A vision from a Blind person’s perspective.
As the youngest of six siblings, and the only blind child in the family, I can say that I had all the affection I needed. I always felt loved and cared for. Due to poverty, we all had to stop studying except for my only brother. One day, an opportunity came to study free at a residential school for the poorest of the poor children in Manila. As expected, my father was against it. He was worried about me and was firm in his decision. With a strong desire to study however, I managed to convince my father.
For a person with low vision like me then, high School was difficult. I could not participate in many activities and I did not perform so well in class. Determined to learn, I used my sense of hearing to catch up. Though as if I were always hanging at the tail of a plane, I still passed my examinations. Luckily, my Principal noticed this, and I could complete High School.
After graduation, I could see very little and stayed at home. But to me the home felt like a prison cell. I never had freedom to do anything in the house. Everything was snatched from my hands, they would not let me do any chores and can you imagine, even until eighteen my sister had to bathe me. The food was always set on the table when I was left at home. One time, the food that was prepared was so dry, so I wanted to have some soup. I found instant noodles and then I heated water on the stove. Actually, it was my first time to light a stove because I was never permitted to do so. When my parents came home, they were angry at me. I did not care as I had proven that I could be independent, and I felt delighted to eat what I had cooked for the first time.
Even if I had a white cane; my parents did not like me to use it and always asked me to keep it away. I could only use it when they were not around. Every weekend, I used to go and sleep over at a dormitory in a neighboring city. There, I had the freedom to use my white cane. One time my father came to fetch me and was shocked to see me walking by myself. He could hardly believe that it was me. This however changed his perception, from then onward, he loves to see me with my cane.
After finishing my training at kanthari in Kerala, India, in January 2014 I started a pilot project called “Future Vision Home.” Through kanthari and the startup funding from Braille Without Borders as well as tireless support from family and friends, the organization is registered at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by the name “Future Vision Sighted-Blind Inc.
In 2015 the Dutch Doel voor Ogen association has helped me in the second year of operations. And in the following year till the present, I sustain the project through the salary I receive as a government Special Education Teacher as well with some contributions from the beneficiaries and sometimes from friends.