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Jan 5, 2022

B.C.V.I. to Partner with International Institutions

Today is World Braille Day, commemorating the birthday of Louis Braille, a French educator who became blind at a young age and invented a system of reading for the visually impaired.  Equipping blind students with the technology to learn Braille is one of the many services provided by the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired, also referred to as the B.C.V.I.  This year, the non-profit organization is hoping to partner with regional and international universities, and with the National Resource Centre for Inclusive Education (NaRCIE) in the Ministry of Education. Executive Director of the B.C.V.I., Carla Ayres-Musa explains the goal of this joint effort.


Carla Ayres-Musa

Carla Ayres-Musa, Executive Director, Belize Council for the Visually Impaired

“We already have a contact in the US that we’re working with and we’re going to look for funding to be able to train teachers within NaRCIE as well as rehabilitation officers in Belize, because at the moment we don’t have anybody in the country who is trained to be a rehabilitation field officer. They have all relocated to the U.S.  We want to be able to bring that safe community-based rehabilitation back into the population. We know that it is a lot of counseling and assurance that goes with our jobs. We have to make patients feel safe. Our staff is fully vaccinated, so when we go into homes, patients and clients have that reassurance that that’s what we’re doing.  Children are going to have the longest time living with blindness, so they need to be able to meet all their milestones; they need to be prepared to go into school. So the situational analysis that was done in 2013 showed that NaRCIE was spread way too thin to be able to handle, in addition to what they were handling, the children who were blind. So the families would then rely back on B.C.V.I. and that hasn’t changed since 2013.  But we are hopeful that with the current administration, and the current interest – Minister Fonseca’s father was the founder of B.C.V.I. – so there is a lot of interest, a lot of history when it comes to the importance and the significance of this program that we’ll be able to move forward with that. So we’re looking to start a project that will enhance the human resources and allow us to bridge that gap that we’ve lost because of people moving away, because of a lack of resources here, and (a lack of) trained people to provide the service.”


Coincidentally for the B.C.V.I., this year is also its fortieth anniversary, and over those years, the non-profit organization has been able to provide eye glasses and eye surgery services because it charges small fees that it recycles to keep the programs going.

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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