Blind-folding event raises awareness and funds

Zakhele Ekusasa Special Community Learning College in Riverside village in Qwaqwa held a fundraising event last Saturday in a bid to raise funds to buy machines used by the blind students. The college caters for students with different disabilities.According to the principal of the institution, Florence Leotlela, they found it necessary to raise funds and not rely on hand outs.

Leotlela told Dumelang News that they sat down as the management and eventually came up with a dinner in the dark fundraising event.“At this event, everyone who enters the hall is blind folded so that they may gauge what a blind person might feel like. They remain blind folded until the end of the event,” she said.

She revealed that although they won’t be able to buy the set number of machines need, they would still be able to buy at least one or two. “The school materials used by disability students are far more expensive than the ones used by those in the mainstream,” she added.She said the college was established in 2013 with the students from one of the special schools in the area.

“As they are expelled from special schools due to their ages with some of them not having reached Grade 12, we take and push them until they finish,” Leotlela said.
She said those students were dealing with various physical disabilities including blindness, deafness and epilepsy.“We are very glad as the college because one of our students has finished his studies at the local TVET College and he is employed now, and that is a huge achievement,” said Leotlela.

She also mentioned that the college is facing a serious shortage of materials.“We have more than twenty students and all of them have to use only two machines that we have,” she said. She requested help from the business people and other good-hearted citizens out there.“If we can only get eight machines, we will be happy,” she said.

One of the parents who attended the event, Lerato Mosia, said that she encountered a number of challenges during the blindfolding event.“From the time I got here, I have learnt that being blind is not easy,” she said.Maluti Bus Service (MBS), a local bus company donated an amount of R1 500 to the college.The company’s manager, Chabedi Ramatho, said that with the donation the company has offered, he believes it will help bring about the change in the lives they sought of the students.

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