This is a story you can be proud to have played a part in…
because Nomakaya can now say four words she’s longed to say her entire adult life…
“I’m going to work.”
Regardless of age, dream or circumstances, a lack of sight shouldn’t be the reason why blind folk can’t live a life they choose. And although we stand firm in this belief, it takes so much more to make it a reality.
The truth is that finding work is hard! Our blind and visually impaired community need your continued help to prepare them for employment and independence.
Over the past eight months, Nomakaya has been getting up every morning to do something she’s never done before. She’s going to work.
Setting that early morning alarm, putting on her uniform and venturing out into the rush is not done grudgingly. Oh no! Each morning that she carries out these tasks is a reminder of her victory… a job!
For the first time in her life, this single mom of an eleven-year-old and a thirteen year-old can finally support her children under her own steam.
Born completely blind in both eyes, Nomakaya had to learn how to be independent from a very young age. In Grade 1 she was sent to boarding school in her hometown of Port Elizabeth.
She was no stranger to being away from home but high school meant leaving PE to attend the Filadelfia school for the disabled in Pretoria. Now, instead of going home on weekends, she would go home just twice a year during the school holidays.
“I remember it was hard at first being away from my family. But I knew I had to accept it, it was up to me to choose the life I wanted. I wanted to learn and this helped me to enjoy school.”
For someone who had to make her own way from just a little girl with no vision, Nomakaya was used to the stumbling blocks, but never imagined finding a job would take so long…
“Getting a job has been very hard. I have looked for work ever since I left matric and have submitted many CVs over all these years, but each time I was turned away because of my impairment.”
Despite efforts to upskill herself, the computer course, call centre course, supervisor course and leadership training all meant nothing next to her impairment.
What would it take to get a job?
In January this year, Nomakaya was finally offered a job as a massage therapist at a spa, putting an end to the years of rejection she’d endured since leaving school.
I hope you’ll find joy in helping Nomakaya find her rightful place in the working world. But we need to help many more just like Nomakaya (and there are many) to become the useful, contributing members of society that they yearn to be.
We work hard to make sure each of our candidates is as ready as they can for the working world. This involves preparing them for interviews and holding job-readiness workshops. We also provide Orientation and Mobility training to get them to a point where they can manage independently in their workspace and fully integrate into their working environment. We also meet with their employers, research other opportunities within that business and conduct on-the-job training for employees.
Living with sight loss certainly has its challenges, but a fair chance at a job shouldn’t be one of them. We have made it our mission to help blind and visually impaired folk face the future with confidence and a hope. For so many this means getting a job.
But what about the unemployed blind folk we haven’t yet met? What about the many others who have reached this same point of desperation and need our help now?
Together we have made this possible for Nomakaya.
Please can I ask you to continue your support now?