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students' US dream comes true at last

By Namhla Tshisela | Apr 16, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

TWO blind students have realised their dream to visit a prestigious school in the US.

TWO blind students have realised their dream to visit a prestigious school in the US.

Melusi Ncala and Chardy Williamson, both third-year Bachelor of Education students at Wits University, left yesterday for the Perkins School for the Blind in Boston. The two will spend a month at the school, where they will complete their teaching practicals.

Founded in 1832, Perkins School is the first in the US to deal with the needs of the visually impaired.

Ncala said visiting the school was a dream come true.

"It was my ambition from an early age to complete my practicals at Perkins. I am elated that I got this far," Ncala said yesterday.

He said getting funding for their stay at the school was a struggle because they neither of them could afford it. Their trip, which cost about R100000 each, was funded by donors who were touched after reading about their plight in Sowetan last month.

He said their travel arrangements took shape last week when his friend Steph Rapp and her family contributed to their plane tickets and travel visas.

"Getting sponsorship for the trip was a struggle but faith kept us going," Ncala said.

"I had told myself that one way or another I was going to Boston."

A couple in Boston offered to host the two students at their home during their stay and a Pretoria businessman also donated money to cover their living expenses.

Williamson said she was looking forward to learning teaching strategies that would benefit sighted and blind pupils back home.


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