The Society of the Blind in Gjakova has 400 members, 50% of whom are under forty years old. Many of them struggle to access employment and contribute meaningfully to their society because of lack of proper education and training which would allow them to read Braille and orient themselves outside their homes. To this end, TIP and the Society will partner in order to offer Braille and Mobility classes, especially targeting children and youth who have never had the chance to attend such courses.
The challenges faced by those who are blind in Gjakova are especially hard-hitting for children (up to the age of 18) who live in rural areas. Living far from schools which offer Braille courses denies these children their right to a proper education, and limits their ability to gain independence and achieve their potential. In addition, prejudices against people who are blind keep these children isolated, meaning that they never learn to orient themselves outside of their homes.
TIP wants to work together with the Society of the Blind in Gjakova to ensure that all those who are interested in Braille and, mobility classes can have access to them. We take a holistic approach to addressing special school courses, academic support, and transport to ensure that children are able to enjoy their right to education. Working like this and together with a group of volunteers from the community - and beyond - ensures that we get a locally-owned solution, and value for money.
Access to education and the ability to orient themselves will ensure that children who are blind can have an adequate standard of living. We know that when these children learn Braille and can orient themselves in their villages and cities, they'll be better placed to get jobs and the opportunity to challenge negative stereotypes which contribute to the marginalization of people with disabilities. Supporting children who are blind allows them to contribute to a more diverse society.