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Celebrating a remarkable braille volunteer

Sehar Mashiyat, a volunteer braille tutor with leading sight loss charity RNIB, has an impressive story to tell.

Image: Sehar sat at a desk with materials for teaching braille tutoring two people.

Sehar volunteers as RNIB Scotland’s braille tutor, teaching the skill of reading and using braille, a system in which characters are represented by patterns of raised dots that are felt with the fingertips.

Sehar’s extraordinary journey of empathy and connection with visually impaired individuals began with her late father, Captain Mashiyat Ur Rehman Malik. The captain, who was blind and lost his hands while serving in the Pakistan Army, fostered a deep bond with his daughter and nurtured in her a profound appreciation for the visually impaired community.

Rooted in her family's commitment to making a difference, Sehar wholeheartedly embraced the cause during her educational pursuits. Alongside her family members, she volunteered at "Al-Faisal Markaz Nabina," an institution founded by her late father in Faisalabad, Pakistan—a renowned industrial city in Punjab. Capt. Malik, who also maintained a close connection with RNIB, served as a distinguished expert in special education and rehabilitation for the visually impaired community.

Inspired by her father's passion, Sehar joined Bahira Special School in Islamabad as a braille teacher, dedicating a decade of her life to supporting and empowering visually impaired students.

In her relentless pursuit of creating positive change, Sehar recently relocated to Edinburgh, Scotland. Armed with her profound knowledge and experience in the field, she wasted no time in seeking out organisations that shared her mission. Sehar's search led her straight to RNIB, a charity whose work she was already well acquainted with. Eager to make a difference, she reached out to RNIB expressing her enthusiasm to volunteer.

Sehar's dedication to the teaching of braille stems not only from her childhood experiences of regularly visiting her father's institution, but also from her academic accomplishments, a Master's in Special Education, specialising in visually impaired and braille studies.

She firmly believes in the power of volunteering and its profound impact on both the volunteer and the community they serve. Her advocacy extends beyond her own efforts, “I have a very strong belief in volunteering work,” Sehar says. “I have always encouraged my friends, family, and others to volunteer and serve. I feel proud to be a volunteer with RNIB.”

For those interested in learning braille or giving time to volunteer, contact us at [email protected].

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