Sumitomo Group Public Affairs Committee recently supported The 79th Speech Contest of The Schools for the Blind (hosted by Mainichi Newspaper Co., Ltd. Tenji Mainichi) held on Oct. 15th, 2010 at the Gifu Prefectural School for the Blind.
This year, nine blind student representatives emerged from districts from all over Japan, after winning their elimination contests. Every time we hear these students speak to us about the experiences in their own words of facing their difficulties, conquering the fight with their own weakness and the important things they learned from dealing with their family or friends, sometimes it sounded as though they were talking to us individually and so passionately, we can‘t help from getting emotional.
The impressive winner of this year‘s contest was Ai Kawazoe, the delegate from the Kinki region, with her speech, titled “To the sky”. With her powerful voice and lively energy she spoke about her experiences; “I should tell people about my disease, being handicapped is not something to be ashamed about.” She decided to go a school for the blind in high school by herself after hearing painful words from her friend when she was in junior high school. “If some people don’t understand about being handicapped, I want to change the reality of being handicapped and make it my strength” and she declared loudly, “I want to find something to bring me toward the future one by one”. Her decision touched audience in the hall and everyone in attendance was deeply impressed.
Sumitomo Group Public Affairs Committee is formed by 36 companies; they are all from Sumitomo, the original company with 400 years of history. They work together for various activities to increase trust for Sumitomo and hope to make positive relationships with society through these initiatives.
As one of our activities, supporting “The Speech Contest of Schools for the Blind” is very meaningful for us. “What is important” spread as words to you and hope they become an inspiration to people to “live” for tomorrow.