A Visit to the Countryside

Anja with Trees Last week, I spent two days in the town of Guaraciaba do Norte, about 1 hour’s drive from Sobral. Guaraciaba is located in the hills, so there is fresh air and a lot of vegetation. The town is known for the production of fruit and vegetables. Though there is certainly a lot to see in Guaraciaba, my main objective was to identify blind persons and follow up on a group of blind students who I met on my first visit.

After an interview with a local radio station some time ago, I had received a phone call from three brothers who are all blind. They are already in their 20s and never went to school. However, they are quite active and move independently in their village. As they don’t ‘use a white cane, their movement is still restricted to their surroundings. Two of them are interested to start school now. I will follow up with them and see how I can support their empowerment.

Anja with a blind girl We were told about a blind girl in the same town who is completely isolated. She lives with her mother and hardly leaves the house. Though she doesn’t seem to have other disabilities, she didn’t talk to us and hardly reacted to our questions. She never went to school and her mother doesn’t want her to gain independence. It is so sad to see how an over-protective mother makes it impossible for a young woman to have an active life just like any other girl of her age. In this case, there is not much I can do, just visit from tite to time to see if there is a mind set change.

I already identified 10 blind children and youths in Guaraciaba do Norte. As my work is concentrated in Sobral, I am now figuring out how I can include them in the project. Maybe I will organize monthly workshops during weekends. In the future, I hope to include students from Guaraciaba in the residential preparatory school.

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