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#400057 - 02/11/11 03:54 PM Blind 12-year-old Boy To Climb Victoria Peak
Marty Online   happy


It's a daring adventure for anyone, especially 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 Garel and his father Joe are more than willing to take on for the blind and visually impaired children at BCVI.

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, 12 years old and at the top of his 7th Grade class, Rowan is a 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.

Training started in January 2011 to prepare Joe and Rowan for the March 25th climb. The family, along with BCVI, hope that this venture will 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.
If you would like to support this cause, please visit our website to make a secure donation via PayPal
http://bcvi.org/help.html

In Belize, please send your donations to BCVI at
PO Box 525
Belize City, Belize
For any questions, you can contact us via email at csdairs@gmail.com or by telephone at
(501) 636-1130. (http://ambassadorsforsight.blogspot.com/)

Ambergris Today

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#400296 - 02/15/11 03:31 PM Re: Blind 12-year-old Boy To Climb Victoria Peak [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Visually Impaired Child Will Climb Victoria Peak

Victoria's Peak is considered the highest point in Belize - although experts will tell you that another spot known as Doyle's Delight, is slightly higher. Whatever the case, Victoria is 3,675 feet of the roughest terrain you'll ever want to meet.

And now a 12 year old visually impaired boy wants to climb it! But he's not doing it on some idle lark; Rowan Garel wants to raise money for the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired.

The standard five student says BCVI's summer program - which teaches crucial lessons to visually impaired children like him - is having funding problems and he wants to help by climbing for charity. He'll do it with his dad, Joe Garel and the pair told us about it today:…

Rowan Garel, Will Climb Victoria Peak
"I'll be climbing Victoria Peak because we want to raise funds for the summer camp that I go to every year."

Monica Bodden
"You and who will be climbing Victoria Peak?"

Rowan Garel, Will Climb Victoria Peak
"My dad and I."

Monica Bodden
"How did this idea all came about Rowan?"

Rowan Garel, Will Climb Victoria Peak
"Well the summer camp lost some major funders. We still had the summer camp last year but we only just had enough money, so we thought that we should do something about that, you know raise funds so that we could have it because this is very important."

Joe Garel, Will Climb with son
"For the past couple of years we notice that BCVI was having a bit of trouble getting funds to run the summer camp and while Rowan spends a lot of time all over the country, we travel a lot with him, we don't like keeping him back. A lot of the kids that attend the summer camp are not as privileged; there are some from some of the remote villages and they really look forward to coming all the way to Belize City or Cayo or wherever they have the summer camp and it's an outing that they really look forward to every year and it's been difficult over the past couple years to get funding. They are wondering how or if they will be able to run it in the future so in talking with Rowan - he loves hiking, he loves the outdoors so I asked him if he would be interested in doing something along that line to help raise funds for this summer camp."

Carla Ayres Musa, B.C.V.I.
"Actually we are amazed and are very proud of Rowan. We always have been and this is the kind of support that we wish everybody could give and we know that we appreciate it coming from anyone but it is especially heartwarming coming from Rowan and wanting to help not just BCVI but the people and the children that are in summer camp with him."

Rowan Garel, Will Climb Victoria Peak
"Well I don't think it will be easy, it will definitely be challenging but once I train properly I think I can do it."

Joe Garel, Will Climb with son
"It's kind of difficult because it would be nice to have some hills but Belize City is flat and that's where we are and i am not always in Belize City with him either, I spend a lot of time in Belmopan, so when I am here we go on hikes along Princess Margaret Drive, doing a few miles in the evening, walking at least two - three - four miles. But just having him get used to walking continuously for a long period of time."

"To be honest with you, I've been watching his pace and he keeps a pretty decent pace. I've been to Victoria Peak a number of times and we usually do it in two and a half days. He may be able to do it in 3 days, but I am looking more to like three and half to four days."

Carla Ayres Musa, B.C.V.I.
"We have a blog setup that we are going to be updating regularly with Rowan following his training and Joe's training and the actual climb and that's ambassadorsforsight.blogspot.com and you can go on there and follow us so you get updates as we get update with Rowan. That will also link you to B.C.V.I. website where you could just click a button and make a donation. It's that easy."

