On 9 December a meeting took place lay the foundation for the establishment of a League of Friends of the Blind, as well as to draft the constitution.
LOFOB was co-founded by Isaac Jacobs on the 2nd of February. The original purpose of LOFOB was to raise funds for the Athlone School of the Blind.
LOFOB opened its first hostel accommodating six women in Plumstead. The women would later be required to move due to the Group Areas Act.
Philip Bam was elected as the General Secretary/Manager of LOFOB. He was eventually elected as the first vice president classified as ‘coloured’ to the South African National Council for the Blind.
LOFOB established its Social Work department.
The Infant Stimulation and Development programme for preschool children was established, along with the Rehabilitation Program. LOFOB shifted it’s focus to developing human potential.
Origin of broader women’s group in South Africa
LOFOB launched its Africane Training Academy, which addresses the shortage of skilled Orientation & Mobility Practitioners in South Africa by offering a two-year diploma programme.
Our present endeavours and future plans are all aimed at giving our clients the best as we EMPOWER, EDUCATE, EMPLOY, E-NNOVATE, and ENGAGE.
Armand Bam is the current Executive Director. He has been involved with the organisation from his childhood as a volunteer. He has a keen interest in community development focussing on disability, sport and environmental issues. He recently completed his PhD in Business Administration and holds a Master’s degree in Disability Studies. He has also completed an honours degree in Biokinetics, Post Graduate Diploma in Management Practice and received training in Design Thinking. His academic interests relate directly to business ethics, employment and disability.
Shahiemah Edwards started at LOFOB in 1984 bringing with her secretarial expertise. Her excellent administration abilities soon saw her becoming the nerve centre of the administration in a time when the organisation was developing into a leading service provider in the field of blindness. As the organisation grew and restructured she was later appointed as Director: Administration and Logistics, the position which she stills holds to this day. She is totally committed and dedicated to LOFOB and the community it serves.
Benita graduated from the University of the Western Cape with a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy and joined the organisation in 1998. Between 1998 and 2008, she held the position of Occupational Therapist in LOFOB’s Early Childhood Development and Independence Development departments. Here she worked directly with children and adults who are blind and visually impaired and their families across the Western Cape. Currently, she manages the wide range of support services LOFOB provides to blind and visually impaired children and their families.
Heidi went through the Independence Training Programme and later became a skills developer, training other blind people to be independent. Heidi excelled at this job and set her sights on higher things and was offered the position of Public Relations Officer, which was the position she held for 12 years. She successfully completed courses in Conference, Exhibition & Event Management as well as the Fundamentals Of Project Management at Damelin College. She has also successfully completed courses in Public Relation at Boston City Campus and Business College and later at UNISA.