Imagine you are blind, and your chances of ever regaining any level of independence are zero. Why? Because you live in a poverty stricken rural village somewhere in South Africa.
No one around you knows about independence training, and no one has ever seen a white cane in action. If you are blind, you are dependent, not valued and rejected even. The sad reality is that most blind South Africans have no access to Independence Training at all – especially those living in rural areas. We are here to change that.
Or you attend one of the schools for the bind who do not have anyone on staff to help you learn how to tie your shoelaces, or to get around on your own. (18 of the 23 schools for the blind in South Africa do not have any independence trainers on staff).
This is how we do it. We go out looking for blind people rather than expect them to find us. Our trainers travel to rural areas throughout the country where they spend three months at a time training the local blind people. While they are there, the trainers live in rooms rented from humble community members. This way of working means that our trainers often live and work away from home for up to three-quarters of the year. They are the real heroes of the piece.
Imagine if you are blind and have lost not only your sight but also your independence, how it must feel to once again get yourself to places like the shop, to church, to family and friends, to anywhere you want to go and to do so much more, without the need for sighted help. This is what Independence Training can do. This is what SAMBT does here in South Africa.
To date, we have trained nearly 5 000 blind people. But there are many, many thousands more that need our help. With your financial contributions, we can work miracles in the lives of blind people in rural areas, townships and schools for the blind in South Africa.