Care Corner – Blind SA: Project Ri Wana Ndivho
Sponsor-a-book for blind and partially sighted learners
Blind SA, a national Disable People’s Organisation (DPO) of the blind and for the blind, is re-launching its “Ri Wana Ndivho” (to find, source, get knowledge) project, which provides accessible learner teacher support material to blind and partially sighted learners.
The Shared Value Africa Initiative (SVAI) calls on business South Africa to step up and help Blind SA help our youth, by sponsoring the production in braille of one or more school textbooks in the amount of R6 000 per book.
Sadly, when the Department of Basic Education implemented the new curriculum (CAPS) back in 2012, it neglected to ensure that blind learners will have their new textbooks in braille and so be prepared for the new curriculum. Now, 10 years later, blind learners are still disadvantaged, as the DBE has still not provided them with their braille textbooks. Learners in the rural areas are the hardest hit, as those schools are not nearly as well-resourced as those in urban areas and learners do not have access to appropriate ICT which might fill the gap of not having braille textbooks to some extent.
Added to this, and because we all are aware that knowledge is power, and knowledge is best obtained through reading, we are needing to make available reading material to broaden the knowledge of blind and partially sighted people.
Because of this unfortunate situation, Blind SA is once again doing something about it. Of course, in order to produce school textbooks in braille sponsorship is required to cover the cost of the braille production.
Braille Services of Blind SA is the largest printing house of its kind in the country and the only one that can produce braille in all official languages. It has the capacity to produce around 45 textbooks in braille during a year.
The cost of producing the average master copy of a textbook amounts to approximately R24 000. Of that amount about R18 000 is covered by a grant from the Department of Arts and Culture and from Blind SA’s own fundraising endeavours. This means that the shortfall in the cost of producing a braille master is about R6 000 per book. Moreover, Blind SA sells the books to schools at duplication cost only, as schools are simply not in a financial position to pay more.
Blind SA is a NPO with Public Benefit Organisation status and will acknowledge any sponsorship towards production of braille books with a Section 18A certificate. All donations are fully tax deductible up to 10% of taxable income.