In Nepal, Blind & Visually-Impaired (BVI) students suffer from societal stigma that sees their disability as a past-life sin or curse. Nepali Blind/Visually-Impaired (BVI) students are currently mainstreamed into the public educational system at 92 schools across the country. These students are placed into a sub-standard hostel/dormitory environment within a traditional public school where they live and study alongside sighted students. All elements of their personal and educational lives are deficient. There is little chance for these students to become independent, successful adults within the current system.
Develop and deliver an innovative, holistic program that looks at and addresses all aspects of personal and educational development for students with blindness/visual-impairment. TRIFC will implement the program at one specific school: The Sanjiwani School in Dhulikhel, Nepal.
The Exciting Opportunity
Once successful with our initial template at the Sanjiwani School, we plan to replicate it at all 92 schools where the BVI study across the country! All schools where the BVI live and study have virtually the same problems!
Typically, 15-30 BVI students live and study in a school that might have 1,000 or more sighted students who come and go every school day. These BVI students may come from the local community area, or they may be from more remote regions in Nepal. Traveling to/from their home, even during extended holidays can be challenging and may involve a long journey by bus, then hours or days of walking to reach their home.
Major deficiencies in the lives of these BVI students include: clean water, basic hygiene, toilet facilities, sanitary pads for girls, proper nutrition, BVI school-tools such as Braille slate & stylus, mobility training, daily living skills training and physical exercise. Since 2007, TRIFC has been providing targeted services to 20 Blind/Visually-Impaired students at Sanjiwani School in Dhulikhel, Nepal. These deficiencies have been identified in-person through observations and interviews with the students and school management. The government of Nepal does not provide the schools with the necessary financial resources to serve this already marginalized population.
The Sanjiwani BVI students and in fact most BVI students throughout the country are being deprived of the basic human and educational needs to succeed in life. This is an unseen tragedy that deprives Nepali society of many bright minds; stifles their ability to contribute to their family and country. Most importantly, this negatively impacts their ability to lead independent lives, the most basic of rights.
If successful, there is a unique opportunity to replicate this project throughout schools in Nepal as virtually all of the BVI integrated schools have exactly the same deficiencies.
Contact: Robert Rose / President, The Rose International Fund for Children