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Celebrating Helen Keller Day

4 July 2016

Helen Keller's Birthday on 27 June is celebrated as a focus for deafblind awareness activities around the world, and Sense International has been busy marking the occasion. Here is just a snapshot of a few of the ways our teams have honoured this extraordinary woman and raised awareness about deafblindness this week...

India

Messangers on Cycles - IndiaCelebrating the indomitable spirit of Helen Keller, Sense International India organised a charity cycling ride where over 400 participants (including people with disabilities – tricycle riders and observers) in Ahmedabad rode 16 kms to ‘make some noise for people with deafblindness', creating space for inclusion, education and support for children and adults with deafblindness.

Messangers on Cycles, TricyclesA sensitisation and awareness drive in Ahmedabad that promotes cycling for fun, fitness and endurance, the message of the importance of education, health and inclusion of people with disabilities into mainstream society by bringing them together on an inclusive, cycling platform.

Read all about it and see the images on the Sense International India Facebook page

Peru

Ricardo Zevallos on televisionA range of events took place in Peru to celebrate International Deafblind Awareness Day.

Several events and launches took place, including an opening ceremony for a training course on Guide Interpreters at the Ministry of Education. The official launch of the People Parents and Family Members Association also took place. Ricardo Zevallos, director of Sense International Peru was busy giving numerous radio interviews and a television appearance, raising awareness about deafblindness in national and local media.

SI Peru information presentationIn addition to these events, a social inclusion activity was planned, focussing on a visit to a recreational centre "El Tumi".

 

 

Uganda

To celebrate Helen Keller Day and Deafblind Awareness Week, a mini exhibition took place at Buckley high school.

Local government officials, UNICEF staff and local teachers visited the deafblind unit at the school to visit classes for learners with deafblindness. The visit was held to show the value of a pupil teacher ratio of 1:1, and emphasising the need for teaching assistants along with certain modifications in mainstream schools to ensure children with deafblindness are fully included.

In addition, Buckley high school's teachers and children from Buckley visited the district headquarters and submitted a position paper on Hellen Keller, her achievements as a person with deafblindness and the need for Government to support the many learners with deafblindness towards excellence. The headteacher lead the team which included four children with deafblindness and one parent of a child with deafblindness.

Romania

More than 100 people attended events across the country.

Early Intervention Programme

Sensory toysOradea - Sensory stimulation activities were organized through experiential theatre. Children experienced the seasons through various sensory stimulation – smell, sounds, touch, wind, rain, and sun. In addition to this, they had fun in the sensory garden. For the parents and teachers, we had a special activity where they watched a video on Helen Keller’s life and we handed out to each parent, quotes from Helen Keller.

Tree planting in RomaniaBucharest - Children, parents, teachers and volunteers from the Bucharest Early Intervention Support Centre chose to mark this special occasion by planting trees in the kindergarten yard and taking a boat trip on the “Children’s Island” in Bucharest's Herastrau Park.

Iasi - The team in Iasi decided that the time has come to reach out into the community and increase awareness about deafblindness, by organizing the Helen Keller celebration in a public space, the Lasi central park. They setup a sensory tent and invited children, parents, teachers, doctors, local authorities, volunteers and the public to experience various sensory stimulation materials. The theme of the events was: “Close your eyes, cover your ears and enter our world”. The event was also covered by Romanain national TV.

Swimming in RomaniaTimisoara - Children and parents from Timisoara chose to experience water through a little project called “Movement in Water”, where they spent a day at a local swimming pool with specialists, having fun in the water but at the same time improving the children’s sensory experiences and balance.

 

 

Vocational Programme

Arad - Young people studying in Arad celebrated Helen Keller week by taking a trip to Zarand Mountains, attended a cooking workshop, visited the local museum and park in Arad and watched the movie about the life of Helen Keller.

EBRU painting with words - RomaniaBucharest - Young people in Bucharest paid a visit to Animal Farm, and in school they attended a very special activity using a technique called EBRU, put simply, painting on water.

Buzau - Young people from Buzau watched the movie about Helen Keller’s life and had a very special day making a mini sensory garden in the school park, where they planted flowers and trees. They also visited the central park in Buzau, handing out leaflets created by themselves in the letters and balloons.

Focsani - The students from Focsani created a huge Helen Keller banner and watched the movie about her life, they took a trip to the mountains. They also attended a photo workshop, where they created frames and organized a very special activity called “Where will I be in 10 years?” using various books, magazines and images, where they created a collage answering this question.

Galati - Young people learning gardening in the Galati Greenhouse went on a one day trip to Putna National Park, attending a sporting competition and held a festive Helen Keller Day at school.

Iasi - The young people attended the marzipan molding facgtory and went to the local swimming pool for fun and hydrotherapy. Together with parents, teachers and volunteers they attended an activity where they created carnival masks, followed by a parade where the best masks were awarded prizes.

Timisoara - The students from the Timisoara, their teachers and parents organized the event Knowledge and Adventure, where they went on a very special trip by train, on the oldest railway in South-Eastern Europe. They took a boat trip in Timisoara on the Bega river and, in school, created leaflets, posters and banners about Helen Keller which they exhibited and shared with colleagues from the school.

First published: Tuesday 18 June 2013
Last updated: Wednesday 11 October 2017