Thanks to you, our supporters, donors, friends and partners, we did it! We managed to continue training blind people to be independent.
Came March 2020 and the world was turned upside-down. And so it was for us at SAMBT. As Covid-19 struck, we found ourselves walking on shifting sands, our plans for the year in tatters. But we were quick to rally. At once we made sure that our Practitioners got home safely from their assignments in other provinces before Lockdown Level 5 came down. From there on all efforts were geared towards getting ready for the time we would be able to begin training again. When that would be, we didn’t know.
And so we drew up plans A B and C. We drafted a protocol for our trainers and sourced PPE. We got legal opinions on the lockdown regulations and so much else. Meanwhile, our Practitioners were not sitting idle. One of the things they did was contact many of their previous blind clients by phone. This was to check up on how they were coping with the crisis and offer them help, support and advice. We also reduced our budget through, among other things, salary reductions. And this is where you, our funders, come in.
Without your support, your understanding and your willingness to be flexible, we would not have been able to achieve what we have achieved. It is because of you that we are financially stable right now. It is because of you that the blind people we have trained are so much safer from contracting the infection than they would otherwise have been.
And what is it that we have achieved during this difficult time? Well, our Practitioners are back in the field training blind people and this since June, only two months after the initial lockdown.
As Joyce, one of our practitioners says, “This has not been easy. But I managed. The training MUST go on.”
And here are some words from David about Kidibone, one of our Practitioners who has just finished her training with him.
“You brought some changes in our lives… That’s when you realise, you are somebody, you are someone. You can do something on your own. In this time of Corona, Kidi came as a blessing.”
And so, as this year comes to a finish, we thank you, our supporters, for what you have done to better the lives of blind people. We wish you all a peaceful and well deserved holiday break.