THE CHARGE D’AFFAIRES AD INTERIM OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA
ON THE OCCASION OF THE ANNUAL PRIZE GIVING CEREMONY
IN FIJI SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND
3 DECEMBER 2009
President of Fiji Society of the Blind,
Head teacher Fiji School for the Blind,
Teachers and students,
The happy parents,
Ni sa Bula Vinaka, Namaste and a very good afternoon to you all,
It is indeed a pleasure and honour for me to be with you here to celebrate the end of another school year. My congratulations go to the students of Fiji School for the Blind; your hard works are finally paid off today. Let me also convey my congratulations to those who have stood with the students; parents, teachers, family members, and friends. They, indeed, deserve to share the students’ pride and my congratulations. To the prizewinners today, please accept my warmest congratulations.
I would like to remind the students that success could not be achieved without trials and tribulations. Trials and tribulations are also parts of your selves’ development. And that’s what education is all about: development. There is a total acceptance worldwide that education is the principal key to development, because it relates to the enhancement of the capabilities of our human resources at all ages and levels.
I would also like to commend on the tremendous and honorable work of Fiji Society of the Blind. As the only national agency providing education, training, rehabilitation and related services to the visually impaired persons in this country, Fiji Society of the Blind is committed to supporting blind Fijians as well as to promoting their interests and wellbeing. One of its great achievements is while operating the School for the blind, the Society also mainstreaming many of its students since 1981 under its Integration Program. Since then more than 50 percent of those who attended classes have found open employment in fields such as teaching, music, office administration, and factory works. I believe one of them is even a policewoman.
I also learnt that in 2001 one female student was admitted in the University of South Pacific as the first visually impaired student to enroll in the University in its 40-year history. To overcome university administrators’ apprehensions, the Society staff conducted awareness-raising trainings and meetings to outline the responsibilities and expectations both the Fiji Society for the blind and the University. To me, this was a remarkable achievement of the Society. It opens the way to visually impaired students to get the best education and reach their dreams.
The Society also deserves to a great appreciation for continuously promoting the wellbeing of visually impaired people through its various activities, not only for those who are in Fiji but also those from other countries in the Pacific. I learnt that last year, 27 boarders attended Fiji School for the Blind or are integrated into mainstream schools in Suva.
To conclude, I would like to wish all the students well in your future. Make sure that the light does not exclusively belong to only a group of people, but also to people like you who appreciate the sacrifices and hard works of the parents and teachers in order to make the dreams a reality. The light lays at the purity of your heart and each of you can be the light to the family, community, country and the world. To all of you, enjoy your holidays, have a Merry Christmas and happy New Year with your families and friends.