The Founder, Raj Tribhuwan, is himself visually impaired, and has a deep heart of care and compassion for the Community. He is also an expert at Adaptive Technology use for the blind, and it is this passion and skills level that has drawn him into this initiative.
He believes that from Canada we can play a leading role in the advancement and development of Persons with Disabilities, especially the visually impaired around the world, numbering 40 million today.
The reason for the Raj Tribhuwan Foundation
By Raj Tribhuwan
For too long the blind are being pushed on the back burner. Especially in countries that are considered the third world, people with a disability are being left on the shelf so to speak, but more so I find the blind are pushed on the back burner and left to burn. As one who have dwelled among the disabled in both the “third world “and now a more developed countries, I am often brought back to the days and reality of when I use to wonder and grasp.
While living in Guyana, and among the blind, it use to grieve my heart to witness day after day great talent and wits, aspirations and dreams boiled down to nothing. As a music instructor in the blind unit at the St. Roses High School, I had a firsthand and day to day look at the plight of blind students struggling to get a proper education among their sighted peers.
There were times when students who were writing the CXC and GCE examination had to wait for a volunteer to read the text books on cassette tapes, and then had to study the materials, and who could at that time, made their notes in Braille.
On the other hand, there was the group who never had that opportunity to attend a high school, and had to be contented with going to the then what was referred to as the Blind Institute. Like the group mentioned above, it was the same type of struggle, but in a different way.
Here at the Blind Institute, the blind adults possessed numerous skills and talents, but could not get the raw material to work, and when little became available, the market was not created. So with much time on their hand, days went by with many contending with just one or two meals. Life there was rough and kayotic when compared.
In Suriname, another country where I resided and explored possibilities of better opportunities for the blind, I encountered different barriers. There was a special school for the visually challenged, but one must be born a local to attend I was told. The blind adults met twice a week for two hour sessions, was given a few pieces of raw material to make this and that, a cookie or two, some cheap drink, sang a song and was locked away for the rest of the week until the next time.
I recall sitting among that group, but my thoughts were in turmoil, thinking how and why and when. I knew I could not last there and there had to be a better way, for like me, these creatures were human. I recalled approaching a woman who was in charged of the group then with some proposals, but she said these people are happy with what they have.
As I immigrated to Canada, I knew my first goal would be education.
As I explored opportunities and possibilities, I got enrolled in school, and involved with volunteer work with the visually challenged at the CNIB, Canadian National Institute for the Blind. But all along, my thoughts kept returning to the group I left behind, and vowed one day to make a change and difference.
So with the above mentioned, myself and some family and friends decided to create a non profit organization, and so the Raj Tribhuwan Foundation was established and launched October 2009.