News from Bats in Action

Anja Pfaffenzeller is a 2011 kanthari graduate. Anja’s project is named Bats in Action and is based in Brasil. Anja just shared the following news:

“Today, there is good news to share. In Sobral, a city in Northeastern Brazil and the surrounding areas, more and more Bats are in Action starting to learn new skills and to explore their surroundings.

On February 22nd, the new classroom of Bats in Action was officially opened. It is a small, but nice room provided by the local Education Department. With the help of friends here in Sobral and supporters in Germany, I got a lot of hand-made education material, a Braille writer, some white canes and even a Braille display. However, we still don’t have a computer for the project and I have to take my own laptop to school to teach computer skills. Braille slates are also hard to get and I need to buy them from abroad as they are quite expensive in Brazil.

During the first week of project activities, three students participated in classes. In the morning, I work with small kids, mainly two five-year-olds. In the afternoon I have a group of older kids and youth. I am now planning to work with young adults as well. After identification of partially sighted students, we want to start a “blind plus” group. For students enrolled in government schools, the local education department offers transportation to the project.

Since last year, I traveled a lot to a rural region near Sobral and I identified some children and young adults who are very curious and willing to learn. I am now inviting them to participate in the project.

Though the number of students is still small, I can already feel that the news is spreading and I get to know more and more blind children. Hopefully, the progress of these first “bats” helps to change negative attitudes and break down barriers!”

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