Woking News & Mail (Surrey, UK).
Thursday, May 04, 2006.
A WOKING magistrate involved with deaf and blind charity work has appealed for those in possession of redundant brailler machines to donate them to him for use in Africa.
Gareth Jones, who sits as a JP on the north west Surrey circuit and is chairman of the National Deaf Children Society, visited Kenyan capital Nairobi in February and March with African Union of the Blind. He registered with Voluntary Services Overseas for its short-term assignment programme.
Due to his background as a bank manager, he was assigned to carry out a needs assessment for the African Union of the Blind, to identify management skill gaps and funding need and to draw up an action plan with the union executive director.
The African continent has 6.5 million blind and partially sighted people, who often suffer through a lack of support.
The African Union for the Blind was formed in 1987 and is based in Nairobi.
Its employees are almost all blind themselves and act as an umbrella for all 53 blind unions in each African country.
Mr Jones said: "The union's executive is Dr Elly Macha and she is from Tanzania. She is an exceptional individual who has raised the profile of the AFUB considerably. She is also blind.
"Through bidding for funds from international donors, AFUB puts in place seminars, workshops and training programme covering subjects as diverse as human rights, employment projects, leadership courses, HIV/AIDS and women's rights."
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