Report follows below, sorry for the lengthy mail. Should you bprefer an
attachment, let me know and I will send it to you.
BLIND SA PENINSULA
NPO NO.: 000-608NPO
CHAIRMAN'S REPORT 1 APRIL 2015 TO 31 MARCH 2016
MOTTO: ENLIGHTEN, EMPOWER, EMBRACE
Blind SA Peninsula is a self help organisation for and of the Blind. Its
objectives are the following:
To work with other service providers in the blindness sector to empower
and enlighten visually impaired people;
To raise awareness of the skills and abilities of visually impaired
To try and find career opportunities for visually impaired people ; and
To give social and financial assistance where needed and if inance
Chair and Information Officer: Andre Vosloo, 92 Horak Street, Kraaifontein,
Tel (H): 021 9877979.
Vice Chair and first Branch Representative: Louis Van Der Sandt, Little
Griece 33, George Road, Strand, 7140
Tel (H): 021 853 7935.
Secretary: Veronica Vosloo, 92 horak Street, Kraaifontein, 7570
Tel (H): 021 987 7979.
Treasurer and 2nd Branch Representative: Kuanita Van der sandt, Little
Griece 33, George Road, Strand, 7140
Tel (H): 021 853 7935.
Careers Officer: Zelda Oosthuizen, The Greens 37, Altena Street, Strand,
Tel (h): 021 853 1003.
Additional Member and Representative on SANCB Western Cape: Sandra Dreyer,
66 5th Avenue, Belgravia Estate, Athlone, 7764
Tel (w): 021 448 4302.
Additional Member: Matthys Odendal, 12 Eduardo Park, Tolbos Close,
Tel (w): 021 487 1714.
Additional Member: Debbie Otto, 102 Waterberg Street, Heideveld
Blind SA Peninsula has no paid staff and all work is done on a strictly
voluntary basis. Volunteers are however compensated for costs incurred
should the need arise. Honorariums are also granted when needed for
exceptional work done by a member.
The financial affairs of Blind SA Peninsula are managed along sound and
accepted principles in accordance with the PFMA. The attached audited
statements will reflect the following:
Current balances of all bank accounts registered in the name of Blind SA
INTRODUCTION: Before we know it, another year has flown by. This year has
been another good one for Peninsula and despite the current economic
circumstances; we were able to carry on with our important work. I would
like to congratulate all our members who overcame difficult circumstances
and excelled in whatever they did. You are good ambassadors for us, showing
the public what we are capable of achieving. 2016 Is also the end of the
term of the current committee and I would like to express my thanks to all
the committee members pfor all their support and willingness to undertake
IN MEMORIAM: This is the time of the year when we stand still for a
moment and think of those who are no longer with us. This has been a bad
year for us as we lost 2 people who were of great value to this
organisation. During September Lynn Henning passed away after a long
illness. Lynn has been a member of Peninsula for many years and served as
our Secretary for a long time. On the 19th of December, Amanda Lopion
passed away after she suffered an aneurism. Amanda was instrumental in
starting our Dinner in the Dark and many members will remember her sparkling
personality and willingness to assist and serve them at our functions.
Kuanita had some health issues and broke her pelvis and coccyx after a fall.
I would like all members who have lost loved ones or are currently
experiencing health or family chalenges to let us have the names now so we
can put them on the minutes. I would like to ask everybody to observe a
moment of silence while we think of them.
AGM: our 2015 AGM took place at our usual spot in Kraaifontein and was
attended by 15 members of Peninsula. Members were treated to coffee and
delicious cakes before the meeting and with some delicious soup and hot dogs
prepared by Veronica vosloo and helpers afterwards. After all the annual
reports were discussed and approved, Zelda Oosthuizen was elected as our
Careers Officer and Debbie Otto and Joanne Van Niekerk as Additional
Members. Joanne resigned later due to personal reasons, but is still a
member of Peninsula. Our Vice Chair Louis Van Der Sandt then handed over a
brand new laptop donated by Blind SA Peninsula to Zelda Oosthuizen. In a
moving speech, Zelda thanked the committee for this generous donation and
said that it will go a long way in helping and empowering her. Kuanita then
informed all members about all arrangements concerning our annual Dinner in
the Dark and everybody undertook to assist and help to sell tickets.
