The Ayo! team delivered two brand new Braille printers to Special School No. 14 in Yerevan. With a lot of enthusiasm, energy and balloons we stepped out of the car upon arrival only to be greeted by the school’s director. He led us to the room where we could install the printers so they would be ready to use. It was special to see how happy the director was, thanking us profusely for the printers and explaining once again the importance. Braille books are essential tools for blind children. They are their gateway to literacy and their strongest tools for learning. These facts make us especially happy and proud –proud that we could give them these printers and proud that our hard work and the support from our Ayo! friends led to this opportunity.
After decorating the room with a lot of Ayo! balloons it was time to welcome the children. They came in one by one not knowing who was in the room and what exactly was happening. “Hey you! What’s your name?” said one child. Soon enough, they were surrounded by balloons, hugging us and thanking us for them, their faces aglow. When they all sat down at a computer we told them that we had a special a gift: two new Braille printers. “So now we can print our Armenian lessons too?” said one of the students in a high-pitched, cheerful voice. He was right! Now they can print whatever they want, be it fairy tales or history, along with their lessons, of course. The children stood up and played with the balloons (and with us!). The special thing was that the children loved the fact that they were getting all the attention. They were grabbing our hands and telling us stories. I got lucky to talk with one little boy with dark brown eyes and dark hair. He held my hand the whole time and he asked me where I was from. He noticed my broken Armenian and sometimes got frustrated because I didn’t understand everything he was telling me. (I thank him for his patience.) After we got acquainted he told me how much he liked the ice cream he got the other day. He didn’t need ice cream today because today they had something else that made him happy. I didn’t know what to say for a moment. This boy couldn’t see anything but something as simple as an ice cream made him so happy. That’s special. After a moment of silence he added, “Today is a happy day because we got balloons and a printer. Now we can read everything we want – even our Armenian lessons! And also funny stories!”
It was beautiful and rewarding. The most beautiful thing to see is a person smiling. And you know what’s even better? Knowing that you made that person smile! If you ever feel unhappy think about the children who are so thrilled with these Braille printers, which give them the chance to read. (Ice cream might do the trick, as well.) It was an awesome day!
Thanks and talk to you soon!