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  Newsletter AUG 2007

"Dear parents don’t worry about your children. The farm is clean and the food is excellent".
With these words the deputy Mayor of the city of Lhasa saw off a new batch of blind students to the Braille Without Borders training farm in Shigatse accompanied by their parents and by Mr. Wangchen Geleg, the vice president of the Tibet Disabled Persons Federation.

"With the work of the Tibetan Disabled Persons Federation and the organization Braille Without BSorders, new opportunities arise for the blind in Tibet. With the preparatory school in Lhasa and the vocational training center in Shigatse, Tibet’s blind will be in a position to

integrate themselves into regular schools or professions.”

Goodbye speech of the new students

Dear friends and supporters of Braille without Borders,

These words of a high-ranking politician in Tibet portray the acceptance of the Lhasa project and the training farm in the Shigatse/Pelshong region. In fact the farm has turned out to be a favorite picnic sport for Tibetan and Chinese Government officials. So much so that government officials have asked that BWB put up an official highway sign indicating the whereabouts of the project. Too many have driven right by and have had to make a U-turn on the national highway. Of course government convoys can do this!

Half a year has gone by so it is time for an update.
- Gyendsen goes to Japan

Kienzen in 1999
Kienzen in 2007
Kienzen and Sabriye in 1999
Kienzen and Sabriye in 2007

Gyendsen, a student of the first generation has been selected to receive the IKEDA ICT 2007 SCHOLARSHIP. The eight chosen international blind and visually impaired students will first receive intensive computer training in Malaysia in August after which they will visit Japan as well. The world Blind Union Asia Pacific will be financing Gyendsen’s cost which includes a laptop for him.

 - "The unforgettable story"

In the spring of 2007, the preparatory school program students organized a story telling competition. The pupils of all age groups were assigned the task of creating a story. There were three categories: animal stories, human stories and ghost stories. In the category animal stories, 14 year old Jampa Kelsang won with his story about "The Tiger and the Deer", a narration about a sophisticated deer and its escape from a tiger. The 5 year old Nyima Punzog won the Category Ghosts section. The unusual title of its still more unusual history reads: The Spirit in the Tiled Bathroom. It depicts a boy who likes to bathe but is chased out of his bathroom several times by a ghost. Winner of the human stories category is the 17 year old Dachung with his story: “The Unforgettable Story”. This story depicts the love between a blind boy and a sighted girl along with the complications arising from this situation. This story has been presented as a radio play in English with the speakers and musicians of the play being children from our blind center.

Dachung ist froh mit seinen Preis
Wanglliest Braille
Dachung is happy; he just received the first prize for the best story
Wangla is reading Braille.

- Damage from storm in Lhasa 

Damage from storm in Lhasa. In January, the roof of the building had been damaged due to a storm. Fortunately no one was injured in this incident. Subsequently a Chinese firm. has rebuilt the roof.

- Massage students invited to Beijing  

The Chinese handicapped organization has invited five students and a teacher for a comprehensive five-month course in medical massage. Every student will receive a national license and the costs will be taken care of by the state.


Farm Shigatse
The Farm in Shigatse

-Plans for the summer
plans for the summer for the summer. The construction of a bio bakery/cafe coffee shop is planned. This project has the following background: the farm has been cultivating an organic high land rye over the past two years. Paema Wangyel, a Tibetan domiciled in Germany and himself a baker and friend of Braille Without Borders would like to come to Pelshong and personally train some blind students in the art and skills of baking. Besides offering another vocational option to our blind, Paema sees the bakery as a smart business move. Traditional Tibetan bread is made from barley and wheat only. The Project’s bread will be enriched with rye, a nutritious addition to the traditional Tibetan diet. The bakery will be the first all-organic bakery in Tibet. This may not at first be a selling point with the local market. However the bakery will be situated on the main road connecting the Nepal border with Lhasa over which thousands of European tourists travel each tourist season for whom organic products are an important consideration. Other organic products such as cheese and vegetables, produced by the blind, will be available for sale in the combination bakery/sausagery/coffeehouse/medical massage with an ecological composting (and clean!!) toilet attached. The complex will be situated on the farm’s pleasant duck pond, which is bordered by ancient willow trees. This project is financed largely by a donation from the USA and from an orgainzation from HongKong .

INDIA - Thiruvananthapuram

Dormblock under construction
Construction of Dormitory block June 2007

- International Institute for Social Entrepreneurs.

We hope to open the international center for social enterprises engaged in work with the blind, in June 2008. The center will train blind individuals who wish to develop projects in their own countries based on the Tibet Model. Thanks to the hard work of Tigi Philip, our local managing director and a highly motivated group of professors the framework of the curriculum, ranging from management to psychology and ‘soft’ skills has been completed. Positions for a director and highly qualified teachers need to be created. The institute needed a new name in English, which would signify that training is given in leadership and social entrepreneurship.
We have currently
arrived at the name:

            “BWB – International Institute for Social Entrepreneurs”.


Book "The seventh year"

Last Spring, we had been busy with the second reading tour through Germany.  During the one and a half hour presentations, we read excerpts from my latest book “The Seventh Year”, latest reports from Tibet and India and showed brief film clippings. There were a lot of visitors for these events. The highlights were a reading to 35 inmates in the Werler security prison, a reading in the dark at the Culture and Communication center in Hameln, two readings before an extremely enthusiastic public at the Stuttgart Rudolf Steiner School (these meetings were organized by an interested pupil) and a lively meeting in the culture and leisure center Marburg, my second hometown.        


At the moment we are looking for a publisher in the USA
who would be interested to publish the book in English.


- “The seventh year” as an audio book

The Luebbe Publishing House will bring our the audio book in the autumn. The specialty of the book is that it will be  entirely read by blind people: myself and the voices of our senior students, Kyila, Tenzin, Gyenzin and Bungso will be read by German blind children. More on this in the year end report.
The documentary BLINDSIGHT.
The documentary films the attempt of some of our blind students to summit Lhagpa Ri,adjacent to Mount Everest, led by Eric Weihenmayer, the first blind person to summit Mount Everest.
It won the Audience's Choice Award at the Berlin Film Festival in February this year. It  competed with 50 other films. The film, dubbed in German, will be released this coming January. The voice synchronization by Paul and myself has already been done.
For more information see the film's website:
A Final 'Thank You' 
Nothing would have been possible without your trust,ideas,suggestions,generous support and interest. In this light and on this occasion, I offer you, on behalf of Paul and our expanding
international team, my heartfelt thanks.
It would be wonderful if you shared our news and gratitude with family and friends.
More information on Braille Without Borders can be found at:

With very best wishes from a sunny Tibet,
PS. also from Paul

Seeblick auf lake Yamdrok
Aussicht in Tibet: Ein Yak vor dem Yamdrok See

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