In Ethiopia live more than 1.25 million people who are blind. People with a visual impairment belong in Ethiopia to the most disadvantaged groups in social and economic terms. The level of education is low and these people often have a lack of self-confidence because they deal with stigma, prejudice and rejection. About 80% of the blind cannot participate in economic activities and have no income.
Many blind children in Ethiopia don’t go to school. Parents see a blind child as a disgrace; it is often interpreted as a punishment from God. Most of these children are often only in their the hut or house and don’t come outside. As a result of this social isolation their future evaporate and they are in fact hopeless.
TTAF started in 2007 with a first school for blind children. Despite the handicap nothing to see, these children have fun, they learn Braille and develop social skills. When the students attended two years of education on this school, they are ready for mainstream education. Evaluations show that blind children are functioning very good in the regular education and even belong to the top of the class. Therefore their arrears are completely caught up: they have the same opportunities as children who can see indeed. The (blind) Director Wondimu Asfaw is also trying to show the community that visually impaired simply by hearing and have all the rights and opportunities.
In addition, the community also made it clear that blind and partially sighted people simply belong to and have all rights and opportunities as those ones that do.
Currently TTAF supports two schools for blind children where each school has about 10 children in the first year and 10 children in the second year.