Once a year, I take some time to visit family and friends and to inform interested people in my home community and in several other cities about my work in Brazil.
This year, it has already been the second project presentation in my home town where about 40 people came to know more about Bats in Action. The involvement of my home community is very encouraging for me, people who have known me and my family since I was a child and others who have just heard about the project join hands and give financial and moral support.
Bats in Action is now even part of a Christmas donation campaign on district level.
On 19th of November, I had a presentation with the Lions Club Greding. The president of the club is from Brazil and she is very interested in supporting Bats in Action. In the name of blind children in Brazil, I say a big thank you to her and the members of Lions Club Greding for the attention and the financial support!
As bats need to fly, I didn’t stay for too long enjoying company and tasty food at my parets’ house. Friends invited me to present Bats in Action in Vienna. On November 29th I participated at a Christmas celebration of a Church initiative for people with disabilities and on November 30th I had the opportunity to present at a Church service in Vienna. Thanks to Christ & Behinderung Vienna and FCG Halbgasse for the great support!
Vienna is a great city, but after a few days I said good bye to my friends there and continued my journey to Leipzig where I have a group of friends who organized a project presentation with one of the major libraries for the blind in Germany. Thanks Leipzig for the interest and support!
From Leipzig, it is a short way to Berlin where I went to see a wonderful family. We met for the first time in 2013 and became friends. They are the founders of the association Anderes Sehen e.V. which supports young blind children in Germany. Their blind daughter is very intelligent and already sends audio messages in English to Wiliany, one of the Bats in Action students of her age.
Once back from Berlin, I had more interesting and inspiring meetings, one with a orientation and mobility teacher in Munique and another one with a group of early intervention professionals for the visually impaired. This was especially interesting because I met my wonderful early intervention teacher who had been working with me when I was a child.
I am very grateful for the opportunity to meet old and new friends, individuals and organizations, here in Europe, present the work of Bats in Action and share ideas. Though the realities in Germany and Brazil are different, some challenges are quite the same when it comes to inclusion of blind people. Of course, financial support is essential for the project to continue and small or major contributions are welcome, but moral support and establishment of networks with likeminded people all around the world are at least as important. On behalf of blind people in Northeastern Brazil, I say a big thank you to everyone who contributed their time, money and ideas to make this project a success.
Now, I am impatiently waiting for my visa to be granted in order to return to Brazil in January 2015. Though I enjoy my time in Europe with family and friends, my place is with the other Bats in Brazil and I am looking forward to continue my work with them as soon as possible.