Anjeline Okola, a Kenyan Quaker, has recently been appointed as the new international coordinator of the Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network (EDAN). EDAN is an outreach of the World Council of Churches in the program area on mission and unity. Anjeline has been with EDAN since its inception in 1999, and takes over as coordinator from Samuel Kabue upon his retirement.
EDAN advocates for the full inclusion of people with disabilities in church and society. It has published a number of highly-influential theological studies on topics related to disability, and has been largely responsible for increasing inclusion of people with disabilities in church governing structures, and incorporating disability studies within the theological education curriculum.
From EDAN’s site: While accepting the appointment, Anjeline observed that she looked forward to inject new life and colour in EDAN’s work. She called on all members of the EDAN family to support her in executing her new responsibilities.
The news of her appointment was received with excitement across all the WCC Regions where EDAN works. Many expressed optimism and believe that she is capable of leading EDAN to its new steps.
Okola’s bio on the EDAN website reads: “She has been with EDAN since its inception in 1999. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and a Master of Arts degree in Disability and Development. Born of blind parents and having grown up in a school for the blind, Anjeline has been troubled by the negative culture, attitudes and practices that have been hindrance towards active participation of persons with disabilities in church and social life and hence her desire to advocate for their inclusion in spiritual, social, economic and structural life of the church and society. An epitome of a dedicated worker, Anjeline aspires to see the church embrace the reality that persons with disabilities are people made in the image of God and are not a distortion of that image or lesser images but are equal, whole and complete images of God.”
Please keep Anjeline in your prayers as she attends to this work.