Running the NYC Marathon for Braillers

Dear Friends,

On November 7th I will be running the New York Marathon to raise funds for the Kilimanjaro Blind Trust, in partnership with Perkins International. Our goal is to raise, as a minimum, $150,000. Your generous individual support will ensure that even more Perkins Braillers ® can be distributed to students throughout East Africa and that we can continue to increase Braille literacy. Remember, all funds go directly to Brailler machines, repair and training; there are no administration costs! Your contribution does make a difference to the education of blind or visually impaired children in East Africa.

The Kilimanjaro Blind Trust is starting to make a significant impact in East Africa. Since its establishment in 2005, it has created momentum to attack Braille literacy. USAids is now helping fund other aspects of visually impaired work making our work even more effective. The governments of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania are very supportive. The Brailler replacement and repair training courses are becoming a model for other countries. The spare parts depot and trained repair staff we put in place over the past two years have facilitated the repair of more than 2000 Braillers in this region. Regional co-ordination is also becoming a model in other geographic areas of the world. Teachers are noticing that performance amongst visually impaired students is improving as they have more access to machines.

Braille is the key to literacy for people who are blind, the gateway to employment and independence. Yet still today most blind students in East Africa will not learn Braille because their schools do not have the necessary tools.

Please go to http://support.perkins.org/goto/paulpolman to make a credit card donation on behalf of my Marathon run. To donate by wire transfer, cash or check, please click here. Your gift truly has a direct impact on hundreds of blind and visually impaired children in East Africa.

The Kilimanjaro Blind Trust, with Perkins International, advances Braille literacy among students throughout East Africa. Kilimanjaro Blind Trust was launched by a group of friends who climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. Led by Erik Weihenmayer, the acclaimed mountain climber who is blind, five blind climbers summitted Mt. Kilimanjaro and set a new record. The Kilimanjaro Blind Trust focuses on improving the lives of blind children in East Africa and reaches thousands of children by distributing new Perkins Braillers ® to schools and agencies for the blind.

Your support for the Kilimanjaro Blind Trust can make that long awaited day a memorable one for villages across East Africa. A day when students begin learning to read and write. Learn more about the Kilimanjaro Blind Trust.

Here is a link to a recent CBS news report in the United States on the importance of Braille literacy. http://www.perkins.org/news-events/news/cbs-braille-literacy.html

Thanks for your support. It does make a difference.

Paul Polman
Chairman, Perkins International and Founder of the Kilimanjaro Blind Trust