To mark its 5th Anniversary, KBT has initiated a campaign so as to increase awareness on the plight of blind children in accessing education in Kenya. In addition, KBT targets to raise funds for every school child in Kenya to have a braille machine (currently priced $770 each). There are currently 650 school children who don’t have access to braille machines, so there’s enormous room for improvement. Throughout our campaign, we invite donors to team up to buy a braille machine and we’ll even arrange to go hand it over personally to a blind child. To kick off our campaign, we’d like to announce our fundraiser event at the Tribe Hotel. Here are the details!
Event: A Braille machine for every blind Child
Event Details: Fundraising dinner to raise the plight of blind children in Kenya
Unique Details: Entertainment by blind musicians including among other renowned artists and Dinner done exclusively by Chef Luca with the support of visually impaired catering staffs
Dates & Times: Thursday, October 3, 2013, 19:00 – 12:00 midnight
Location: Tribe Hotel
The Kilimanjaro Blind Trust (KBT) is a Charitable Trust formed 5 years ago to support provision of braille equipment to children with special needs to children in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
To read and write effectively, blind children need special tools. These are braille machines, braille textbooks, and braille papers to write their notes on. The government does not meet this need, and many of these children lack access to these to learn effectively.
Every year, KBT donates about 50 Braille Machines to partners to distribute in schools in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. In addition, KBT also supports the training of technicians to ensure the braille machines are in good working condition. Around 1,000 Braille machines get repaired and maintained annually by field technicians trained through KBT support.
Another integral part of this learning is the provision of braille paper and braille text books. Braille paper costs 10 times more than regular paper making it more expensive for blind learners to access. In addition, braille text books require more volumes to produce one text, which also makes it a challenge for blind learners.
In 2012, KBT donated 15 tonnes of Braille paper through its partner organisations in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. This led to a 50% reduction of price of a ream.
In Kenya, KBT provides 39 schools with Braille machines and trained field technicians – helping 1,120 blind or visually impaired children. However, there is a major gap in these schools. To meet the current need in Kenya, 650 more Braille machines are needed to ensure each child who needs one has one. The documentary that will be produced by Take 2 Africa will highlight the need for Braille machines and the difference it makes to a school child.
Some Facts & Figures
- 6 million African children are blind or visually impaired – 15% of the global total
- According to the Ministry of Education, only 21% of blind school-age children have access to quality education.
- It costs more than three times the amount to educate a blind child than a sighted child does. As a result, free primary education is not free for blind children. Currently the Government provides Ksh.1,020 per child every year and an additional Ksh.2000 per every child with special needs. A study was conducted in 2005 (I will confirm the Commission) revealing that the cost of educating a child with special needs per year is Ksh.17,500 per child per year. In a day school and Ksh.35,000 in a boarding school. The cost of a Perkins Braille machine is Ksh.70,000.
- The current ratio of braille machines to children is 1:3 with the desire being 1:1