Braille Classes

HopeGeremie, Frédéric, Émilie and Emmanuel are visually impaired. In order to give them access to an education adapted to their disability, we are calling on your support.

Hope

Hope suffers from a total cataract in her left eye and a deformity of her right eye. She has been blind since birth, and lives with her little sister and both her parents, who have very limited means.

Geremie

Geremie has had glaucoma since birth. He lives with his mom, his two brothers and his sister. His dad passed away a few years ago. Since then, the family has been living under very precarious conditions.

Emmanuel

Emmanuel has had glaucoma since birth. He is Geremie’s older brother. He used to attend school, but his eyesight got worse, and he wasn’t able to follow the classes anymore.

Émilie

Emmanuel has had glaucoma since birth. He is Geremie’s older brother. He used to attend school, but his eyesight got worse, and he wasn’t able to follow the classes anymore.

Frédéric

Frédéric has been visually impaired since birth due to congenital infection. Frédéric is great at playing the djembe and shows us his talents every Saturday during the animations!

Use of your donations

Braille Classes and specialized school

Donations received through the Braille Classes project allow us to finance classes at the Graines d’Espoir center, from which Émilie, Hope and Frédéric currently benefit.

Since September 2021, Emmanuel and Geremie have joined a specialized school in Lomé which we are financing; the Centre Polyvalent Saint Augustin.

Once Hope, Frédéric and Émilie are a little older, and their knowledge of French is sufficient, we plan to offer them the same opportunity.

Course materials and school meals

The donations received also allow us to finance the purchase of the material necessary for the classes:

  • Braille slates & styluses.
  • Braille paper.
  • Alphabet wooden boards.

Finally, we support the children through the financing of school meals.

Project

Timeline

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Nov. 9th, 2020

The idea

We were given the idea by Geremie and Emmanuel’s ophthalmologist. During a consultation, he confirmed to us that there was no possible improvement regarding Geremy’s eyesight, and suggested looking into Braille classes. After discussing it with his mom, we started to contact various local organizations, including one named “Action pour le Bien-Être et l’Épanouissement des Aveugles” (ABEA).

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Nov. 17th, 2020

The ABEA organization

The president of the ABEA organization explained to us how important it is for children to learn Braille, so that they can receive an education adapted to their disability. We also thought about Hope, a 5-year-old girl, visually impaired, and whom we had just met. Her dad was immediately eager to give her access to the classes.

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Nov. 18th, 2020

Meeting Eli

The president of ABEA gave us the contact of a young woman, Eli, who is also visually impaired. She attends the University of Lomé, where she studies a Master’s degree in Sociology of Development. We met Eli at the center, on November 18th.

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Nov. 20th, 2020

Eli meets the children

Eli and the children first met on November 20th. Thanks to the support of our donors, we raised a large part of the necessary funds for the purchase of supplies and Eli’s salary.

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Jan. 5th, 2021

First classes

The first class took place on January 5th. Eli and the children started to meet every Tuesday and Thursday.

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Feb. 23rd, 2021

Emmanuel joins the classes

Emmanuel joins the classes, together with Hope and Geremie.

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Sept. 27th, 2021

Emmanuel and Geremie attend the Centre Polyvalent Saint Augustin

Emmanuel and Geremie are now going to the Centre Polyvalent Saint Augustin in Lomé, a specialized school for visually impaired children.

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Jan. 27th, 2022

French classes for Émilie, Frédéric and Hope

Émilie, Frédéric and Hope are now taking French classes at the Graines d’Espoir center.

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Feb. 15th, 2022

Emerson, joins as new Braille teacher

Emerson, our coordinator Anselme’s brother, joins the team. He takes over the Braille classes at the center for Émilie, Hope and Frédéric.

