Guide dog foun­da­tion pays the Pres­i­dent a visit

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Pres­i­dent Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca yes­ter­day wel­comed the Malta Guide Dogs Foun­da­tion to San Anton Palace on the oc­ca­sion of In­ter­na­tional White Cane Safety Day, which was cel­e­brated yes­ter­day. The MGDF del­e­ga­tion was com­posed of its chair­man Leone Sciber­ras, events co-or­di­na­tor Merle Whale and guide dog user Joseph Vella.

The Pres­i­dent, a long-time sup­porter of the foun­da­tion and its var­i­ous ini­tia­tives, stressed the im­por­tance of fo­cus­ing on peo­ple’s abil­i­ties and urged the foun­da­tion to con­tinue work­ing on build­ing aware­ness so that the pub­lic would come for­ward and ben­e­fit from the free ser­vices the foun­da­tion of­fers.

Mr Sciber­ras briefed the Pres­i­dent on the foun­da­tion’s work, the sig­nif­i­cance of In­ter­na­tional White Cane Safety Day and how the foun­da­tion works with peo­ple with avi­sual im­pair­ment to help them live an in­de­pen­dent life in so­ci­ety.

Learn­ing to use the white cane can be an aim in it­self but, for those who wish to have a guide dog, learn­ing gen­eral ori­en­ta­tion and mo­bil­ity skills and the use of the white cane is a pre­req­ui­site to be­ing given a guide dog.

Mr Vella ex­plained how his guide dog en­abled him to be more in­de­pen­dent af­ter he had used the white cane both in his work and in get­ting around the Uni­ver­sity of Malta as he pur­sues fur­ther stud­ies there.

Ms Whale then read out a poem, writ­ten by 11-year-old Sa­muel Far­ru­gia es­pe­cially for the day. The

The poem 11-year-old Sa­muel Far­ru­gia wrote on the oc­ca­sion of In­ter­na­tional White Cane Safety Day: “I may be blind “but nei­ther deaf nor dumb. “I can­not fly a plane “But I can use my white cane “I can be a Vet or an en­gi­neer. “I will never sit around “And mould my ear with the tele­vi­sion.

“I will get up and go out in the world “And do things in my life “Even though I am blind.”

Malta Guide Dogs Foun­da­tion, apart from hav­ing train­ing Sa­muel to use the white cane, has also given him ad­di­tional Ori­en­ta­tion and Mo­bil­ity train­ing to help him find his way around his new school.

Pres­i­dent Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca with Malta Guide Dogs Foun­da­tion chair­man Leone Sciber­ras (right) and guide dog user Joseph Vella at San Anton Palace yes­ter­day

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