Visually impaired inspirational speaker, workshop facilitator and author, Lois Strachan, has been awarded the highest accolade from Toastmasters International, the International Presidential Citation.
Lois, who lives in Muizenberg, was awarded this citation for her tireless work and dedication to helping her fellow members in the Toastmasters Organisation to develop their leadership and communication skills.
Toastmasters International has 15 900 clubs in 142 countries in the world.
Lois said: “I was overwhelmed and honoured to have received this prestigious award. Volunteer organisations don’t always receive the appropriate appreciation that they deserve.”
Lois lost her eyesight at the age of 21 after many operations, as a result of diabetes. She has never given up and returned to university to complete her degree and to live a full life.
Lois committed to de-mystifying blindness and facilitating integration into communities as well as the workplace.
“I never want to be treated differently and have found a platform in Toastmasters that allows me to be just me. The supportive environment that Toastmasters offers all its members allows us to try new things, experiment with different techniques before taking them into the ‘real world’.
“If it wasn’t for Toastmasters, I don’t believe I would be doing any of the activities that I am currently involved in.”
Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organisation that aims to foster and facilitate communication, public speaking and leadership skills. Each club has members from different cultures, different religions and different creeds all coming together to improve these skills.
“Sometimes all people need is a small amount of recognition to feel as though the work that they are doing is being heard and appreciated,” said Lois.
For more information about the Toastmasters’ Programme or to find a Toastmasters club near you, contact Merryl on 079 239 6859 or email firstname.lastname@example.org