A 7-year-old girl from Quebec City has won first prize in a national writing contest.
Amélie Boucher's poem about flowers, titled Les fleurs, snagged her the first prize in the kindergarten to grade 2 category of the Pan-Canadian Literary Creative Braille Contest, organized by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind.
Amélie was born completely blind in Vietnam. She was adopted by a couple in Quebec, who are also both partly blind.
After her arrival here, Amélie underwent several surgeries, including a corneal transplant in order to improve her quality of life.
However, the gains were temporary and her eyesight has since deteriorated.
"I can't see out of one eye, but I can see a bit out the other. I can't read with my eyes, I read with my fingers," she said.
A sense of belonging
At school, Amélie walks with a white cane, and she has a resource teacher and a special educator to teach her braille.
Her prize-winning poem was written in braille and came with a cash prize of $75.
"I didn't know I was going to win, but when I found out, I was happy," she said.
Her mother Véronique Vézina said that the honour has allowed her daughter to feel a sense of belonging.
"She often asks 'Why aren't there any kids like me at school?' So when she participated in this contest, she felt like she was participating in something with kids who, like her, are visually impaired," she said.
"We're very proud of her."
Les fleurs, by Amélie Boucher
Oh! la belle marguerite,
que je la protège des bibittes.
Quelle jolie rose !
Il faut que je l'arrose
pour qu'elle se repose.
Le soleil brille.
Il sort une délicate jonquille.
Où est ma violette ?
Elle joue à la cachette
derrière ses lunettes.
Voici le lilas.
Le printemps est là.
Voici ma préférée,
la magnifique pensée
en train de se balancer.
Toutes ces fleurs dans
m'inspire le bonheur.