Cannons Creek honours Mandela Day

In honour of Mandela Day this year, Cannons Creek Independent School decided to support the visually-impaired community. The Guide Dogs Association visited the school on 22 July 2022, and educated the pupils (and staff) about their worthy cause, and how important it is for the public to support their initiative as it costs R100 000 per year to train one dog. Jackie Quail, the Regional Marketing Manager for the Guide Dogs Association explained that they breed the dogs all themselves, and specially train three types of dogs dependent on their personalities and strengths – Guide Dog (for the Visually-impaired), Service Dogs (for the physically challenged), and Autism-support dogs. The organisation also trains visually-impaired people on how to use their long cane, and daily life skills such as how to look after themselves, and how to make a cup of tea, etc. The school raised in excess of R7000 for the Guide Dogs Association. 

The entire school spent a portion of their school day on 22 July, doing actions / activities which gave them a better understanding and more insight into the daily life of a visually-impaired person. The High School, dressed in civvies, spent a lesson with one eye covered; while the Pre-Primary did some blind tasting of South African foods, and needed to aim a beanbag into a hula hoop goal whilst being blindfolded and instructed by a peer. The rest of the Primary School pupils attempted various ‘blind-friendly’ activities from walking blindfolded with a guide, to colouring in blindfolded using the glitter outline to guide them, to guessing their peer based on touch, to navigating their lunchboxes while ‘blind’, and some pupils needed to identify (and attempt to play it) what musical instrument they pulled out of a Mystery Box, while some pupils needed to listen to a story while blindfolded, and others needed to crack the Braille code. These activities enlightened our pupils what life is like for the visually-impaired, and taught them to rely on their other senses. Some of the comments from our pupils were: “It was difficult”, “It felt annoying and frustrating”, “It was scary because I couldn’t see”, “I felt lost”, “It was interesting but difficult”, “It felt like I was alone”, and “It was confusing”. 

To learn more about The Guide Dogs Association, please click here.