blind leading the blind in tibet

braille without borders tibetMany of our Intrepid Foundation friends have struggled through another tough year in the face of adversity. For this reason we want to send our sincere gratitude to all the thousands of Intrepid travellers who have contributed to Intrepid communities via The Intrepid Foundation in 2010.

Our Christmas Global Gifts campaign has raised over AU$10,000 for 12 charities in 12 countries. The top selling item was the Braille reading kits for blind children in Tibet, provided by the extraordinary organisation Braille Without Borders (BWB). Paul from BWB wrote to us a short while ago:

“At present we have 41 students in Lhasa and 52 in Shigatse and training is going well. The blind and partially sighted students who study in middle school are finally allowed to write entry exams for high school. If they pass, they will be the first handicapped students ever in Tibet to enter high school. We hope by doing so, they will open the doors for many other handicapped youth!

Kyila, 23, one of BWB’s first graduates, has started Kiki, an integrative kindergarten for blind and seeing children in Shigatse. In Tibet blindness is seen as a karmic punishment for misdeeds in a previous life or incarnation. Kyila is convinced that if blind and seeing children learn together, they can overcome the existing prejudices that create a gap between the blind and seeing.

On the way from Lhasa to the kindergarten in Shigatse we came across a large group of the rare Black Necked Cranes. Absolutely amazing graceful birds… I wanted to share the unique view with you, and send everyone our thanks and best wishes from BWB.”

tibet black neck cranes

The Intrepid Foundation – travellers making a difference
Help support Braille Without Borders and other great organisations via the Intrepid Foundation, plus your donation can be matched* by Intrepid Travel!

* Donations will be matched by Intrepid Travel up to AU$5000 (or equivalent) per donor and a total of AU$400,000 each financial year.

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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Christel Simmelink / Reply

I have visited braille without borders last spring. This is such a worthwhile project to spend your money on! These kids are hopeless without this school, many Tibetans still believe that blindness is a punishment from God. Try the books from Sabriye Tenberken, very nice to read and you immediately support BWB as well.'

Earlier this year I discovered “Blindsight,” a film about this school’s founder taking six of her students to base camp. Highly recommend it! Thrilled to see Intrepid supporting the school.

So happy to hear that the reading kits were given as gifts to so many! BWB is truly an inspiring organisation that I am proud Intrepid supports and partners with!'

I have travelled with Intrepid throught Tibet and have been to BWB. What a worhwhile project. I have never seen so many children so motivated to learn. I have lifelong memories of this place but was only there for an hour or two.

I would love this trip and would always be willing to lend a helping hand where possible

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