Everybody then enjoyed the food and had an opportunity to talk to friends
COMMITTEE MATTERS: The committee met regularly and meetings were well
attended and fruitful. Matters discussed include:
Blind SA Peninsula social functions;
Granting of study bursaries;
Projects to assist and empower visually impaired people;
Athlone school project; and
Ways to raise awareness. Transport to meetings prove to be a problem,
however the committee takes decisions via e-mail which are then minuted at
the next physical meeting. Use has also been made of Skype and other
communication methods to make it possible for committee members to attend
meetings. We have been approached by members requesting us to consider a
project teaching Braille to newly blinded adults and this will hopefully be
under way soon. Our Auditor, Mr Oswald Bailey, attended the first meeting
of the committee to give us guidelines on sound financial management and to
present us with the audited financial statements. He again congratulated
Peninsula on the sound financial management and wished us good luck for the
future. Thanks to all my committee members for your loyalty and support
during the past year. A leader is nothing without a good team behind him
and it was a pleasure to lead a team like yourselves.
69TH AGM OF BLIND SA: The Blind SA AGM as it is now called was attended by
myself as neither Louis nor Kuanita were able to attend due to their
commitment with our annual Dinner in the Dark. The Meeting took place from
the 24th to the 26th of September and our host were Egoli Blind. On the
24th, a workshop was held to assist member organisations an find out what
the problem areas are. Cathy Donaldson our President, gave her Presidential
address at the gala dinner on the 25th of September and mapped the road
ahead for Blind SA. A separate report will be circulated for info and
should anybody perhaps want a copy of the minuts, I will be able to send
them to you via e-mail. For Braillle or large print coppies, feel free to
contact Blind SA \head Office.
CAREERS: One of the main objectives of Blind SA is to try and find suitable
career opportunities for visually impaired people, a task which is proving
to become more and more difficult. This has been a very disappointing year
for Peninsula as we have no placements to report. Some jobs were advertised
and some blind people were interviewed, but to my knowledge nobody has been
placed in a job. We are planning an awareness raising breakfast with some
corporates in the next year. We are planning to have a few motivational
speakers and blind people already in careers telling their success stories
and showing through demos what blind people are capable of achieving.
Certificates will be handed to employers that are already employing visually
impaired people and it is hoped that this may lead to more job
Blind SA as an organisation will have to seriously rethink the way ahead for
careers. On a national level, agreements have been reached with Transnet,
Scorpion Legal Services and Anglo Gold to employ visually impaired people
where possible and I sincerely hope this will lead to more career
opportunities. In spite of some views that blind people now have access to
computers and can find jobs more easily, this is not happening and the
unemployment rate among visually impaired people is quite alarming. More
work will have to be done to raise awareness as there is still a lot of
scepticism and ignorance about the abilities of visually impaired people. I
think the time has come where blind people who are already employed should
approach their employers to ask whether they could train some unemployed
blind people in the working environment. This worked very well for us in
the past and could give the trainees hands on experience in the actual
working environment. In the call centre industry for example, this could be
of great value. I have found that bline people do not always make it in the
call centre environment, purely because the companies which employ them are
not able to train them in the specific systems used. This often leads to
the call centre agents ending up performing inferior tasks and prevents them
from becoming full team members.
ATHLONE SCHOOL PROJECT: Veronica Vosloo is in charge of this important
project and she has been quite busy. Blind SA Peninsula has adopted 2
learners from the Athlone school who come from very poor socio-economic
circumstances. Their toiletries are supplied on a regular basis and in May
last year, Veronica and Barbara Davis again took them on a shopping spree to
shop for new clothing. This was made possible through a generous donation
of R4 000.00 by Peninsula. Afterward, both of the kids could not stop
talking about the nice raincoats, new pajamas and sports bags they received.
