Tag Archives: Global Roots

2016: To Be A Very Good Year!

Just when I was beginning to wonder what was happening a half world away from me with Kyila’s students/children at Kiki’s Kids, I received an email from her. Finally the new location of her program will move from Shigatse to Lhasa in this next year when students return to school after the holidays. Yeah!

How exciting that will be for everyone, especially since the big city will provide some benefits, such as: closer to medical care, access to farmers with greenhouses and thus fresher food, closer to the airport when needing to get special surgeries for eye care or whatever in Beijing or Shanghai, and more activities for the young people.

2016, looks to be with a bright start for Kiki’s Kids. When I know more, you’ll know more! Happy Holidays!

 

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A Gesars Bard’s Tale – Film

A Gesar Bard’s Tale is a movie about a Tibetan. The young boy, Dawa, was herding yaks till age 13 when he suddenly had a series of visions, the gift to tell Tibet’s King Gesar’s epic story. At age 35, he became guardian of national cultural heritage and receives a salary from the Chinese government. In his hometown he is considered a holy man.

Dawa grew up in very rural area of Tibet, miles from Lhasa. When I was in Tibet in 2010, I was aware of an earthquake that took place as I traveled and it had caused much damage in his hometown. I saw newspaper articles and TV reports at the time. The devastation, crumbled flimsy housing. Many people desperate for help. The Chinese provided tents and support for the victims. Since then, the Chinese implemented a redevelopment project for the region. In the film, Dawa continues his seeking and healing from King Gesar and other divine protectors of the land.

The movie is in Tibetan, thus subtitled for the rest of us. It may not be a movie that will attract much attention from the majority of the world; however, I appreciated seeing the Chinese reconstruction that had begun and hope the community gets what they need. For those of you who follow my blog, you might recall a child came to Kiki’s Kids from the earthquake devastation. Once again, we are fortunate to have an educational program for the 3 – 5 year olds at Kiki’s Kids. If you wish to donate to help Kiki’s Kids, please donate at Global Roots and specify Tibet’s Kiki’s Kids.

Thank you.

Donation Time … Before Years End … Thank You!

I could talk about Kiki’s Kids, the kindergarten for blind and sighted 3- 5 year olds in Tibet, for as long as you wish. I feel very positive about all that Kyila as founder/director is accomplishing. However, the bottom-line is that monetary funds need to be raised each year through a variety of sources so the kindergarten can continue. Thanks to Global Roots, and your donations there specifically for the Tibetan project, monies will help Kyila move her Kiki’s Kids kindergarten to Lhasa and fund operating expenses for another year.

I think long and hard about Kiki’s Kids. This is a program where these young children are not able to make beaded necklaces for their program to then sell. There is no way for these children to fundraise for themselves. Instead it is from the help from people like you and me who donate our monies so Kyila can provide these 3- 5 year olds with a safe, healthy, educational place. Otherwise, these children would be at their home hours away from such support, and with parents who would not know what to do with them, or worse yet believe the child was purposely made blind by something their child did in a previous life.

Kyila continues to work to educate parents, care for the young children, and provide work opportunities for her staff. She needs our support. Please donate to Global Roots and specify your donation for the Tibetan work of Kiki’s Kids. You will notice that they ask you to email them if you want your contribution applied to a certain project …. please do… simply so your donation goes to Tibetan Kiki’s Kids …. and also to tell them how you heard about Kiki’s Kids … just say “Mary’s blog”.

Click here to donate to Global Roots before our tax year is over, especially if you wish a tax-deductible donation. Clicking at that spot, “here” above, will bring you right to Global Roots page…and then email Rick when you are done at rick@globalroots.org to specify use of your donation and where you heard this all from. Thank you …. and on behalf of Kyila and her children at the kindergarten…thank you.

Namaste.

A Blind Person Can Play Tennis!?! How can this happen?

Today I was reminding one of my friends that tennis is a lifetime sport … and it can be for everyone! When instructing individuals on his/her tennis game, I have incorporated adaptations necessary for youth, for wheelchair athletes, for beginners, or whoever is in need of an adaptation … and someday I may have a chance to teach one of Kiki’s Kids to play tennis in Tibet, even though they may be blind, visually impaired or sighted! Right now they are learning during their kindergarten year how to interact with people of various vision differences in their sport activities and movement, use of educational materials, and completion of daily living activities. Why not with a game of tennis?

How can this happen? Specific equipment is needed: sound-adapted foam ball, lower net, smaller racquets, and raised lines … similar to what we’ve already done for other adapted activities. And, dependent on the severity of the individual’s visual impairment the ball can bounce three times on their court-side. Sighted and blind young people could easily interact and play together in this sport…and for all a great deal of patience would absolutely be needed! There is no chance to quickly “see” the ball for a blind person, yet he/she can do it with practice.

