disability.
“We’ve seen a lot of abilities of persons with disabilities all around us here. Coming from a house of God, I hope that as we experience this inclusion in the message and life of Christ will remain with us.”
He further encouraged everyone to go into the society and become partners with the Lagos State Government, especially, as “We strive to remove the barriers of social inclusion of persons with disabilities”.
Lauding the church’s preparedness, he highlighted that indeed the entire structure has been built to be inclusive of people with disabilities.
He, therefore, implored other churches to emulate The King’s Court. “I hope a lot of churches would borrow a leaf out of King’s Court book and make their environment accessible.
“And even if they do, open up the people of God as recommended in the book of Luke that we should always make the banquet, the king’s court, inclusive and welcoming to people with disabilities.”
Sitting in front of his array of products at the church reception, an alumnus of the Federal Nigeria Society for the Blind, Smith Oluwfemi, shared his business plans and family life.
“My wife and I are blind. We have two children aged eight and three years old. They aren’t blind.
“I make adire, perfume, bar soap, liquid soap. I’m moving about to sell them. I don’t have a shop for now. But by the grace of God, I’ll get it.”
Meanwhile, other people with disabilities present at the Diversity Inclusion Sunday were from the Federal Nigeria Society for the Blind, Bethesda School for the Blind, and Module Cole Memorial Child Care and Treatment Home School.
They displayed their handmade products including beaded bags and flower vase, stove thread, adire, footwear, paintings on canvas and others, tie & dye t-shirt, branded groundnut, branded soup spices, ankara-inspired jewellery, beaded jewellery, hand wash and more.