On 21st of May 2015 our current three volunteers presented a sensitizing activity afternoon in collaboration with La Baraka ASBL and VIEWs International.
At 5:00 PM around 15 young, curious, really motivated and interested participants (aged between 14 and 20) came to discover our volunteers’ daily life as visually impaired EVS volunteer in Liège. After a short introduction and information session about VIEWS International, the EVS and their projects the three didn’t waste more time making their audience listening to too much information, but opened up to present their activity motivated to let the participants enjoy a shiny experience.
Walking in the dark was the first activity and in groups of two people (one as a guide, the other one was blindfolded) everyone tried to arrive at the building’s exit. A short walk outside completed this part of their programme. After some time the participants could feel more comfortable with the new situation.
On the way back to the activity room the groups of two changed their rules. Just arrived, the next situation was waiting: how to write and read? Therefore our volunteers didn’t only show Braille and the machine, but also a laptop with the Braille display and Jaws, a software that reads out the things shown on the screen.
After a short quiz (“Listen and guess what Jaws told you” the young participants couldn’t stop trying to write their names and short texts blindfolded. But after some time they had to, because our volunteers had more to show, such as daily life free time activities and possible complications (for example the fact that there is no voice on buses in Liège) and adapted tools such as stuff for the kitchen, adapted society games and of course their mobile phones and apps.
In the end videos about sports activities and a short discussion about possible free time activities made the event complete. Seeing the fact that the participants showed a lot of interest and openess, our volunteers would like to encourage La Baraka and the young persons in our area to take part in further collaborations with VIEWS International. After our event, most of the participants stayed with our volunteers for some time to play adapted games or have some snacks and drinks offered by them.