As you might expect Rowan is the top of his standard five class at hummingbird elementary. To find a link to the site where you can contribute, log unto 7newsbelize.com. http://bcvi.org/help.html

In Belize, send donations to BCVI at
PO Box 525
Belize City, Belize.

The climb starts on March 25th……

Channel 7


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#400306 - 02/15/11 03:43 PM Re: Blind 12-year-old Boy To Climb Victoria Peak [Re: Marty]
collyk Offline
Rowan is an absolute inspiration. I hope teachers and community leaders will use his story as a demonstration of what can be achieved if you try. Good luck Rowan!
_________________________
www.conchcreative.com
Belize Wedding Photography


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#400331 - 02/15/11 07:41 PM Re: Blind 12-year-old Boy To Climb Victoria Peak [Re: Marty]
Diane Campbell Offline
He's one very sweet kid.

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#400415 - 02/16/11 08:08 PM Re: Blind 12-year-old Boy To Climb Victoria Peak [Re: Marty]
Katie Valk Offline
Yes, great kid and family. This is intl news. His dad Joe is one of the best bushman I know, who does not live in the bush. His brother Tony and he have been trying to set up a reptile zoo in Belmopan for years and hope its time will come soon.
_________________________
Belize based travel specialist
www.belize-trips.com
info@belize-trips.com

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#400423 - 02/16/11 10:22 PM Re: Blind 12-year-old Boy To Climb Victoria Peak [Re: Marty]
Katie Valk Offline
Yes, great kid and family. This is intl news. His dad Joe is one of the best bushman I know, who does not live in the bush. His brother Tony and he have been trying to set up a reptile zoo in Belmopan for years and hope its time will come soon.
_________________________
Belize based travel specialist
www.belize-trips.com
info@belize-trips.com

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#401903 - 03/07/11 02:52 PM Re: Blind 12-year-old Boy To Climb Victoria Peak [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy
Hi Friends, Family and Colleagues:
My cousin Milagro’s son Rowan will not let his blindness prevent him from experiencing some of life’s thrills. Instead he has chosen a way of helping other visually impaired children in Belize. Rowan is taking on what might be an even greater challenge than his blindness. He and his father Joe have begun training for a March 24th climb to the Victoria Peak. The proceeds of this venture is to raise funds to support blind and visually impaired children throughout Belize. This challenge will perhaps serve to remind those of us blessed with all five senses that there’s much more to see if we just open our hearts.
Please kindly donate to this worthy cause. The bank information
is on the flyer attached or write a cheque to BCVI, I will be happy to pick
it up. I thank you in advance.
Iraida

============
Belize Council for the Visually Impaired

PO Box 525
Princess Margaret Drive
Belize City, Belize
Visit us: www.bcvi.org or www.facebook.com/bcvi.belize
Phone 501.636.1130 E-mail bcvi@btl.net

The Belize Council for the Visually Impaired (BCVI) has been working since 1981 to prevent and reduce blindness in Belize through its Comprehensive Eye Care program. Our work extends into providing blind and visually impaired children and adults with the educational support and skills needed to live independent and fulfilling lives.

Every year, we struggle to raise funds for our Rehabilitation Program, the area that provides the training for people who are irreversibly blind or visually impaired. Our Annual Summer Camps are the highlight for the children, and provide not only entertainment and field trips, but the crucial skills needed to meet their milestones and educational targets.

This year, one of BCVIs long-time students, 12-year-old Rowan Garel, who has been visually impaired for most of his life, will be climbing Victoria Peak to raise awareness and funds for the children of BCVI. Accompanied by his father Joe, an experienced climber, they will depart on March 24th for the 3-day hike.

Rowan and BCVI are asking for your support. We would greatly appreciate whatever assistance you can offer and are more than willing to provide you any additional information needed.

You can be a part of this extraordinary venture by following Rowan on his journey to the top of Victoria Peak at http://ambassadorsforsight.blogspot.com/. Once again, thank you for your support and we look forward to hearing from you.

