Blindness is defined as not being able to see anything, despite this some people are called blind, despite being partially sighted. This is because they cannot see clearly, but only see unfocused shapes or colours. Blindness is mostly caused by malnutrition and diseases in older people such as cataracts and trachoma. People can become blind because of diseases or accidents, but sometimes people are born blind.
Worldwide there are between 300 and 400 million people who are visually impaired due to various causes. Of this group, approximately 50 million people are totally blind, unable to see light in either eye.
Delegates at the TCM Group’s fifth Annual Charity Auction were requested by our master of ceremonies and charity auctioneer to close their eyes for five minutes as he relayed a recent exercise he had experienced with his young son who had asked “dad what would it be like to be blind and if you had a choice, which of your sensors would you do without?”. This set the tone for the evening and is something most full sighted individuals sometimes take for granted and the question still remains which would you chose……. that’s if you had a choice, but for many people this is not a choice but a blessing we are sometimes born with and we simply have to live our lives never knowing what we are possibly missing out on. Our emotions were challenged as we were asked to open our eyes five minutes later and in front of us stood three young ladies that simply radiated the joy of life before us. They then proceeded to entertain us for the next 20 minutes as they sang songs for us without even the slightest indication of their disability resulting in many delegates being left with tears in their eyes at this wonderful display of youth and exuberance and determination to make the most of their talents. What a magnificent display of how our talent supersedes what life deals us. Great applause followed these beautiful songs.
Getting back to why we were entertained by these young blind ladies, our hosts Hubert and Iza of Debtus / TCM Poland are passionate about the Fund for the Blind of Laski and one can fully understand this passion as this centre was created by Elżbieta Roża Czacka. She considered her loss of sight as a vocation and in 1911 she founded the Society for the Care of the Blind and a couple of years later collaborated with the Franciscan Sisters Servants of the Cross.
Mother Elżbieta Czacka was aware of the need for the proper education of the blind so as to enable them to live independently and responsibly. This is why the centre in Laski educates blind children from their first months of life until the Baccalaureate and Professional Exams in an atmosphere of self-respect and openness to others. In the future, this will enable the blind to live independently amongst their family, work environment, and in a society of sighted people.
Delegates raised a formidable sum of US$22 693.25 as they bid on items hand-picked from their home countries. With TCM Group pledging a further US$2,000, the overall donation to the Fund for the blind of Laski came to US$24 693.25.
All contributions collected, will go towards supporting the many activities required for the Centre for the Blind such as renovation of facilities, educational support and last but not least music school (including the release of the album).
For more information go to www.laski.edu.pl