… giving back lost incomes as pandemic bites During this past year, Covid-19 lockdowns have effectively wiped out the incomes of many blind and partially sighted entrepreneurs, or workers who relied on their jobs at sheltered workshops. Seeing the urgent need, Blind SA set up a special economic fund in April with a budget of R20 000. An emergency fundraising drive was then put into action and so far thirty-one donors have contributed an additional R20 000. Our objective was simple: however small, try and help these folk get access to some form of income again… • Directly fund the purchase of raw materials for those who wanted to start micro-businesses. Among our early successes are a young man and his mother who started an initiative making face masks, a group of people who are making leather and beaded articles, and a hairdresser who stocked up on her products until she was able to resume work. • Provide training in the different modules of ‘Start and Improve Your Business’.This training programme is accredited by the International Labour Organisation. We currently have six trainers who participated in the National Skills Fund programme – they will train twenty prospective entrepreneurs. Trainees will receive learning materials in accessible formats like braille, daisy and electronically. • Offer much-needed assistance to people applying for UIF and TERS payouts.This we have done for those that applied, helping registered folk through the process and assisting non-registered people to apply for any relief funds that are available. Our sincere appreciation to all our supporters. Anyone wanting to support the Special Economic Fund can SMS their name and contact details to 45345. Thank you!