How can this happen? Apparently, according to the scientists, a blind person can process, and thus perceive, the ball in space by their use of other senses. I always remember hearing when one loses one sense others will be sharper, and this is the case for blind people….yet practice is needed to sharpen them through their normal growing years and, also as with all of us, the continued tennis practicing time….thus lifetime sport!

So, in 1984, thanks to a blind Japanese teenager, Miyoshi Takei, the opportunity for blind people to use a sound-adapted tennis ball began and we may someday see this as a sport in the Paralympic Games. And, even if not at that level of play, it can be at a community tennis court near or far from you!

Additional note: August 2014, thanks to donors, like you, three boxes of educational books, and sporting and camping equipment was received at Kiki’s Kids. All of it was greatly appreciated! I do not know of any tennis court when I was in Lhasa, but who knows, we may someday use an open parking lot, set up the nets, put down the raised-lines and have the start of a tennis lesson!

Your continued donations to Global Roots is always appreciated. Any questions, do not hesitate to ask me. Great work is being done with these young people in Tibet.

Namaste.

News from Kyila!

Kyila has been a busy person; however, she sent information out about what has been happening in chilly Tibet. Three more children have graduated from Kiki’s Kids to the Braille Without Borders prep school in Lhasa. This is great news as they have learned Braille in 3 different languages, have daily living skills, orientation, mobility, self-confidence and can carry on small conversations in English and Chinese. Kudos to these graduating students!

Global Roots has provided a Labrador dog as you had seen in past posts. The children are enjoying the dog.

Teacher’s Day is a special time each year; however, this year the USA donors with me had bought a variety of children’s toys and nano iPods for her staff. Unfortunately no separate photo was sent, and I cannot copy and past off her newsletter. But know that thanks to all who contributed was mentioned in her note.

An extremely important dimension to Kiki’s Kids has been kicked off with Handicapped International’s help. They had the first parent training in Shigatse where Kiki’s Kids is located right now. These parents have blind children and were made aware of how their blind child can learn, and just how capable a blind child with education can work to be a successful, productive adult years later with their support and also Kiki’s Kids. I think it was a great idea to blindfold the parents so they could discover use of their other senses – smelling, listening, touching. The parents also visited the Braille Without Borders Farm so they could learn and understand about the progression of learning for their blind child toward a future of independent living. I hope we hear more about this program continuing in the future.

Finally, Kiki’s Kids will hopefully move to Lhasa in March 2015. Individuals are working with Kyila to make that a reality.

As always, please consider donating to Global Roots. This organization has been with Kyila from her first year in founding Kiki’s Kids, and she continues to appreciate their support. Donate directly through Global Roots and be sure to state you wish your donation be for Kiki’s Kids in Tibet. This way Kyila and her children will benefit from your donation. Thank you!

World Kindness Day – November 13

Let’s be clear… in my opinion, every day should truly be “World Kindness Day”. But given the fact it is not, today is the designated day to be kind. What does that look like? Maybe it is a time when one is not hard on his or herself; when not critical of another person; when we go with the flow and support another’s good efforts. There are many ways to be kind. I believe we know the ways, but need to take time to be kind. That is probably what this day is to remind us.

I think the people who are most kind are the ones who “Love Life.” Awhile ago I saw this message in a sort of crazy place, so I took the picture never knowing when I would ever use it. Today is the day. People who love life, I believe are kind people most the time. Do you love life? Are you a kind person? It’s time to act with kindness … Namaste!

Be kind ...
Be kind …

PS. Each day Kyila and her staff are providing much kindness to the children at Kiki’s Kids in Tibet, China. If you wish to support her work, please donate, and specify your donation to Kiki’s Kids, at Global Roots. Click here to do so. Appreciate your generosity!

Beep Baseball for the Blind & Others To Play

You might have seen this television program recently: a story about blind or visually-impaired people and sighted people playing beep baseball. We had included a beeping, foam, ball in our donations to Kiki’s Kids so I was especially intrigued to see this game being played on television.

The only sighted person on a team is the pitcher and the pitcher pitches the ball to his/her own batter. Thus they will have practiced and have a sense of timing for the batter to swing at the ball. The beeping sound announces the speed and location of the ball. Once the ball is hit, a random beep indicates which base the batter is to run towards. There are only two bases: first and third. The batter needs to get to the base before the person catches or stops the ball. All players other than the pitcher wear blindfolds to assure everyone not being able to see. Everyone’s ears become their eyes. As you can understand, these rules are adapted for blind players, with the bases comprised of padded pylon posts.

There are at least two dozen teams in the USA and Taiwan. As with regular baseball, there is a sense of camaraderie among the players, trusting relationships are established, and as always among athletes … a favorite thing: to win the game!

Thanks for your support in helping Kiki’s Kids. Please continue to do so by donating to Global Roots, and indicate your donation is for Kiki’s Kids. Time to play ball?

Namaste.