Soon after Erik Weihenmayer climbed Mt. Everest, the director of a school for the blind in Lhasa, Tibet asked him to travel – once again, half-way around the world to visit their class. “Of course,” he said. “Can I take your class climbing?”
“There is a blurry line separating what the world sees as impossible yet that we know in our hearts to be fully possible. If I can find a way to reach out across race and culture, and shatter the boundaries which have been established through generations for the disabled people of Tibet, and pass to them that same sense of joy and achievement with which I have
been blessed, it will be the fulfilment of my climbing career.” Erik Weihenmayer, Expedition Leader
“After Erik reached the top of the world our Tibetan neighbor rushed into our center and told the kids about his success. Some of them first didn’t believe it but then there was a mutual understanding: if Erik could climb to the top of the world, we also can overcome our borders and show to the world that the blind can equally participate in society and are able to
accomplish great things.” Sabriye Tenberken, founder of Braille Without Borders
Although the mountains are the setting for our journey, it isn’t our purpose to make future climbers out of blind Tibetan teens. Our mission is three-fold: first, we want to give these six teens an enriching experience which will elevate their own expectations and help shape their roles as future leaders. Secondly, we hope our educational outreach through our film and website will bring well-deserved attention to Sabriye’s school and training center, Braille Without Borders. She’s doing extraordinary work, and we hope to keep her in business for a long time to come. Lastly, I hope the project will be the second half of a story begun on Everest. A blind man standing on top of the world went a long way in reshaping people’s perceptions about what is possible in our lives; if we can now enable six blind Tibetan teenagers to achieve their own Everest-like summit, it will permeate this message through the third world and carve out new opportunities for young people around the world, no matter what their challenges may be.