LEO, the youth organization of the Hungarian LIONS Clubs, organized an international camp and exchange program with French, German and Hungarian young people. Under the program, we met twice with their team. First, they joined us in a cheerful excursion, where they got acquainted with our visually impaired friends and their guide dogs and one of our trainers. The young people accompanied the visually impaired hikers, while their guide dogs could play freely. Several of our visually impaired friends can speak English well, so they chattered with their companions throughout the nearly three-hour excursion. Everyone had a good time and could experience the importance of helping each other.
Dóra Pozsgay, who took part in the excursion with her guide dog, Ébed, is talking about her experiences:
“My companion was a German girl called Anja, who was also a beginner in English. Sometimes I asked her, sometimes she asked me to repeat the question, but after all we had a very nice talk all the way. It turned out that there is also a blind girl in the school which she attends in Germany. We were in such harmony on the way back that I did not notice that we were pretty much always giggling. Of course, there were parts where I was glad that I could pay attention to my breath, and then it was only she who was talking, but then I told her to feel free to talk, I’m listening. I could learn a lot about her and vice versa.”
The next common program took place at our headquarters, where the young people took part in our program aimed to combat exclusionary attitudes towards the visually impaired. Blindfolded they tried to recognize a variety of kitchen utensils, how they could serve themselves as blind guests and could experience what it feels like to walk with a guide dog. Of course, they practiced guiding techniques for sighted people and learnt a lot about how to help correctly visually impaired people.
Both programs had a very good atmosphere. Thank you to everyone who joined us!