The world comes to Perkins

Festive annual event gives Educational Leadership Program participants a chance to share their cultures

Educational Leadership Program participant Thi Thu Thanh Pham of Vietnam holds a fan made by students who are blind.

Educational Leadership Program participant Thi Thu Thanh Pham of Vietnam holds a fan made by students who are blind.

November 15, 2016

Edith Dosha held up an array of brightly colored necklaces and bracelets. Each piece was assembled by hand by students who are deafblind in Tanzania.

To Dosha, the jewelry is far more than a fashion statement.

“This is proof that my students can support themselves,” said Dosha, who works as a teacher in Tanzania and is a member of the Educational Leadership Program (ELP) Class of 2017. “It’s a business. It may be small but it means a lot to them.”

Perkins School for the Blind students and staff were treated to a world of diverse sights, sounds and tastes at yesterday’s annual International Celebration.

ELP participants, who are at Perkins for nine months of advanced training in the education of children who are blind with multiple disabilities, lined the main corridor of the historic Howe Building to share cultural exhibits about their home countries. Vibrant colors and intricate patterns of fashions from Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Kenya and Vietnam caught the eye of passersby. Traditional music from around the globe wafted through the air along with the delectable smells of exotic cuisines.

Here are highlights from the event.

ELP participant Mariam Shenoda brought a few fashion accessories to teach students about ancient Egypt. Here, Carolyn, 20, tries on a decorative crown.

ELP participant Mariam Shenoda brought a few fashion accessories to teach students about ancient Egypt. Here, Carolyn, 20, tries on a decorative crown.

Stalin Regan Devadoss unfolds a shawl.

Stalin Regan Devadoss unfolds a shawl. It is customary in India, Devadoss said, to drape a shawl over the shoulders of a house guest as a sign of hospitality.

Bracelets and necklaces from Tanzania.

Bracelets and necklaces from Tanzania. The jewelry is made by students who are deafblind at Uhuru Mchanganyiko Primary School, where ELP participant Edith Dosha works as a teacher.

Ratchaneekorn Tongsookdee of Thailand shares a snack with Deafblind Program student Kimberly, 15. Tongsookdee brought three varieties of fruit and a spicy dried rice and fish treat to share at the celebration.

Ratchaneekorn Tongsookdee of Thailand shares a snack with Deafblind Program student Kimberly, 15. Tongsookdee brought three varieties of fruit and a spicy dried rice and fish treat to share at the celebration.

Perkins President and CEO Dave Power examines Ruqian Huang’s poster display about her home city of Chengdu, the capital of China’s Sichuan province.

Perkins President and CEO Dave Power examines Ruqian Huang’s poster display about her home city of Chengdu, the capital of China’s Sichuan province.

Sister Elizabeth Simeon shares the story of Janet, a woman with low vision and other disabilities in Kenya who now sells beaded handbags and greeting cards, which Simeon displayed.

Sister Elizabeth Simeon shares the story of Janet, a woman with low vision and other disabilities in Kenya who now sells beaded handbags and greeting cards, which Simeon displayed.

Asma Shilpi shows off cotton and silk made in Bangladesh to Deborah Gleason, Perkins International’s director of programs in Asia and the Pacific.

Asma Shilpi shows off cotton and silk made in Bangladesh to Deborah Gleason, Perkins International’s director of programs in Asia and the Pacific.