Thursday, April 19, 2012

Rowan's Back!

Hey Everyone,
Check out my new adventure on our new Blog!
Join me again this year to help support children who are blind!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

BCVI Summer Camp 2011 Photos available!

Visit our Facebook Page to view the photos taken at this year's Camp!
Thanks to Rowan for inspiring us all to make Summer Camp a reality,
and thanks to all our volunteers, supporters and donors who made this our most successful camp to date!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rowan's Recap... "I never fear anything, I just respect it."

After he reached the Summit of Victoria Peak, Row answers a few questions about the experience...

What did you do to prepare for the climb?

We trained. We walked long distances but the drawback is that the city doesn’t have hills... I would find out later that was a pretty big drawback.

How long did it take?

It took 2 and ½ days to the Peak and another 2 days to get back.

What did you take with you?

My backpack with a bladder of water. I wanted to take some other things like my DS but too bad! I’m glad I didn’t take them! My dad said he’d been on trips (up Victoria Peak) before where people were actually throwing out their socks to make their packs lighter!

Was the experience how you expected?

I thought it would be a little steep, but WOW! I have respect for that mountain. You know, I never fear anything, I just respect it.

Are you pleased with how much money you’ve raised? What would you like to say to people who have sponsored and supported you?

I’m really glad that I’m getting the support and everybody wants to donate and they don’t hesitate either. I really appreciate that!

What first gave you the idea?

The Summer Camp lost some major funding, so I thought what about the other kids? I have my parents’ support, but the others come from less and are not as fortunate as us.

Has it given you a taste for adventures like this?

Yeah! IF there are animals involved, why not?!

Do you have anything else planned?

My dad says maybe next year we can do a walk across Belize. It probably won’t be easy but at least the road is paved!

In what ways has BCVI supported you over the years?

I can’t even begin! They’ve provided all the equipment I need and not only that, but also mental support. Just because you’re blind, doesn’t mean you’ve invalid.

This year's Summer Camp will be centered around Technology and will take place in Belize City from July 10th to July 22nd. We will be updating regularly then. So, come back then to visit the Ambassadors for Sight! 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Video of Row & Joe at Victoria Peak!

"I want people to know I didn't just do this for fun!
I did this as a fundraiser for the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired."

- Rowan Garel

Support Rowan and spread the word
as we are still seeking donations for Summer Camp
and to help support the children who are blind and visually impaired!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

...On Rowan's Climb

On March 25th at approximately 2:30pm, BCVI received a call from 12-year-old Rowan Garel and his father Joe who had just arrived at the summit of Victoria Peak. Overwhelmed, exhausted and delighted, Rowan and Joe had done the trek to the top in just over one day, which is the average time it takes to reach that point.
Thanks to one of our major
corporate sponsors - Belize Telemedia Ltd.
Rowan was able to phone home!

“At no point in time, not one single time, did he complain,” Joe said of his brave son. Rowan recalls wanting to give up, “I thought about it, but I didn’t want to be remembered at the only blind person to try and then turn around and not make it.” This driven 12-year-old is not only the youngest to ever summit Victoria Peak, but is also the only person with any type of disability to accomplish this feat.

Rowan, Joe and their guides were greeted by a group of about 60 people, all family members, friends, supporters of Rowan’s cause and BCVI’s staff. The Welcome Back Picnic also brought together a couple of BCVIs young Rehab patients, Courtenay and Juan, who were thrilled to greet Rowan.
“It was emotional, you know, even some of my friends from summer camp were there to greet me and I really wasn’t expecting that,” Rowan said of the guests.

It's a daring adventure for anyone, especially for a 12-year-old boy, and even more so, for one who is blind. But, climbing the highest point in the country of Belize, Victoria Peak, is a challenge that Rowan was more than willing to take on for the blind and visually impaired children at BCVI.
Row and Joe on Victoria Peak!
Thanks to the Exclusive Airline of the
Ambassadors for Sight - Delta!

In 2010, the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired (BCVI) faced the likelihood of not being able to carry out their Annual Summer Camp for blind children due to a lack of funding. The non-profit organization supports blind and visually impaired students year-round, with the Camps being the highlight for them and their families. While the donations trickled in and camp was successful, in facing this crisis, Rowan and his parents worried about the other kids not having the opportunity in 2011 and came up with the idea.

The Garels have been with BCVI since Rowan was a baby. Now, almost a teenager, and at the top of his 7th Grade class, Rowan is the model student and a wonderfully caring boy. When told about BCVIs struggle raising funds, his parents were offered the chance to send him to the U.S. for a few weeks to attend a summer camp. Although Rowan was excited at the idea, his heartfelt response was, "What about the other kids?" Many of the students and young children in the program come from underprivileged families, and are not fortunate enough to have such opportunities. So, Rowan and his parents decided to help raise funds themselves. And so came about the Climbing Ambassadors for Sight.

We hope that this venture will continue to raise awareness and funds to help support not only Summer Camp, but other educational and rehabilitative training that the organization provides to blind and visually impaired people throughout Belize.

BCVI Summer Camp 2010
Juan and his little brother enjoy the pool at Bacab EcoPark,
 who had sponsored our campers for the day.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

More Photos of Rowan's Adventure!

Rowan and Joe pose for a photo on their journey

Rowan shares his experience with his Mom, Milagro.
Rowan as he arrived back at the base

Cockscomb Basin

Monday, March 28, 2011

Photo Album Available!

The Climb is over, but Row's cause remains - make Summer Camp possible for the blind and visually impaired children of Belize! Continue giving your support!

View photos of Row and Joe's adventure Climbing Victoria Peak on BCVI's Facebook Page!