A Journey of Hope


The League of Friends of the Blind (LOFOB), a non-governmental organisation, caters to the needs of blind and visually impaired individuals. Established nearly 92 years ago, this historic organisation has remained steadfast in its commitment to serving those in need, never turning away a single patient. The people who run and volunteer at LOFOB are dedicated to providing care and support to all who come through their doors, both in-patients and out-patients alike.


LOFOB addresses common challenges faced by children and young adults in South Africa due to preventable blindness and visual impairment. The organisation works to raise awareness, combat misconceptions about visual impairment, and provide support to individuals across the spectrum of visual impairment. Collaborating with schools and workplaces, LOFOB offers training to support those with visual impairments, leading to success stories like three blind students completing high school in a sighted environment, showcasing the impact of support and understanding.


Benita Petersen, Manager at the League of Friends of the Blind (LOFOB), recently shared the story of a 15-year-old student from a neighbouring school in Lotus River, who struggled with her visual impairment until LOFOB stepped in to provide support. Despite failing grade 10 twice, with the help of her determined mother and LOFOB’s computer training and teacher collaboration, the student found success in her education. 


Her story is a testament to the power of hope, resilience, and the unwavering support of a dedicated mother.


This story highlights the importance of inclusive education, eye health awareness and the transformative power of hope and support for individuals with visual impairments. LOFOB continues to raise awareness about the challenges faced by those with visual impairments, emphasising the need for regular eye care and a society that provides equal opportunities for all.


“What struck me the most about this case, was that this  girl was the only visually impaired student in her grade, struggling to cope with her condition. She broke down during the assessment session with us and this was a poignant reminder of the isolation and frustration she had been experiencing. But it was incredibly rewarding to watch how her entire demeanour changed as we continued to work with her. For the first time, she felt seen and heard, knowing that she was not alone.” – Benita Petersen’s recollection of this encounter.


This experience is not unique to her. Many children and young adults in South Africa face similar challenges, often due to preventable blindness and visual impairment.