The Dorothy Duncan Braille Library and Rehabilitation Centre was founded 25 years ago by the legendary Sister Catherine Jackson. It offers an impressive array of services for the visionally impaired, helping them to re-establish themselves and live normal lives.
The braille library offers literature on tape, on CD, in large print, and of course in braille. The books include core educational texts at all levels, as well as leisure reading material for all ages and leaflets and other important information for the blind. The latter includes information on HIV and aids as well as copies of the country’s constitution.
Over the past years the Dorothy Duncan Centre has helped rehabilitate blind adults by inviting eight individuals at a time to spend three months intensive training in re-establishing themselves in the world they used to know. The centre receives applications from people all around Zimbabwe – each one needing special personalized help. Sister Catherine has recently retired from full time duties at the centre. Her
indominatible spirit, vision and dedication have created a great legacy – a legacy that lives on through the support of generous friendships and the rotary clubs of Zimbabwe and around the world. Sister Catherine will remain on the executive committee, handing over the torch of directorship to Mrs Charity Johnson. Her vision for the braille library is to assist and rehabilitate increased numbers of blind Zimbabweans and to introduce more outreach programmes that raise the profile of the braille library and its invaluable services.
Mr Andrew Mutambisi is the director responsible for braille transcription services and government and public relations. He is a fully trained teacher, who has specialized in special needs, specifically rehabilitation and training of the blind and partially sighted. In addition to the important task of transcribing the printed word into braille, he is responsible for all aspects of special needs education and examinations. All of the above endeavours and enterprises bring hope and purpose for those who live with blindness and its huge frustrations and limitations.
Cause4concern, a trust that specializes in fund raising for charities in Zimbabwe will be undertaking an aggressive awareness and fund raising initiative on behalf of the Dorothy Duncan braille library and rehabilitation centre. Through these initiatives it is hoped to offer rehabilitation to more Zimbabweans and to offer technical skills to help the blind get back to work. It is also their vision to empower schools and other centres which deal with the visionally impaired with both skills and equipment to produce braille material specific to their particular needs.
Keeping in Touch
Earlier this year the Dorothy Duncan braille library was able to bring to Zimbabwe from England, Mr George Bell who introduced delegates from around Zimbabwe at a workshop, to the new Unified English braille code. In his introductory remarks, Mr Bell expressed his pleasure to be in Zimbabwe, and his admiration for the work Sister Catherine has done for the blind over the last 25 years. Mr Bell explained the need for the Unified English Braille, to be used throughout the world, and congratulated Zimbabwe for being amongst the first English speaking African countries to realize the importance of introducing this concept into their teaching.
For more information on the Dorothy Duncan braille library and rehabilitation centre and how to make donations from overseas visit www.cause4concernzim.com.
For local donations, banking details are as follows:
CABS, Platinum Branch
Account Number 901624547
Dorothy Duncan Centre
Your generosity can help others see the light!