Carla Musa
Communications Officer
==============


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#403187 - 03/25/11 03:40 PM Re: Blind 12-year-old Boy To Climb Victoria Peak [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Rowan’s Climb to The Top Of Belize

Tonight 12 year old visually impaired boy Rowan Garel is camped out at Kilometer 19 on the way up to the top of Victoria Peak. He left with his dad early this morning - and reached kilometer 19 at 4:30 pm. The report from the field is that Rowan is tired from the full day of hiking, but still excited.

An ardent and studied birder, he's been surrounded by sounds of the Keeled Billed Toucans and other birds. If all goes as planned they should summit Victoria by tomorrow.

And while he is making history with every step - for this young man - it's nothing new as he told us in tonight's I am Belize profile - he's an educator:..

Untitled from 7News Belize on Vimeo.

Of course, he's doing the climb for charity, specifically for the Belize Council For the Visually impaired and its summer camp programme. So you can send your donations or drop them off at the BCVI office on Princess Margaret drive or contribute to their Belize Bank account 71096, or you can go to bcvi.org and make a donation online.

Channel 7


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#403293 - 03/26/11 03:57 PM Re: Blind 12-year-old Boy To Climb Victoria Peak [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Rowan Reaches The Summit

12 year old Rowan Garel and his dad reached the summit of Victoria Peak around 2:30 this afternoon. The first thing he did was call his mother - yes they did get Digicell service at 3,700 feet - and told her that he was very excited and very tired.

The team summited in just two days - which is a lot quicker than expected and after a short rest at the top of Belize, they started their descent.

Tonight they are camped out at the 12 k mark and are expected to be all the way back down sometime between tomorrow evening and Sunday morning.

That's when Rowan will be hosted at a welcome back picnic at the base.

Rowan is the first blind child to summit Victoria Peak. And so while he goes down in the record book, he's doing the climb for charity, specifically for the Belize Council For the Visually impaired and its summer camp programme. So you can send your donations or drop them off at the BCVI office on Princess Margaret drive or contribute to their Belize Bank account 71096, or you can go to bcvi.org and make a donation online.

Channel 7


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#403305 - 03/26/11 04:19 PM Re: Blind 12-year-old Boy To Climb Victoria Peak [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Visually impaired minor climbs Victoria Peak, 2nd highest point in Belize

We’ve been following amazing twelve year old Rowan Garel. He’s the visually impaired student who took on the grueling climb to the summit of Victoria Peak. The trek started on Wednesday and this afternoon, Rowan successfully completed his personal challenge of reaching the summit. Rowan took on the task of climbing the second highest point in the country in an effort to raise much needed funds for an annual summer program held by the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired. With the sponsorship of Delta Airlines, a team of six including Garel’s father and News Five’s cameraman Alex Ellis made the trek to the mountaintop. We spoke with Rowan a few minutes after he completed his ascent to Victoria Peak.

Voice of: Rowan Garel, Visually Impaired Climber

Rowan Garel

“It was very tiring because on the second day your muscles are stiff because the first day is hills and stuff so the muscles are tired. The second day when you start you’re cold, your muscles are stiff and then after that it warms up and it feels like you can go on forever. I feel really good right now that I’m on top of this mountain and that I’m successful because I know that many people tried and they didn’t succeed but the point is they tried right. But I feel really good right now because even though I can’t see and I do have a disability I made it. So I think that other people that are sighted should think to themselves that, you know, well if he could make it [then why not me? I actually did this as a fundraiser for the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired, B.C.V.I., and they lost some major donors last year. We climbed it [Victoria Peak] because they had a summer camp and they had children from all over the children coming and some of them came from Corozal, P.G. and the surrounding villages. So they didn’t really get a chance to travel to other areas and when they are at the summer camp they could travel to Belize City first of all and then we do little trips to Bacab and Croc Land and stuff like that and they really enjoy that. So I think the funding got taken away from them so we’re doing this to help.”

News Five will have the complete feature story of Rowan’s journey to the top in the days ahead.


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