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Jul 27, 2017

Visually Impaired, But Big Dreamers Dominate BCVI Camp

For this next story, close your eyes and sit down in front of your television set to watch the news. Think about any of the things you do normally. Now imagine that your eyes are closed permanently. That’s what most visually impaired persons go through, usually through no fault of their own. The already turbulent passage of childhood can be even more discouraging with such a disability. Fortunately, there are those working with the blind to make them see differently. For two decades, the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired has started at the bottom rung with various youth who do not have sight, but still live their lives and dream big, as Aaron Humes reports.

 

Aaron Humes, Reporting

Math? English? Computers? On vacation from school? Boring! Unless, that is, you are participating in the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired’s annual summer camp. Executive Director Carla Ayres Musa says there is some fun, but the camp is about serious preparation for life as a visually impaired person adjusting to a mostly sighted world.

 

Carla Ayres Musa

Carla Ayres Musa, Executive Director, B.C.V.I.

“This is actually our twentieth anniversary so we are very excited about that. And we have the children – this is the only time of the year when we bring them from their homes into Belize City and we host them and a guardian for two weeks, and we focus on developing their educational skills, so that when they are going into the new school year they’re totally prepared – we’re looking at Braille; we’re looking at cuberhythm which is for math; we look at computers, and we also provide all the devices to the children so that they can take them home as well. We have field trips; we have art; we have yoga; it’s a really fun time for the staff and for the children.”

 

The trio of participants we spoke with – a high schooler from Belize City and two primary schoolers from the Old Capital and San Ignacio, respectively, have high hopes and dreams even at their young ages.

 

Juan Reina

Juan Reina, Participant, B.C.V.I. Summer Camp

“Every night I go to sleep, I have this vision in my head: that I am in an office basically the size of this or bigger (gestures with head), and there’s a door, and the door basically says with the words embossed in Braille: ‘J.R. Studios, opening from hours nine a.m. to nine p.m., on Sundays eight a.m. to eight p.m.’ And then I usually have this vision where I am in the office, in the office chair, programming strings and code, while drinking coffee. (Laughs)”

 

Reporter

“And you are hoping that that vision will become a reality?”

 

Juan Reina

“Yes, very, because I want to shape the world of computer technology and I want to show that because you are blind you can’t use a computer, be in front of a computer, can’t play a game – of course you can, you can do whatever you set your mind to. As long as you have that code in front of you, make it happen;  make it become a reality.”

 

Angelique Waight, Participant, B.C.V.I. Summer Camp

“For my future, when I’m studying to be a psychologist, all I want to do is help the people at B.C.V.I. and other blind children.”

 

Angelique Waight

Daeyan Arda, Participant, B.C.V.I. Summer Camp

“I want to help out with my other piano lessons; I’ve been learning piano at music class so I want to help with the other piano lessons.”

 

Reporter

“Okay, so you want to become a pianist full-time?”

 

Daeyan Arda

“I am already a pianist but I want to deal with the other children with their piano lessons.”

 

Reporter

“So you want to teach piano?”

 

Daeyan Arda

Daeyan Arda

“Yes.”

 

Juan Reina asks all to continue contributing to the organization to make their dreams come true.

 

Juan Reina

“When I was younger I wasn’t actually excited about it; but now I’m actually learning a lot – new things, new expansions – and I’m actually expanding my horizons and saying, hey, I’m not just going to be around – I’m actually going to expand and get bigger. And in terms of the camp, B.C.V.I. is not going to stay small forever; it has to grow some time, either going to be with services. I’m just saying the camp has expanded a lot and it’s only going to get bigger.”

 

Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

 

The annual cost of the camp, which closes on Friday, is twenty thousand dollars, however B.C.V.I. was not able to raise enough funds this year though still went ahead. 

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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