Meropa Communications, as part of its pro-bono work, has developed and produced an ambitious fundraising campaign to raise R1m for non-profit organisation, Blind SA. Via the #GiveWordsWings campaign, Blind SA plans to fund many of its essential projects to assist the blind community across SA.
South African figures
It is estimated there are between 570,000 and 750,000 blind or visually impaired people (Stats SA – 2011 Census). Of this figure, 57% are women and 23% are aged between 15 and 35 years.
According to the World Health Organisation, it is estimated that 15% of South Africans are living with a disability, 60% of which are blind or visually impaired.
There are 22 schools for blind and visually impaired learners that cater for approximately 6,000 learners, with a further 12,000 blind and visually impaired learners attending mainstream schools (Department of Basic Education).
However, according to Human Rights Watch (2015/16), there are approximately 450,000 children not in any formal schooling programme – and it is estimated that 250,000 of whom are blind or visually impaired. Failure by the Department of Basic Education to provide access to adequate schooling, in fact any schooling, for the countless disabled learners is a major threat to their livelihood and dignity. The system is failing these children, and Blind SA is on a mission to rectify this desperate situation.
The work that Blind SA does is remarkable – considering that for the most part, the NGO relies solely on the generosity of South Africans, both as individuals and corporates. A very small portion of its annual funding requirements comes from the government but, what little that does, is from the Department of Arts & Culture.
Raising an extra R1m will go a long way in assisting Blind SA to achieve its goals and give wings to words for thousands of blind people, young learners in particular, through enabling them to become braille-literate.
The funds will be used for:
The production of braille- and Daisy-formatted textbooks to enable learners to learn,
Braille literacy training, which is much-needed,
The purchase of Tatrapoint braille machines and Braille-me machines, and
General support and assistance for blind and visually impaired school-going and adult learners by means of transport, books etc.
Blind SA is appealing to South Africans to respond to their appeal for funds and donate generously via its website, www.blindsa.org.za.
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