Visually impaired Gems
"When I became blind, I thought the world had come to end but from what I have learnt today I believe I can still make it with determination" testified 17 year old Deborah. According to Fareed he has also ‘learnt that in every darkness there is light. All is not lost for me.’ These are just two of the many testimonies shared by 30 visually impaired gems between the ages of 13 and 19 at the Akropong School of the Blind, Ghana.
The Empowerment and Social Change Initiatives Training for the visually impaired was meant to help build their self-confidence, to inspire them to aspire and to challenge them to take initiatives to bring change to their lives, families and to contribute effectively to the development of their communities.
The three hour training was packaged with practical exercises including listening to inspirational songs, a true life story of a visually impaired person who went through the school and made it to the University, reflecting deeply and documenting their strengths, weaknesses, their hopes and fears and how they think they can become who they dream of becoming, how they can contribute to the development of their communities.
Participants were first of all asked to identify who and what inspires them and why? The purpose of this was to help them identify sources of inspiration-internal and external.
To help them acquire leadership skills, participants were taken through the concept of leadership. Studnets were asked to identify family members, peers and community and world leaders who inspire them and why. The purpose of this exercise was to help them identify common leadership qualities.
Participants were finally tasked to write what they would do if they ‘Rule the World’ giving them the opportunity to brainstorm on what change they intend to bring to society.
What the Girls say about the Training
‘Today through this training, I have learnt that in every situation smething works. I have also learnt to use positive language and to have good attitude in life. Says Samuel Obeng who loved to paint before he became blind. Today he dreams of becoming a Missionary.
For Nana Ama, ‘This training was an opportunity for me to learn aout myself, leadership skills and remind myself each time that no matter my situation or circumstance’