Visit to the School for the Blind
Last month, a group of AST students paid a visit to a local school for blind and visually impaired children, run by the Organisation Alaouite pour la Promotion des Aveulgles au Maroc (OAPAM). Here’s what they had to say…
“The school started with nothing but empty classrooms. The American School of Tangier was kind enough to donate old desks, because children were taught on plastic chairs and no tables. This School is not known and even people who have been living in Tangier for a long time don’t know about this school… Blind people should not be treated differently, they are humans and just because they can’t see, does not mean we are better. It was an eye-opener and I learnt a lot from this trip because I never thought life was so hard for blind people. Seeing them with my eyes, was sad, but it made me feel happy that other people think about these children and their future.”
“In our society, when we see a blind person, we think of someone with no future and no job. We don’t give them importance in life. But we are wrong and these people have a future if they study and work well. These people are eager to learn and get a future more than some of the people that are not bling. If we accept them in our society as equal, more and more visually impaired will have a chance in life.”
“It made me realize how valuable eyesight is.
Blind people see the world as a dark place but not their hope and future.
What struck me about these students was to see how they supported each other and assisted each other and enjoyed themselves like any kid would do … and I am pleased to know that my school “AST” is helping them out.”
“They might not be able to see, but they hear notes more precisely than we can.
For one book they have six books because braille takes more space than a regular book.”
“The system Braille consists of dots a sheet of paper that can be read by the sensitive finger tips of the blind. They put a tick sheet of paper in an instrument and use a pin like tool to pop up dots. Then they take out the paper and flip it to read. In this school I saw that a full Quran in Braille consists of six large books while a normal Quran is written in one book.”
“Throughout this field trip, I’ve learned numerous things about how the blind people suffer and have an advantage in many ways. I’m sure that most people did not realize that these kind of people are almost everywhere hidden somewhere in the world. They are capable to sense what is next to them. Fortunately we can see nice weather and the sun shining and the rain falling and the birds flying but these children can’t see anything.”
“If there is more education for handicapped people, Moroccans might be more open minded about other people’s with disabilities … we also learned to thank God for what we have and not take everything for granted, for like most visually disabled people, it can be taken away from us any day!”
Hiba El hababi
“This school was built but had no desks or furniture, therefore our school donated desks to them and they still need more donations for more classes because right now they can only host 30 people. These people learn how to read and write in a special way, this method is called Braille and was invented by a French man named Louis Braille. With this method, blind people can easily read and write. To write, they use a paper and a special tool over it that pierces or creates bumps on the paper. To read it they flip the paper and slowly feel the bumps and read. For example A is one bump and B is two bumps. Something special about Braille is that in all languages it is read from left to right.”
“…we should appreciate what we have rather than what we don’t have!”