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Vision for the Blind (Freetown)

Vision for the Blind (VFB) is a local voluntary organisation, set up to promote and seek the interest of blind people in Sierra Leone, especially women, children and young people. It was set up in 2003 by a group of blind teachers who had the vision of country in which everyone who is blind has the same rights, opportunities and responsibilities as those who are sighted.

Jatu (who ran one of the 6 month training programmes in Makeni) is here presenting one of the trainees with her start-up kit for making soap. Both women are blind.
     
Blind women and men who successful completed the training programme, waiting to receive their certificates and start-up kits.

VFB is working to:

  • reduce the high level of illiteracy and street begging amongst the blind;
  • make education available and accessible, free of charge to all blind children;
  • help blind people overcome the impediment of blindness so that they become productive and self reliant; and
  • fight against discrimination of blind people in all its ugly forms.

VFB is registered as a community based organization with the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender & Children's Affairs, the Ministry of Youths & Sports, and the Ministry of Local Government & Community Development. It has an office in Makeni, where it carries out most of its education and training work. The organization decided to focus on the Northern Province because it has the highest percentage of blind people in the country. It has so far trained more than one hundred blind men and women in a range of useful skills, from soap-making and weaving to basketwork. It provides start-up kits and mentoring for its graduates, resources permitting. VFB also provides day to day support for the blind community in Makeni and regularly gives radio broadcasts. It is also lobbying nationally and was successful in getting questions on blindness and disability onto the last national census.

Blind basketwork trainer at Vision for the Blind in Makeni demonstrating his skills.
     
Members of Vision for the Blind on a World Aids Day March in Makeni, December 2006.

Contact: Jonathan Conteh, Director, Vision for the Blind, 17 Circular Road (4th Floor), Freetown
Mob: [+232] 76783671; E-mail: visionfortheblind@yahoo.co.uk