In 2002, the world that Stevens Chan knew came to an end. As an active businessman, Stevens was living a regular life, just like any normal person. However, disaster struck, when he found out that he had Glaucoma, an eye disease that causes blindness. Even after nine eye surgeries, he gradually lost all of his vision in 2007.
With the loss of sight, came the loss of hope. He was forced to face daunting challenges. Hospitals bills, together with loss of income while trying to adapt into his new environment, he went through one of the toughest times in his life.
However, it was in this darkest period that he discovered light. It came in the form of his faith in God, and his loving wife, who stood by him, unwavering in her love and support. He felt that God was sustaining him and knew that in Him he could place his trust.
Dialogue in the Dark sparks thoughts that dissolve old mindsets and allow access to new people and a new world.
Slowly, despair turned into a sense of mission. Stevens found a new calling in his life – to prevent what had happened to him from happening to others. To achieve this, he founded Malaysia Glaucoma Society and later on, Save Ones Sight Missions Bhd (Non- profit organization), with a vision of stopping and preventing unnecessary blindness, to help patients with different eye disorders cope with handling the changes that occur with the disease, supporting them so that they’ll have the strength to adapt & to continue living a normal life, even with sight impairment.
As the founder of Dialogue in the Dark Malaysia, Stevens now hopes that, through the medium of darkness, people will learn to discover empathy, to love and appreciate light and not to take their GOD given eyesight for granted, while equipping, enabling and empowering the visually impaired community & enlightening the Sighted community towards empathy to move beyond sight!
History & Founder
While working for a radio station, Andreas Heinecke, the founder of Dialogue in the Dark was assigned to organize a formation for a 28 years old journalist. This journalist had lost his eyesight in a car accident.nitially confronted with awkward feelings, Andreas started to realize that his pity was misplaced. Being blind is another form of life and contains lots of capabilities. To his surprise it was the blind colleague who showed him how to cope with fundamental changes in life, forcing him to question what makes a truly valuable life. The way was paved to a concept of overcoming barriers and promoting exchange between blind and seeing people.
Andreas’ complex family background explains a lot about his drive and motivation to become a social entrepreneur. Members of his mother’s family were victims of the Holocaust while his father’s side were supporters of the Nazi-regime. It was only with 13 years that he learned about his Jewish relatives who were murdered and why his mother had lost so many members of her family in WWII.
The realization to have family roots with both victims and activists of the regime stirred a lifelong search for answers such as: What is the process of marginalization’s and exclusion? On what ground do we judge people and feel inferior or superior? The impact of his search for answers was the start of his quest for tolerance, open dialogue and exchange.
He has since devoted himself to finding new ways to bridge the gaps across human divide through direct human encounter. Andrea’s holds a PhD in Philosophy and is a Professor for Social Business at the European Business School in Germany. He has been awarded many times for his work and is recognized worldwide for his achievements.
Vision & Mission
The mission of Dialogue in the Dark is to facilitate social inclusion of marginalized people on a global basis.
Our goal is to raise awareness and create tolerance for “otherness” in the general public, thereby overcoming barriers between “us” and “them”.We create jobs for disadvantaged people by turning deficits into potentials and thereby strengthen the self-esteem of individuals who are typically under-valued. We believe that accomplishing our mission will lead to sustainable and significant improvement of marginalized people’s situations throughout the world. To achieve our goal we operate exhibitions as well as business workshops and events.
Dialogue in the Dark sparks thoughts that dissolve old mindsets and allow access to new people and a new world. You begin to question your assumptions as you experience your limits. Meeting ambassadors of a little-known subculture initiates a dialogue, which endures beyond your time inside the exhibition. Dialogue in the Dark consistently appeals to a wide audience while creating jobs for disabled people.
Dialogue in the Dark consistently appeals to a wide audience while creating jobs for disabled people.
Impact on the sighted : A study showed that an astonishing 100% of visitors who were questioned five years later remembered the experience. 90% reported feeling sensitized to the world of the blind, 52% recommended Dialogue in the Dark to their friends and family, and 34% wanted to experience the exhibition a second time.
Impact on the blind : Dialogue in the Dark creates jobs for disabled people, many of whom are chronically unemployed. Since 1988, over 6000 blind and partially sighted people worldwide have gained income and recognition through their work. For many staff members, this position has meant the end of unemployment, increasing their self-confidence and changing their self-image. Blind people transform themselves from passive welfare recipients to active sharpers of their own lives. Key skills required in the world of work-perseverance, flexibility, time-management and social competence, are significantly enhanced.
Dialogue in the Dark is uniquely able to give disabled people meaningful employment and a new perspective for their lives. The idea is bearing more fruit as employers are sensitized by visiting the exhibition and subsequently fill vacancies with disabled people.
This is one of the way , to let them regain the trust to live their life as a life to connect back to the society and community.
Guide dog it an important link to the blind and visually impaired, With guide dogs they can move around easily ,go to work, go to school independently.
This is one of the way , to let them regain the trust to live their life as a life to connect back to the society and community. This is very important to the blind and also the people who love them.
