According to Blind SA, over 90% of blind and visually impaired people are unemployed. The Cape Town society for the Blind offer blind and visually impaired adults training and employment opportunities.
Meet Colin Willemse
“At the age of six I lost my eye because a friend accidentally struck a wire in my left eye. And at the age of 18 I was assaulted, and they hit me with a bottle over the head and I also lost my left eye. After that I was completely blind. The first six months for me were very difficult. It was difficult to come to terms with my blindness, but as time went on, I got in touch with The League of Friends of the Blind in Grassy Park for rehabilitation. It is here where I did my rehabilitation and met other blind people and it went well because I saw that there are other people who are in the same situation as I am.
And so, they referred me here to Cape town Society for the Blind. Every day you learn something new in weaving work. There’s always a new product coming in that perhaps we need to produce samples for. Everyday s a new challenge. And the camaraderie in the workshop is a real pleasure”
“I thought at the beginning that to be blind is the end of the world. But now that I’ve met people who are in the same situation as me, I’ve seen that you can live. It’s only your sight that’s gone. But you don’t always need it. Here and there you will have obstacles in your path that you must over one, but it’s enjoyable. To come to work every day is such a privilege, because there are people with nothing wrong who sit at home. And us who are blind, we put in the effort to get work. It’s a privilege really. We are one big family here.” – Colin Willemse –
Meet Andre Timotheuse
“I was able to see in both eyes and I began to get cataracts. I went for an operation, and it was unsuccessful. So, after the operation the left eye became totally blind and then the right one became the same. At the time I was 33 years old. For a blind person to work is not difficult because you can walk into any job, like me, I willing to do any job. So, I would encourage blind people who are sitting out there to stand up. And there is work for you out there. – Andre Timotheuse –