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Ethical Cycling

TIBET - Braille Without Borders

In the summer of 1997 Sabriye Tenberken, blind herself, travelled to Tibet to investigate the possibility of providing training for Tibetan blind and visually impaired people. Sabriye realised there were no programs educating and rehabilitating blind people within the country.

She then took the initiative to found the present project. Along with her partner Paul Kronenberg they established a school for the blind and helped altered the traditional attitude towards blind people, who for centuries have been viewed as cursed and treated as lepers or worse.

Over the past 2 years BWB have had contributions from redspokes and our groups who have visited the project in Lhasa.

Dear redspokes,

In the name of our students and staff we want to say THANK YOU VERY MUCH for all the support you and your groups have given us over the past few years!

"We have used the donations for new shoes. These are needed about twice a year... (We do buy the best quality but unfortunately these don't make it too long in Tibet!) We appreciate your support very much and for us to be able to give more blind students a chance to receive education funds stay very necessary and are therefore very welcome"

All students, staff, Jyila. Sabriye and Paul 03/06/07

"We will use the money for running costs. To give you an idea, last year we had 50 students, 11 people staff in the Lhasa projects: Braille book printing house, preparatory school, medical massage training and the self-integration project. The monthly running costs which include salaries for all staff members, food, school materials and all other operational costs were 2,369.80 Euro (£1,610). Hope this gives an idea what can be done with small sums of money. Please find attached a thank you note for the travellers"

Paul and Sabriye 30/10/06

Per WHO statistics, 161 million persons live with a disabling visual impairment, of whom 37 million are blind and 124 million are persons with low vision. About 90% of them live in developing countries. 9 out of 10 blind children in these countries have no access to education. It is the lack of education and understanding of the sighted society that blind children don't have equal chances in comparison to their sighted peers. Only if blind people themselves speak out, can attitudes to blindness change.

More details about Braille Without Borders and their work can be found at www.braillewithoutborders.org.

If you would like to contribute to this worthwhile charity please contact Paul Kronenberg at paul.kronenberg@gmail.com.

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