In our latest Belgian charities article we find out about a charity that helps blind and partially-sighted people all over Belgium.
Launched in 1920, the Ligue Braille (Braille League), headquartered minutes from Brussels South (Midi) station, is now supporting over 15,500 blind and partially sighted people all over Belgium. The not-for-profit organisation’s key goal is to increase the self-reliance, integration and development of blind and partially sighted people. The Ligue relies on the public’s generosity: only 22.96% of its needs are met by grants, the rest comes from donations.
Volunteer participation is crucial to help blind and partially sighted people in activities including learning braille, cooking, education and training. “Volunteers are vital for ensuring the association runs smoothly and extra hands are always welcome,” the charity says.
The Ligue Braille offers myriad ways to help the blind and partially-sighted in four key areas:
• Coping from day to day (e.g. learning Braille, guide dog training, occupational therapy).
• Finding your way, seeking training or getting a job (with educational support and vocational training centres).
• Reading, playing and relaxing (with the Braille Library, Ludotheque and Braille Clubs that organise trips and cultural visits).
• Technical aids (e.g. speaking alarm clocks and kitchen scales, adapted telephones and computers with magnification applications or Braille displays).
In addition, the Braille Shop offers some 500 technical and mobility aids like tactile watches, colour detectors and Braille typewriters that can be tested on site before purchase.
In 2020, the Ligue Braille provided support to help 408 people in job training and 137 students with their education and organised 342 sociocultural activities. The organisation also made available 535 games adapted for the visually impaired at its Ludotheque (game-lending centre) and lent 9,030 books out of the 61,878 available on its online catalogue (bibliotheque.braille.be).
How to help
Any contribution will help in areas including guide dog training, expanding the specially-adapted book collection; and in enabling blind or partially sighted children to attend self-reliance courses at the seaside. Donors are given a tax certificate for any gift equal to €40 or more a year.