Rainbow Dreams Trust

Not Quite My Most Intimidating Audience – But Almost

Last weekend I got invited back to speak at another school camp by the Rainbow Dreams Trust. This camp was aimed at learners from the townships in and around Cape Town and was the annual gathering of the 4 groups that Rainbow Dreams Trust run during the school year.

Facing a group of 100 learners between the ages of 8 – 18 is very different than facing my most intimidating audiences (aged 4 – 6 years), but several of the same considerations need to be taken into account – how to explain certain key concepts that are fundamental to my message in age-appropriate terms, how to adjust my humour to fit an audience that is very diverse in terms of age and culture… and how to stop my guide dog from stealing the show!

Feedback I received from the camp counselors seemed to indicate that I succeeded in all these areas… well, perhaps the first two more effectively than the final one – and certainly there were enough questions to have filled double the time I had available, so I’m happy that I achieved what Rainbow Dreams Trust had asked me to do.

Here is a video taken from the presentation:

Inspiration and Energy – A Two-Way Stream

Cds 2017 04 22 17 43 22Recently I had the opportunity of speaking at a holiday camp for school learners from one of the schools for visually impaired children. The camp is an annual event organized by the Rainbow Dreams Trust that focuses on building confidence and the awareness of possibilities for the learners. It was the second time I was invited to speak at the event.

I told the group a little about myself and my story, focusing on some of the things I’ve done and the way I use assistive technology to help me do the things I want to. Then I invited them to ask questions. As always, I was amazed at the range of topics they wanted to know about – ranging from my books, working with Fiji, and my process of managing uncertainty when doing something new. Craig also got drawn into the Q&A, with several of the questions being about what it was like for him meeting, and marrying a blind woman and the reactions of his family and friends to that decision. Craig isn’t usually able to attend when I’m speaking so this was an unexpected topic for us both!

I was inspired by the energy and curiosity of the learners and, in turn, hope I managed to inspire them to seize the opportunities that come their way as they transition from school into the next phase of their lives, be it the working world or tertiary education.

I came away from the time spent with the group with a profound understanding that at their best, inspiration and energy are two-way streams and are best when being both given and received in turn.

And let me tell you, seldom has a standing ovation meant so much to me!

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