According to sources there are thirty nine million blind and 245 million visually impaired people in the world today. Ninety percent of these people are living in the developing world, and the majority have conditions that can be treated and cured.
King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden presents Scout caps to the blind students.
This year, 2011, the Father Ray Foundation will be using the theme ‘Raising Awareness - Giving Hope’ to highlight its work at the Pattaya Redemptorist School for the Blind.
For almost twenty five years young blind and visually impaired children have travelled to Pattaya to receive an education.
Three blind students with their ‘Awards for Excellence’.
The school teaches subjects following the national curriculum, and from an early age the youngsters will learn how to mobilize using a white cane. Cooking, gardening and music lessons give each and every student the chance to gain knowledge and life skills that they will need to grow into independent adults.
Enjoying the fun at Pattaya Park.
Students also learn to swim and participate in a variety of sports; several students have gone on to represent Thailand at international events.
Every student at the school is a member of the Scout Association of Thailand, and HM King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden has visited the school in his role of Honorary Chairman of the World Scout Foundation. Earlier this year six students traveled to Sweden to attend the World Scouting Jamboree 2011.
In August the students were given the opportunity to learn a new skill, photography, and you may be wondering how a blind person can take a photo using a digital camera.
Not even the highest slides scare the young blind students.
To find this out, and to experience the skills that the students use each day, you are invited to attend the World Sight Day 2011 celebrations on the afternoon of Sunday the 9th October at Central Festival Beach Road. From 16:00 to 18:30 you can have your photo taken by one of the blind students, learn to write your name in Braille, use a white cane and get from A to B whilst blindfolded.
There will be a fashion show and auction hosted by supermodel Cindy Burbridge and Miss Universe 2005 Natalie Glebova.
Also at this event the Father Ray Foundation will also be drawing the prize tickets in the Father Ray Lucky Draw 2011. Tickets to win a Toyota Vios, one of four motorbikes, gold jewelry, flights, hotel accommodation, meal vouchers and many more wonderful prizes are still available at the Father Ray Foundation Welcome Center on Sukhumvit Road.
One of the blind students learning a new skill.
The choir learn to breathe properly with tenor Kim Jun Man.