Vision: The Vision of this outreach of Evangelist Dag is to provide all blind children in school in Ghana, with brand new Perkins Braillers, free of charge!
Evangelist Dag’s ministry to the Blind started in 2008
A visit to the Akropong School of the Blind revealed that the blind children there had many needs, the most pressing being the lack of writing materials in their language of instruction, Braille, aka Braillers. Braillers are gadgets that look like type-writers, and are one of the basic ways by which people with visual impairments can write.
For the pupils to be able to pursue higher education, at the Junior and subsequently Senior Secondary School levels, the pupils in Class 6 were determined to be those with the direst need for Braillers. At a cost of US $700, none of the pupils except for the few sponsored ones could afford the most basic of Braillers. During the latter part of 2008, a free donation of 16 Standard Perkins Braillers, were made to each pupil in Class 6 and 1 to one of the teachers of that Class.
On April 5th 2012, we paid a visit to the Adidome Senior Secondary school( located in the Volta Region of Ghana), an integrated a school for the blind. The headmaster, Mr. E. K Avor took us on a tour to their Blind Students Resource Center where we met the 20 blind and low vision students the school had.
The Resource center had just 4 working braillers. We donated a brand new Perkins Brailler each to three(3) SHS Form 2 students and one to a Form 4 student. In addition we donated 4 Braillers to be used at the schools’ Resource Center.
- From Adidome, we drove about 15mins to the 3 Kings Special School, Basic and JHS at Avekpedome. Its an integrated school with a total of 84 students. The blind students in the basic(primary) and JHS departments make up 42 of the total student population. In addition the school currently has 12 low vision students.
- One of the striking, yet distressing things to note was the Braille Teaching Center- it existed outside, under a thatched roof, exposed to the elements, together with all its 16 students.
- Another noteworthy observation was the fact that this Braille Teaching center did not have a SINGLE Brailler dedicated to it.(When blind children were brought to the school they had to learn to Braille first before they could be placed in a class or form in the school. This instruction, depending on student took anywhere from 3 months to a year). The entire school had 5 working Braillers. At the time of our visit, the students preparing for the BECE exam were using them. At the end of our tour we presented 4 brand new Perkins Braillers to the Braille Center, free of charge.
DID YOU KNOW?
A report from VISION 2020, a joint program of the WHO and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, indicated that every minute a child goes blind. The report adds that 90 percent of the world’s blind live in low-income countries. In Ghana alone, more than 220,000 people are blind. Worldwide, 90 percent of blind children do not receive formal education, leaving many of these children incapable of obtaining jobs and caring for themselves. During a media briefing on World Sight Day in Accra in 2007, it was noted that the blind population of children in Ghana is about 8000.