We gave them some tea and cake at my house after they went shopping and I do
not think I could ever forget the joy and excited chatter coming from them.
We often do not realise how lucky and blessed we are.
Veronica is planning some competitions for the learners to take part in and
also a careers day where they can get guidance on career opportunities.
Thanks to Veronica and Barbara Davids who are going all out to make this
project a success.
2016 DINNER IN THE DARK: This annual event took place on the 26th of
September and was hosted by the Protea Hotel in Sea Point. The event was
organised by our fundraising committee consisting of Louis Van Der sandt
(Convenor), Kuanita Van Der Sand and Matthys Odendal. Several members of
Peninsula helped to sell tickets and the sponsorship of the wines for the
evening was organised by Corrie Britz, one of our members. We were
entertained by some very good jokes as told by Ferdi Venter, Master of
Ceremonies and our members Paulina Gabriels, Frankford Williams, Cindi
mullins and Caireen and Chris Van Der Vyver acted as our waitrons for the
evening. During the proceedings Kevin Batt, one of our members, weaved a
cane tray which was sold at the auction after the meal. I was priviledged
to give a speech about the activities of Blind SA |Peninsula and various
assistive devices were demonstrated between courses. The raffle was
extremely interesting this year. One of our blindfolds had "do not disturb"
written on it and the person who got that won a week-end for 2 at the Protea
Sea Point. Chocolates were handed out to everybody before the function
started, only one of which had a red dot on it. The lucky winner won a
breakfast for 2 at Protea Sea Point and because the winner was Veronica
Vosloo, I must say the breakfast was delicious! We also sold tickets for a
raffle which was drawn after the function and had quite a few goods to sell
at the auction .
It was indeed a very enjoyable evening and judging by the noise during
courses, the diners enjoyed eating in the dark and with blindfolds on. This
is an excellent function to introduce sighted people to the world of the
blind and what the blind are able to achieve if they have the correct
assistive devices. Well done to all, let's do it bigger and better next
time! A great word of thanks to Protea Sea Point for giving us the venue
for free, throwing in a couple of prizes and cleaning up the mess caused by
our newly blinded diners!
MEMBERSHIP MATTER: Peninsula currently has 49 members of which 34 are blind,
14 fisually impaired and 1 sighted. We had a request from our members to
organise more functions, as some of our members do not have the opportunity
to get out and socialise that often. We had 2 functions during the past
year, which were both well attended and enjoyed by all. The first function
took place on the 5th of September and was in the form of a picnic. Members
brought eats which were then shared out and juice was provided by Peninsula.
Our end-of-year function was in the form of a boerewors rolls braai with
delicious salads and desert. Blind SA provided the juice and members
brought their own xyz. Both these functions were held at our regular venue
in Kraaifontein and there was a lot of chatter and the swimming pool again
proved a great attraction in the heat wave conditions we experienced at the
time. I would like to thank our Events Committee for organising both
functions and to all members who asissted with serving and other tasks. At
Peninsula, we believe that blind people should be in control and have a say
about what they would like to eat.
We are constantly trying to improve communication with our members and keep
them informed about what is happenig, but this task is proving to get more
difficult as we are relying heavily on the services of volunteers. To try
and improve this, I have created an e-mail list and would like to urge all
members who have not done so yet to please subscribe. We can then regularly
keep you all updated about what is going on in Blind SA and post
documentation which are often relevant to the visually impaired community.
We wil also have a Facebook page in the very near future, so watch this
space for more.
VOTE OF THANKS: I would again like to thank the outgoing committee for their
hard work and dedication. Secondly, thanks to those members who assisted
and supported us in many ways like giving advice, helping with our dinner in
the dark and assisting our blind members at functions. A big word of thanks
to Veronica who assist me and is always prepared to give up our house for
the bunch of rowdy blindies. Last but not least, thanks to Almighty God for
blessing this organisation and keeping his powerful hand over us. May this
organisation keep growing stronger and become a leader in the blindness
CHAIR BLIND SA PENINSULA