‘Beautiful things felt by the heart’

2015-06-30 06:00
Sedick Jordan shows off handmade crafts woven by some of the visually impaired members of the Cape Town Society for the Blind.

tiyese jeranji

Sedick Jordan shows off handmade crafts woven by some of the visually impaired members of the Cape Town Society for the Blind. PHOTOS: tiyese jeranji

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When you encounter someone who is blind you tend to wonder how he carries out his day-to-day duties.

The blind and the visually impaired at the Cape Town Society for the Blind (CTSB) in Salt River say they live in a normal world and do everything another person can do.

Founded more than 36 years ago, the CTSB is a place of opportunity and hope. The members say nothing is difficult for them as they can do everything.

This is why the Society also runs skills project to keep the members going, as beautiful things are not seen by the eyes but felt by the heart.

Though they are visually impaired these people do amazing things with their hands. They sell these items to keep the organisation running and to make sure that even they can be independent, self-sufficient and empowered members of our society.

Sedick Jordan, a visually impaired public awareness officer at the CTSB, says when someone first comes to the Society they look lost and they are always looking down, but that changes as soon as they know their surroundings. “We really unleash the potential in someone. Some come here confused and they don’t know what to do because at one moment they could see and the next they can’t, so we help them deal with that drastic change. Here we promote self-dependence, making sure that they do most of the things for themselves all the time,” he says.

The Society runs various activities, like sewing, weaving and cooking.

Jordan adds that some members couldn’t cook for themselves when they got there but now they have become the best cooks.

“We just want those that are visually impaired to be able to do basically everything for themselves. Some never cooked but I’m glad that by coming here they learn every day and they can cook for themselves.”

Layton Phillips, who is visually impaired, does weaving at the Society. He says he is glad that he came to the CTSB.

“They have enriched my skills and made me realise I have potential. I love what I do and when people see what we do they are so surprised because they think the blind or visually impaired must be helped all the time. Here we learn to do things on our own. It makes us feel happy because we are living normal lives just like any other person out there. We are empowered and made to believe in our selves. People shouldn’t treat us any less because we can’t see like they do. We are capable of a lot of things. This is shown by the products that we make,” he says.

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