Some time ago, I gave a radio interview about the work of Bats in Action. During the programme, a listener called up expressing her wish to learn to walk independently. It was a little complicated to find out where she lives, but last weekend I finally went to see her together with a friend. Antoniza lives in a village on the hills near Sobral and we reached the place on a van.
Antoniza lives with her parents and her daughter. At home she is able to move around by herself and participates in house work. But when leaving the house, she depends on her daughter. Since she went blind 13 years ago, she has not got the opportunity to learn Braille and independent movement.
Two days after our visit, Antoniza showed up at the classroom ready to start her studies. She learned the first letters in Braille and had her first contact with the computer. The interaction with blind children and adults was a completely new experience for her. On the first day, a five-year-old girl helped her to walk around the school.
To start adventures on the street, the new student needed a cane. Once she had the new companion in her hands, Antoniza made a huge step towards independence joining us for her first weekend trip without the presence of her family.
It is amazing to see how students are eager to learn and develop their abilities and self confidence. This is inspiring and gives courage to keep up the work.