Background information of blindness in tibet
January 01, Michael Amendolia Time. Photographer Michael Amendolia Time. More information about the photo Less information about the photo. Michael Amendolia Based in Sydney, Australian photographer Michael Amendolia has 27 years experience working for Australian and international magazines, newspapers and companies. This image is collected in Photo Contest. Related stories. Thomas Hoepker. Vyacheslav Bobkov.
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Trent Parke. Jack Picone. Chien-Chi Chang. Ettore Malanca. Thys Dullaart. Mike Stocker. Sung Nam-Hun. Rich Addicks. She was less prepared for what she and her traveling companions discovered. They hadn't learned to walk because their parents hadn't taught them. Tenberken is seated in a bright second-floor sitting room above the school she has founded for blind Tibetan children in the land she has adopted.
Her partner, both personally and professionally, Paul Kronenberg, is working on a computer in the next room, as voices of children drift through an open window from a courtyard below. The children are practicing a play written by one of them. Tenberken and Mr.
Kronenberg, who is sighted, now run Braille Without Borders, a program for blind children in Tibet. She created the first Tibetan Braille system, which she is now teaching to her students, and her memoir about Tibet, now available in the United States, was popular in Germany. Nor is Ms. Tenberken, thirty-three, finished.
In coming months she and Mr. Kronenberg plan to open a second Braille Without Borders program in northern India, a first step in their goal of expanding their work to other developing countries.
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Kronenberg, an engineer by training, is also trying to develop a lighter, less expensive Braille machine. Tall, with straight, sandy brown hair, Ms. Tenberken still remembers the skepticism she faced when she presented her plans to local officials in Tibet. She had first tried to get a job with different international aid groups, but she says she was told that blind people were prohibited from doing field work.
So she decided to start her own organization. Everyone, she remembered, thought she was crazy. She's blind; who can take care of her; who can take her around? Tenberken navigates them herself and expects her students to learn to do the same. Her own childhood was filled with such challenges. Tenberken was raised in Bonn. Her father was a pianist, and her mother directed children's theater.
F illed with supplies, three or four Land Cruisers and a truck arrive in a rural community in remote Tibet. The farmers and the councils of the little villages of the county are ready and waiting as the local authorities have alerted them. In the course of about 24 hours, empty concrete rooms are sterilized, and as soon as the patients stream in, an eye camp—a temporary clinic cum surgery training center—is born. Marc Lieberman, M.
The camps are part of the Tibet Vision Project that he started.
Braille Without Borders
Lasting about six days, around patients are screened and to cataract operations are conducted at an eye camp. Lieberman shares with EyeWorld his devotion to eliminating preventable cataract blindness in Tibet. EW: Apart from your own practice in San Francisco, you spend your entire time teaching technicians, nurses, and surgeons in cataract surgery. What motivated you to do this? ML: There is a higher incidence of cataract blindness in Tibet than almost anywhere else in the world, in large part, we think, because of the high ultraviolet radiation. The plateau of Tibet is so high—the average height is about 15, feet—that the sunlight just does a number on these older people and their eyes.
Sabriye Tenberken | Blindness is no barrier
ML: I had been voluntarily teaching in India after I finished my medical training back at Johns Hopkins, [Baltimore], for one month a year since the s and recognized the magnitude of international blindness. I decided then that since I know how to work in the developing world and I had a lot of knowledge about teaching ophthalmology because I had been on faculty at various universities, that I would see if I could help the Tibetan people directly. I made my own arrangements, invited myself to go teach at the only hospital at that time in Tibet, and began going twice a year to teach the Tibetan eye doctors in the eye department how to do modern cataract work, and they were very welcoming to have this kind of assistance, and that began in EW: How did you come to work with the Jewish and Buddhist communities?
EW: Someone even decided to make a movie about your project, can you tell us more about it? ML: Mr. His movie came out in and is called Visioning Tibet.