SOSM PREVENTING BLINDNESS
80% of all blindness are unnecessary . Visual impairment is more common in developing countries such as ours due to a lack of early detection for such conditions.
It has been estimated 40 million people worldwide are completely blind. On top of that number, around 124 million people have low vision. Visual impairment is more common in developing countries such as ours due to a lack of early detection for such conditions. 90% of blind people live in the poorest parts of the developing world. Most eye diseases advance gradually and there are no symptoms.
Academy of light is one of the projects aimed to create a learning platform for visually impaired children and adults.
We believe everyone should have a opportunities to gain more knowledge. The learning program planned includes Music, Art (include drawing and photography), Languages (English , Mandarin ) and more.
2016 – VIP 2016 (Malaysia)
2015 – Amplify Award 2015
2015 – DIGI (CFC ) Challenge For Change 2015 Award
2013 Engagement Public Voting Award
2012 Essl Foundation2011 – Deutscher Gründerpreis
2009 – Global Award Winner for the best innovative and out-of-comfort-zone event by the YPO
2009 – Dragon Award for the category “Business with Conscience”
2008 – Member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Social Entrepreneurship
2007 – Outstanding Global Social Entrepreneur by the Schwab Foundation
2006 – Deutscher Unternehmer Preis by the Harvard Business School’s Entrepreneurship Club
2005 – First “Ashoka Fellow” in Western Europe
2004 – Best Practice in Universal
1998 – Stevie Wonder Vision Award
Board Of Director
Stevens Chan Kum Fai
Founder & CEO
Mr. Stevens Chan may be without sight; but definitely not without vision. After completely losing his eye sight in the year 2007 due to glaucoma and diabetic Retinopathy complications, Stevens Chan did not allow the darkness to cripple him; but found a completely new light and strength.
He found a new mission in life – to prevent what has happened to him from happening to others. With that, he founded the Malaysia Glaucoma Society in 2009. Whom best to provide counsel and advice to a glaucoma patient, then a man who has walked in that pair of shoes himself. Going through nine surgeries himself to salvage his eye sight, he has been a pillar of strength and support to patients who have been diagnosed with glaucoma. Advising them to be compliant towards medications; at the same time giving them and their families emotional support to go through this disease of a lifetime.
In 2011, he founded another non-profit organization, Save Ones Sight Missions Bhd; with a vision to prevent unnecessary blindness. Providing free eye care and visual aids to the underprivileged are some of its mission; besides creating awareness through different events about eye care. In 2012, he also founded Dialogue in the Dark – Malaysia, a social enterprise with a mission of empowering the visually impaired, it provides job opportunities and training’s to the disabled community – thus giving them meaningful employment and be accepted and included in society.
Stevens Chan is not only extremely passionate about the work that he is doing, he has given his entire life to telling others that they should never take their eye sight for granted and to protect our eye sight at all costs. He is a great and moving inspiration to many whether to the sighted or non-sighted community. He is indeed a change maker in universal eye care.
His contribution is not measured in the number of papers he has published, nor the awards he has received; but the very simple most fundamental touch of humanity and compassion – in the many number of lives he has impacted..
Datin Joanne Wong
Datin Joanne Wong Su Ching University of Sydney ,B.Ec Datin Joanne is the Executive Director of Yayasan TSLSC ( the CSR & charity arm of The IOI Group) .The activities of the foundation include providing Student Scholarships, Adoption of Students,Young Achiever Awards ,community outreach and PR activities as well as fund disbursements in the form of educational and medical assistance to the underprivileged. Joanne holds a Bachelor of Economics degree from Sydney University, Australia. Being trained in accountancy,Joanne has had experience working in Ernst & Young and subsequently at the Property Division of The Lion Group and is NLP (Neuro Linguistic Program) certified. Having spent quite a few years as a homemaker caring for her 5 children , Datin Joanne currently pursues work in philanthropy and has a passion for property investments.
Dr. Foo Yin Fah
Dr. Foo Yin Fah is an associate professor at Sunway University in Malaysia. He has more than twenty years of experience in the area of accounting, working in several international accounting firms, large public corporations and academic institutions. Dr. Foo is a Chartered Accountant of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants and a Fellow of CPA Australia. He holds a PhD in Accounting from Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia. Dr. Foo is currently Head of the Department of Accounting, Banking and Finance at the Sunway University Business School. He has been passionate about nurturing future business leaders that are more enterprising and socially conscious. Dr. Foo was instrumental in setting social entrepreneurship as a priority area of development at Sunway University culminating in the formation of the Sunway Institute for Social Entrepreneurship of which he now holds the position of its first Director.
Lai Siew Hong
Mr Lai is the Chief Executive Designer in Blu Water Studio Sdn Bhd, a company he founded in 2010. Mr Lai is an interior designer by profession with more than 25 years of experience in the design industry. He graduated with an Associate Degree in Applied Science and Interior Design from the State University of New York. Prior to this Mr Lai had undertaken roles as the Design Director in Axis Identity Group and a Managing Director for Axis Network Design Consultants Sdn. Bhd. Mr Lai is an active member of the Entrepreneur’s Organization (EO) and the Malaysian Institute of Interior Designers (MIID).