Updates

June 19th, 2022

Emmanuel and Geremie have now returned home for the school vacations! They are excited to be back with their mom and siblings, with whom they will spend the summer. We will see them at the center every week during the animations and tutoring classes, when they will continue to practice Braille. Their mom is delighted to have them back for such a long time, and we have already started to discuss the upcoming school year. Indeed, we will continue to finance their schooling at the Centre Polyvalent Saint Augustin, a specialized school for visually impaired children, in Lomé.⁠

May 24th, 2022

The Braille and French classes are going well for our three little students. They are making a lot of progress. The classes continue to be punctuated by songs and recitations, which they are learning with joy!⁠ ⁠Emilie, Hope and Frédéric have received a new learning tool; a peg board. It allows them to learn the combinations of the letters of the alphabet. Frédéric’s mom explained to us that it has become difficult for them to finance the transportation to the center. Indeed, the family lives quite far, which makes the trip expensive. We decided to help them pay for half of the transportation costs, so that Frederic can continue to attend classes regularly.⁠

February 15th, 2022

Emerson (who is also our coordinator Anselme’s brother) has joined the Graines d’Espoir team. He is our new Braille teacher and is now teaching Émilie, Hope and Frédéric. During the first class, Emerson introduced them to a Braille writing machine, which they were all eager to try out!

January 30th, 2022

Emmanuel and Geremie visited us after their week of school! They are both doing very well. Emmanuel showed us how to use the cubarithm, a tool he uses at school. It consists of a grid and cubes with numbers and mathematical symbols written in Braille. It is used to perform calculations and create simple geometric shapes. Both are very enthusiastic about their school!

January 27th, 2021

Hope, Frédéric and Émilie now attend French classes every Tuesday and Thursday at the Graines d’Espoir center. All three have been visually impaired since birth and have never attended school. By giving them access to French classes, we aim to support them in their education and allow them to join their classmates Geremie and Emmanuel at the specialized school for visually impaired children in Lomé.

January 7th, 2022

Geremie and Emmanuel are doing great. We visited them at school this week. They received the results of the last term, and Emmanuel is at the top of his class! ⁠

November 4th, 2021

Hope’s French classes are going very well! This week, Edem taught her short sentences, and they reviewed the alphabet and the numbers from 1 to 15. Hope is now taking French classes at the Graines d’Espoir center, in order to prepare her for school. In fact, we want to give her the possibility to join a specialized school for visually impaired children, in Lomé.⁠

October 30th, 2021

As every two weeks, we went to pick up Geremie and Emmanuel in Lomé, so they could spend the weekend with their family. These reunions are always very emotional for their mom, who is very happy that her children are now attending school. Geremie and Emmanuel are both making a lot of progress. They have made friends and are delighted with their new school life! ⁠
They joined us at the center this Saturday for tutoring. Emmanuel took dictation with the other students, and Geremie got to practice on a Braille book, recently brought by one of our donors 🥰 ⁠

October 22nd, 2021

Our Braille Classes project has evolved a lot in the last few weeks! Emmanuel and Geremie are now both attending a specialized school in Lomé, and they are already making great progress. Hope is still too young to join the school in Lomé, so we organized individual sessions at the center, so that she can continue to learn French, develop her touch, and prepare for her own schooling! ⁠

October 19th, 2021

Geremie and Emmanuel had a great start to the school year! Emmanuel is making a lot of progress, and Geremie even skipped a grade, given his abilities. Thanks to the classes he took at the center with our teacher Eli, he can already read Braille well. ⁠We have recently financed the start of a business for their mom, to help her become financially independent. She has started selling Liha, a drink she makes from corn and sorghum, and small jewelry at the market. We were delighted to see that her business has started very well! ⁠

October 1st, 2021

Emmanuel and Geremie had their first week at the specialized school for visually impaired children in Lomé. Emmanuel received a white cane (Geremie is still too little), and we bought them their school supplies.⁠ We met the host family who will take care of the children during the weekends, and we gave them the necessary food supplies for the month.⁠ It was an emotional day for everyone. The mom told us that she never imagined that her sons would one day be able to go to school like the other children. We will organize regular home visits so that they can spend time with their family.⁠ 

September 22nd, 2021

We visited the Centre Polyvalent Saint Augustin in Lomé, a school for visually impaired children. At the time, we were planning to enroll Emmanuel there. During our meeting with the director, she reassured us and their mom that despite his young age, Geremie could also start school. We discussed this a lot with their mom, and we offered to finance the school year of her two children. She was very happy to hear that they would both have this opportunity. Geremie and Emmanuel are very motivated and can’t wait to start! We have given them all the necessary material for school and accommodation. 

