by Paul Kronenberg
Dear friends and supporters of Braille
We hope that all of you are doing well
and that you are enjoying the springtime!
Here some news about the BWB projects.
SHIGATSE: Dairy farm
Sabriye and i are back in Tibet and we just spent 5 days in the farm in
There we started with the construction of so called "Ecosan" toilets.
In these toilets the faeces and the urine are collected seperately so
the faeces can ferment much quicker and can be used as compost. More
information on this concept can be found at http://www.ecosanres.org/
This summer we will also set up a small compostfactory.
Use of solar energy in the
courtyard of the farm
Over the past few weeks all fields have been worked and prepared for
the new season. A German animal husbandry specialist trained our local
staff and some students in special feeding programmes, milking and
manure handling. The main focus of the training is aimed at a "Dairy
farm". This means that the cropproduction is adapted to the needs of
the fodder for the cows so better quality milk can be produced. Because
of the change of the cows' feeding program the amount of milk the cows
give improved considerably. Because of this the cheeseproduction which
started last autumn is slowly getting bigger and better. At the moment
we are selling the cheese in and around Lhasa. A friend of ours from
Shanghai wants to help us to market
the cheese in the mainland of China. We hope that the sales of the
will help us to generate income so at least part of the running costs
The old stables have been renovated and last week a calf was born. A
student of us named her "Pegye" which means "growth" and "opportunity".
This summer the handicraft program will be extended with training
in making soap and candles. At the moment several students are being
trained in knitting and carpetweaving.
In Lhasa the medical massage clinic is running well. It is completely
managed and ran by the students who graduated from the BWB medical
massage and physiotherapy training. 5 new blind students are being
Graduates at work in their own massage
Nyima and Kyila in
Eight blind students already attend regular schools. At the moment 6
more blind students prepare to integrate themselves into the regular
elementary school in Pelshong. They will live in the farm and go to the
school which is situated right next door. In the future we hope to
realize that more
and more regular schools will receive blind students. The concept of
self-integration works out well. The students have built up enough
selfconfidence and as
long as the teacher reads out aloud what he/she writes on the
blackboard they can follow the classes smoothly. They take notes with
their Braille-typewriters or Braille-slates.
The staff and students in Lhasa are now fully trained so they are
able to produce books in Tibetan, Chinese or English Braille.
In total 88 students have benefitted from the BWB program directly.
Indirectly a change in the society has taken place in the way blindness
is seen. In the media the blind students are introduced as happy,
motivated and smart students. Now the society realizes that a blind
person can live a quality life.
Two of our students, Kyila and Nyima, are still studying in Totnes in
England. Right now Kyila is preparing for a Cambridge Certificate test.
At the end of July they will both return to Tibet. Nyima will start his
work as an English teacher and Kyila will be trained to work in the
management of the project.
In March and the beginning of April we were in Kerala. There we
prepared all the paperwork, designs and agreements so the construction
of the "International School for Development and Projectplanning"
(ISDeP) could start. In this ISDeP centre, Braille Without Borders will
train blind and visually impaired people who are motivated to start
social projects in their own regions or countries. BWB will select
those people with the right initiative, motivation and skills required
to fight poverty and create opportunities for the disadvantaged. The
students will receive training by highly qualified and motivated
The planned school campus with dormitory building,
classroomblock, dining hall and guesthouse
Over a one year's course these students will be trained in fundraising,
PR activities, management, project planning, computer technology and
The students will then be able to set up their own schools for the
blind or visually impaired, improve existing ones or start other social
projects in their own countries/regions.
More info on the ISDeP centre can be found here
The centre will be situated on the edge of a freshwater lake app.
10 Km away from the centre of Trivandrum, the capitol of Kerala state.
It is going to be built in an ecological style and we will install a
rainwaterharvestsystem, a biogasinstallation and we will make use of
solar and if possible also windenergy. There are two plots of land. One
will hold the school campus, the other an administration building and
In Trivandrum we hired a local supervisor to monitor the construction
activities. We also found a future managing director. She is from
Kerala, speaks fluent Hindi, Malayalam, English and German. She has a
degree in business and is very motivated to realize opportunities for
blind and visually impaired people worldwide.
This year has been and will be pretty busy. In the beginning of June we
have been invited to join the 45th annual International Achievement
Summit in Los Angeles.
Afterwards we will return to Tibet. In the middle of June, I will
return to Kerala to check on the construction activities. Sabriye will
stay in Tibet to work on the curricula of the school and farm project.
We will meet up in Bangkok in the beginning of July to go to Australia
we have been invited to present our work to a potential sponsor.
In mid July we will present the BWB philosophy as controversial
speakers at a conference of the ICEVI (International Council for
Education of People with visual impairment) in Kuala Lumpur.
We will be back in Tibet in August.
Thanks to our motivated and hard working staff we are able to travel
between projects. They identify themselves very much with the project
and take responsibility for the work.
Sabriye finished her new book:
"Das siebte Jahr - Von Tibet nach Indien"
(The seventh year - From Tibet to India"
Publisher: Kiepenheuer & Witsch
It will be published in August 2006.
We hope that translations in several languages will be available
later in 2006 or early 2007.
Again we would like to say thank you to all those who
have supported the BWB projects.
Thanks to you we have been and are able to give blind people a chance
to a better life!
PS also from Sabriye Tenberken
More Information www.braillewithoutborders.org
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