Faiva Ora Innovation Fund project: This is who I am
Ua aofia i le futiafu e tasi, When the river dries up, water is found only in the basin of the waterfall.
Project: To create a digital resource to combat the stigma and discrimination associated with blind people who are able to lead fulfilling lives.
Talofa lava, my name is Daniel Te’o and I represent our Pacific Services team at the Blind Foundation. Our cultural service has been in existence for almost 20 years, with our function based around the principle of being culturally appropriate in everything that we do and say on behalf of our clients who are blind or have low-vision.
Our team connects with our community by linking with other like-minded organisations and service providers to spread blindness awareness messages.
With the support of the Faiva Ora Community Initiative Fund (FOCIF), we were able to coordinate and create a series of four media resources highlighting real people’s stories real life journeys throughout the community, workplace, school, and home. The gap that we identified was the need to spread the message of the blindness services available within the Blind Foundation for our Pacific communities.
The Pacific services team and the Blind Foundation wrapped up the series with a music video showcasing a song composed and recorded by a band known as “The Four Fathers” (musicians who experience blindness in their own respective lives). It was vital to our work to share the thoughts and feelings of our clients and by doing this project, we have a platform to connect with our wider Pacific community.
Where to from here?
We hope to share these videos through our health clinics, community providers as well as our own awareness presentations to our families, churches just to name a few with the view to show that we all can truly live fulfilling lives together.
We would like to thank all those who have supported us on this journey, namely Le Va, The Blind Foundation, Blue Sky Trust, Westone Productions and The Four Fathers. As the Project lead, I was truly blessed to witness some courageous stories, and know that these will help me to walk my own path as a person who is blind!