Leading the visually-impaired to independence, through art

On Friday 7th August in Buskett, one could glimpse Maria Elich, Epifanio Vella and Steven Mizzi, three visually-impaired people, working on clay sculptures.

Maria, Epifanio and Steven are part of the Visual Non-Visual Network, and together they do various art projects to raise awareness about the need for more inclusion in society.

Executive Chairman Chris Grima explained how the Visual Non-Visual Network started in 2013, and since then it has not looked back.

“The aim is to lead to independence, not to depend on others, the family or society. I would like to see them as leaders in certain sectors,” he said, “Being involved in the entrepreneurial field I felt that I could help in this mission which I believe will lead these people to overcome the problem of social exclusion.”

Grima explained that Maria, Epifanio and Steven are learning to make these sculptures together with the sculptor Charles Sammut. Then they too will be able to teach other visually-impaired people.

Maria and Epifanio said that this organisation is helping them improve their wellbeing.

“We do this with determination, discipline and love in the face of the burden that the blind bring and for all,” Mary said, while Vella stated, “My goal is for us blind people to learn new skills in sculpture.”

The Visual Non-Visual Network is an initiative launched in December 2013 and it aims for sustainability that requires social inclusion, including the visually-impaired. Several projects have taken place in the past such as a Stevia plant growing project. An olive harvesting project was also launched last year where visually-impaired people worked in the fields.