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Blinded

14 December 2011

Yesterday I attended the Pattaya Redemptorist School for the Blind under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Maka Chakri Sirindhorn, as part of our ongoing commitment to Corporate Responsibility.  This is in conjunction with Khun Chatchai Aphibanpoonpon, who has developed a string pen that helps the blind to draw.

We were slightly late as the children were all waiting for us in the assembly hall.  We promptly got to work by handing out the pens and the Velcro pads and evaluated how the children used them.

It was refreshing to see all the children helping one another, which is stark contrast to what you normally see in society today.

After an hour or so we then proceeded downstairs to watch them practice their sports day.  They were playing volleyball and football. I also had the chance to participate (blindfolded) but I wasn’t very good.

What I learnt from this whole experience was how fortunate we all are and how sometimes we take things for granted.

I had the chance to ask Khun Chatchai some questions regarding his pen and what makes him such an inspiration to myself and others.

Q:  Where did you get the idea from?

A:  I saw the idea from India, when a blind couple developed this string pen as a way to communicate with each other.  I thought this would be cool to bring into Thailand.

Q:  What motivates you and why?

A:  I believe not a lot of people give attention to the disabled – so I am bringing an innovative product to improve their lives.  Why?  Because we have to do the right thing and be a change maker.

Q:  What are you passionate about?

A:  Being innovative and creating impact for a better world.

Q:  What is your biggest challenge?

A:  I don’t have the resource or money.  I’m not a designer or engineer – so to have those people will be a great benefit.

Q:  What do you hope to achieve in the next 5 years?

A:  I Want to have my own  innovative design company, where I can create products that will enrich people’s lives.

It was such an honour to be in the presence of Khun Chatchai but moreover to hear him share his story.

Sometimes, society as a whole can take experience from the blind – aren’t we blinded by our  own needs and wants?

We should all take a step back and learn to value life more, not be so judgemental and learn to give unconditional love.

“There is no greater gift than the value of life itself”  Anon

Please check our facebook page @ www.facebook.com/broadgategroup for all the pictures taken during this trip.

Simon Osborne

Chief Brand Officer

simonosborne@broadgatefinancial.com