Blind World Magazine

Saudi Arabia.
Talal Donates SR1m to Help Nation's Blind.
Monday, May 08, 2006. JEDDAH, 9 May 2006 - The Ebsar Foundation for the Rehabilitation & Vision Impairment Services has received a donation of SR1,128,084 from the organization's honorary president Prince Talal. The donation matches the organization's budget for 2006 to provide programs and services for the Kingdom's estimated 200,000 visually impaired people. The prince urged those attending a May 27 meeting of the organization to donate funds to maintain the organization's efforts. Ebsar's executive director Mohammad Bellow said the organization received SR1,572,017 in donations and a SR354,000 grant from the Ministry of Social Affairs last year. The money helped provide training and rehabilitation services to 304 visually impaired Saudis. It also helped train 111 specialists to work with people with visual impairments. Ebsar established a fully equipped clinic in Jeddah last year and initiated a public-awareness campaign. Ebsar worked with the foods giant Savola Group to recruit and train 32 blind Saudi men and women. The organization installed two computers and Braille printers at the King Abdul Aziz University that can be used by blind students. The organization assisted in providing sight-correction procedures through Al-Maghrabi Hospitals. Bellow said that of an estimated 200,000 visually impaired Saudis, 29.9 percent are completely blind while the rest are partially blind. He outlined the objectives for 2006, which include increasing computer literacy of blind Saudis; boost the number of days the organization's clinics are open from two days (about 185 patients served) a week to six (600 patients served); and increase the number of experts familiar with the Light House program, a joint effort between Ebsar and Light House International Co. in New York that fights vision impairment, from 44 to 66. Ebsar officials are also hoping to increase the number of regional branches nationwide.§ion=0&article=81917&d=9&m=5&y=2006&pix=kingdom.jpg&category=Kingdom

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