by admin | November 29, 2016 11:31 am
Surulere Now! visited the Pacelli School for the Blind and Partially Sighted Children at 30 Ajao Road, Surulere. Administered by the Congregation of the Handmaids of the Holy Child Jesus, the school opened in June, 1964 with just four pupils and currently has a staff of 47 and 134 students. The school depends exclusively on donations from religious bodies, corporate organisations and philanthropic individuals (perhaps you reading this are one such). Most needed are the following items: Braille machines, computers/laptops, musical instruments, typewriters and utility vehicles. Cash is also needed to pay salaries and upgrade the hostels. Examples of corporate organisations fulfilling their corporate social responsibility include Samsung, which recently donated computers, inverters and a swing for the playground. Also, First City Monument Bank takes two students each year to be trained in marketing in the belief that what a sighted person can do a blind person can do (and perhaps better).
The first thing that strikes you as you enter is the well-maintained garden near the entrance.
Opeyemi reading from the Braille
Children making gifts for sale under the supervision of Mrs Juliet. The prices are as follows: key holder, N200; flower vase, N1.5k; tissue box, N2.5k; jewellery box, N3k.
The swimming pool is not in use at the moment as money is needed to hire a specialist company to maintain it, especially during the rains.
Computers are as important to the blind as they are to the sighted in our interconnected world. Mr Friday, their teacher, explained that the keyboard is their eyes and that they use a special software called JAWS (Job Access With Speech) developed by a US-based company called Freedom Scientific.
The sense of touch is obviously important.
(All photos (c) Don Barber)
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