Giving New Sight to the Blind
As little as 20 years ago, few opportunities awaited the physically disabled. The blind, for instance, played music on the five-foot pavements of commercial areas, just to make a living. Many still do today. However, government policies initiated various programs to uplift the blind community. Although these initiatives were helpful, much more are needed to be done, especially at grassroots level. We shared the government’s vision and believed then, as we do now, that the blind have much to contribute to society, despite their handicap. The world over, members of the blind community have excelled in their careers, with many holding professional jobs in business and industry.
We believe our Malaysian brethren can also rise up to this challenge. Hence, immediately upon setting up in 1984, Trinity Community Centre (TCC) began a program to reach out to the blind community in Bukit Bandaraya. But first, we had to build their self-confidence and inspire them to achieve. We began our work by providing the blind with spiritual guidance and counselling. Then, we showered them with our love and moral support. TCC encouraged them to tap into their talents, to further their studies and pursue their dreams. Yet, we continued to remain a shoulder for them to lean on when the going got tough.
Today, with our guidance and encouragement, some of our blind members have earned degrees in various disciplines and hold professional jobs. Others work as telephone receptionists, musicians and masseuses. But we are not resting on our laurels. Instead, we have raised the stakes and are developing a programme under which we can guide the blind to setup and operate their own businesses. Able-bodied professionals within TCC help them to prepare working papers that translate to viable business plans. This makes it easier for the blind to obtain bank loans and assistance from the authorities.
Now, they have proven, most importantly to themselves that they are every bit as capable as their western counterparts.The blind know that with a bit of hard work on their part and a helping hand from us, they can achieve all their dreams. It is not too far-fetched to say that in our work with them, we have given new sight to the blind.