WATCH | NGO on mission to save blind children from dark world of illiteracy

11 October 2018 - 05:41 By Suthentira Govender

With an estimated 250‚000 blind or visually impaired children not receiving formal schooling in South Africa‚ Blind SA is on a mission to save them from the dark world of illiteracy.

#GiveWordsWings - a pro bono campaign developed by Meropa Communications - has been designed to assist NGO Blind SA in driving a R1-million fundraising effort to produce braille formatted textbooks‚ enable braille literacy training and the purchase of braille machines.

The plight of South Africa’s blind and visually impaired comes under the spotlight as the world celebrates World Sight day on Thursday.

According to the World Health Organisation‚ it is estimated that 15% of South Africans are living with a disability‚ 60% of whom are blind or visually impaired.

Jace Nair‚ CEO of Blind SA said there were only 22 schools for blind and visually impaired pupils which cater for 6‚000 of them‚ while a further 12‚000 attended mainstream schools.

CEO of Blind SA Jace Nair
CEO of Blind SA Jace Nair
Image: #GiveWordsWings

Human Rights Watch 2015/2016 statistics found that an estimated 250‚000 of the 450‚000 children not in any formal schooling programme are blind or visually impaired.

“Many parents of these children are overprotective of their children and they are not schooled at home‚ because they mostly come from poor communities.

“The lack of knowledge is leading to high rates of illiteracy amongst blind and visually impaired children who are not receiving schooling.”

Nair also blamed the government for not providing access to adequate schooling. “The system is failing these children‚ and Blind SA is on a mission to rectify this desperate situation.

“Raising an extra one million will go a long way in assisting Blind SA to achieve its goals and give wings to words for thousands of blind people‚ young pupils in particular‚ by enabling them to become braille literate.”

“Blind SA is appealing to South Africans to respond to our appeal for funds and donate generously via our website.

“Raising R1-million will go a long way in assisting Blind SA’s community‚ often unseen and thus forgotten...” added Nair.