El’dad: the Ranch where “God Has Loved”

“Realizing the inherent worth of individuals, we seek to embody God’s love for people with intellectual disabilities by providing a secure and nurturing place to live”

When a friend mooted the idea of applying for a job at El’dad Ranch, the first thing that struck me was “Ranch!” I told the guy that I was done working with animals since I was a veterinarian the first part of my life. I later got to know that El’dad is a ranch with a difference—a ranch where God’s love is happening. That’s the meaning of El’dad in Hebrew.

You ask me what’s in a name, and I’ll tell you everything.

I’ve had a positive experience working here, and not just me alone; so is everyone that works here. The tales I hear from other organizations that engage in similar work like we do is sometimes disappointing. So much ill feelings, jealousies and envies among staff, and so much disaffection with management. But not at El’dad!

Here, everyone is looking out for the other person. You can be sure you’ve got the back of your colleagues. The management is not just interested in you doing a good job with the clients, they want you to be happy doing it. Not only that, they want to tap into your likes and interests to see how to make it part of your work. With that, you are not just going to work, you are happy doing what you do because it is what you actually want to do.

Even though a great majority of us are hired as Support Workers, yet, I’ve seen staff in addition to working with clients, also working with figures in account; working with computers and becoming IT manager. I’ve seen staff baking all kinds of pastries showcasing their interest in cooking. I’ve seen staff organizing movies, and music and doing all sorts of amazing things. I’ve seen staff leading fishing trips, bike trips and all sorts of things. Whatever they want to do, I’ve seen provisions being made for it.

And this is not just happening with the staff, the clients are also being lifted. In fact, everything is being done so that staff can transfer their experience to the clients. In other words: Do unto others (clients) as it is being done to you. So I’ve seen clients tapping into their passions for music, computers, carpentry, auto mechanics, and so on. I’ve seen clients produce music videos, start bike repairs, and so on.

What more can you ask for! Yeah, I know, more $$$! But other than that, God’s love is really evident here.
Tunji Olasunkanmi

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