Saturday, 26 April 2008

My Chart with Blind Children in Chirazulu

Wondering while in this picture most children are not smiling or looking in front?
Well this is a group of intelligent blind and severe visual impaired children from Mont fort school for the Blind in Chirazulu district in Southern region of Malawi

This visit was organized by my research team in order to find information and be able to come up with a list of activities that normal children do in comparison to visual impaired /blind children. The visit was organized through the headmaster of the school.
11 visual impaired /blind children aged between 8-13 were interviewed during the focus group discussions which lasted up to one and half hours. All conversations were recorded.

Blind children reported to be involved in similar activities as normal sighted children all though in some cases the conditions were modified to suit their environment. In most cases they were assited by a normal sighted person to do similar activities. Exceptions were rarely made for the blind students and they were expected to perfom as normal sighted in most cases.
In terms of needs what they wanted most were clothing,soap and body lotion,school uniform and sunglasses.

Though they were using Braille and sylish for learning they often sought help for mathematics from the normal sighted children.
Some reported friends despising them and running away from they because they were blind.Most of them however did not mind as they had accepted their situation.

Amazingly all the things that the normal sighted children mentioned that would be difficulty to be done by a blind person were not considered that difficulty and doable by the blind children as long as they were assisted.

In terms of career blind children have same ambitions as normal sighted children;to become doctors, policemen, army, teachers, nuns and many other professions.They did not think they disability dimished their chances of success; it was rather the support to achieve their goals that they thought was lacking. In terms of wishes ,they felt that only if people around them would understand that they were blind and did not chose to be so then they would be able to get on with their lives.

Next time you see a blind child in Malawi, treat them well!!!

Well I am still struggling to analyse the rest of the recorded conversations.

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