“Do you go to school?”
“Only sometimes but I have not been much for 3 years”
“Why are you not able to go?”
“My father is blind and I must look after him”
Being blind does not only affect the individual who has lost their sight but has a profound effect on that person’s family and community.
We have in the last couple of weeks seen the familiar scene of an old man or woman treading the earth very carefully; stick in one hand and the other hand resting carefully but firmly on the shoulder of a young child. At first glance this may simply appear to be a child supporting a parent or grandparent attend the eye clinic. The reality is, the clinic is on a weekday, schools are active and this child is missing out on an education and many of the other things we take for granted as part of childhood. It is not a one off but the norm that this child is acting as the eyes for his father.
Foreground – Father with hand interlocked with his son, background, the same situation
Those children will one day be adults and the odds are firmly stacked against them breaking free of poverty.
The community can also be deeply affected. If the blind individual is no longer able to earn a living, those who are supported by them have to find alternatives and frequently, with the very little they have need to support the person who has become blind. The trap is a very hard one to break free from.
80% of blindness is avoidable
It turns out this man is blind from diabetic retinopathy. Excessive sugar in the blood vessels leads to the retina inside the eye becoming very leaky, eventually leading to retinal bleeds and scarring. An entirely preventable condition!
It is times like this, and there are many, that the stark contrast of where we have come from and where we are now hits us square in the face. The truth is, if he were born in to different circumstances, it is very unlikely he would be blind and his son would be sat in school now enjoying a normal childhood.
Lucas just loves tractors and was very excited at eating a tractor wheel!
There is no doubt where the inspiration for this blog came from!
Recipe – Chocolate Bread Tractor Wheels
225g White strong flour
3g dried yeast
320g white bread flour
35g cocoa powder
All of the pre-ferment
30g slightly beaten egg
15g unsalted butter
5g dried yeast
130g dark choc crushed pieces
50g dried cranberries, cherries or raisins
1. The night before making the final dough mix together all the ingredients of the pre-ferment and place in a plastic tub at room temperature covered.
2. To make the final dough the following day, combine the bread flour, cocoa powder, water, pre-ferment, eggs, milk, butter, yeast and sea salt and knead for about 4 minutes the gradually knead in the sugar for a total of 10minutes kneading.
3. Place in a lightly floured bowl and leave to prove for 1 hour, turn and flatten gently knock the air out of the dough and leave to prove for a further 1 hour.
4. Fold in the choc small chunks/pieces and the raisins.
5. Divide into 14 pieces. Then divide into three and roll each 1/3 into a long roll about 15cm, join at the ends and plait, then bring round to make a crown shape/wheel, repeat 14 times! then leave to prove for 1 hour until an indent of your finger is left in the dough when you press it.
6. Bake at 200 C for anout 12-15 mins
7. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack. Glaze with warmed apricot jam and a little water.
8. Sprinkle sesame snap in the middle (Recipe in next blog).