September 11th, 2021

Osman, from the Togolese organization “Action pour le Bien-être et l’Épanouissement des Aveugles”, came to discover our center. It was through him that we met Eli, our Braille teacher. We went together to visit Emmanuel, Geremie and Hope.⁠ Osman spoke with the children and their moms, and reassured them of the opportunities that exist for their future. Osman is now supporting us in developing an inclusive education project for the children. ⁠

July 29th, 2021

To celebrate the last Braille session before the holidays, we hosted a meal and had fun playing games! Several of the children who come every Saturday for tutoring classes joined us as well. They took the opportunity to practice some songs and recitations!

July 26th, 2021

Our Braille students are having their last week of classes before a well-deserved vacation! This Thursday, we will be hosting a meal and some fun activities to celebrate together!

June 4th, 2021

The Braille classes are going very well! Emmanuel received his reading book, which will allow him to continue learning at home. Geremie and Hope have learned two recitations and played the piano!

May 7th, 2021

Emmanuel is making great progress! Eli, his Braille teacher, is very proud and impressed by his quick learning. Indeed, it has only been less than three months since Emmanuel joined the Braille classes!

April 26th, 2021

The Braille classes are going really well. Emmanuel has made great progress; he can now write simple words and read whole sentences. This makes him very happy! Eli, his Braille teacher, is very optimistic about his return to school in September. Geremie and Hope are currently learning French and will soon start learning Braille again. 

We also carried out the monthly food supply for Geremie and Emmanuel’s family. 

March 31st, 2021

Emmanuel, Hope and Geremie had playful classes this week. In addition to the Braille lessons, they explored their environment while learning the French words for everyday objects. This was done with songs, which made it easier to learn. Emmanuel is progressing very quickly. He practices a lot with the Braille slate, writing the letters of the alphabet, which he knows by heart. He is now starting to read sentences in Braille! Geremie is also progressing well, he knows the whole alphabet and is starting to use the Braille slate with the help of his brother. He always makes everyone laugh during the classes. As for Hope, she is having a little more difficulty learning the letters, but she is very motivated and loves learning with her classmates!

We also carried out the monthly food supply for Geremie and Emmanuel’s family. 

February 23rd, 2021

Braille classes are going well! Emmanuel loves learning Braille, and already knows the whole alphabet by heart. He first started using a wooden board with 6 holes, and he is now practicing with a Braille slate. Geremie continues to learn the Braille alphabet and makes good progress every week. He also practices representing objects, animals and other shapes using play dough. As for Hope, she has not yet been able to grasp the tools for learning Braille writing. Eli, our teacher, is currently focusing on games, songs and exercises to teach her the French language.

February 9th, 2021

Emmanuel attended the Braille classes this week, and managed to learn the Braille alphabet, up to the letter “G”. Our teacher is very optimistic about his learning and gladly invites him to attend classes at the Graines d’Espoir center. Emmanuel will be joining Geremie and Hope every Tuesdays and Thursdays. At the same time, he wants to try to go to his regular school on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Emmanuel is aware that he can no longer copy the classes, but it has been very difficult for him to accept this reality.

February 2nd, 2021

We gave Eli the donations we received for the project and introduced them to the children. They were all happy to use these new learning tools.

Hope’s mom attended two sessions to observe Hope’s work and difficulties, which had alerted us during the last classes. We noticed that she struggles to assimilate the Braille learning tools. However, she is doing very well with learning French and is making progress day by day. We have encouraged and congratulated her. As for Geremie, he already knows the Braille alphabet down to the letter “O”. He is very keen and learns quickly.

January 14th, 2021

This week, Hope and Geremie learned to greet each other in French. They have also started learning how to write the letters of the alphabet in Braille. Geremie quickly learned how to write the letters up to “H”. This takes a little longer for Hope, as she had never learned French until now.

Eli uses many tools, including play dough, so they can learn to shape different objects, such as clothes. They are very happy and proud to go to school like all the other children, and they love learning while having fun.

January 8th, 2021

Geremie and Hope had their first Braille sessions this week! They get along very well with their teacher Eli, and were thrilled to start their first classes. A room is reserved for them in our center so that they can work in the best possible conditions.

During the first sessions this week, the children discovered the tools for learning Braille. Eli introduced them to the Braille slates & styluses they will use for reading and writing.

Since Geremie and Hope are still very young (5 and 6 years old), Eli uses a lot of games to facilitate their learning. In order to animate the classes, and offer them activities appropriate to their age, Eli also teaches them songs, which they both have fun learning!

Contact us

70A Impasse de l'Amiradou
83190 Ollioules, France

+33 6 61 73 08 64

(English contact)

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