Deutsches Katholisches Blindenwerk (DKBW)
The DKBW (Deutsches Katholisches Blindenwerk) is a global acting non-profit organization for the blind and officially recognized by the German Bishops’ Conference. It forms the central association of eight regional offices located in different states in Germany. These regional offices (the Katholische Blindenwerke) are all independent associations, however,as central association, the DKBW feels responsible for undertaking such actions which cannot be successfully accomplished by the Katholische Blindenwerke. Therefore, the DKBW has created several institutions to serve the blind in Germany, German speaking countries as well as all around the world – whoever needs help gets help. This does not stricktly include blind people but also visually impaired or death-blind children and adults, too.
One of these institutions is the talking-book library,where books are recorded onto CDs and lent to its library’s members. The library offers a huge range of world literature, magazines, text books or religious literature, available in Braille print, as download or Daisy-CD. German-speaking people living abroad may also apply for the library to receive literature. Under the commission of the DKBW, the following newspapers are also produced, which appear monthly or bi-monthly: Lux Vera, St. Raphael, Feierstunden, L’Osservatore Romano. Additionally the breviary of the Catholic Church is also being produced.
In colaboration with the Sisters of the Christian Love in Paderborn, the DKBW operates a Braille printing press, which was established by that order in the middle of the 19th century. Equipped with computers, it produces braille books for the blind. Here again the emphasis is on religious literature. The printing press also produces religious texts in foreign languages (Braille) which are mostly given free of charge to the blind in various countries. Apart from some help received from the Bishops’ Conference, amounting to approx. 20% of the printing press’ regular budget, all expenses are covered by the DKBW (E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The DKBW supplies a diversified aid also in those countries where the Catholic Church cares for the blind. In Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe a number of schools, residential schools, rehabilitation centers and other gathering sites for the blind have been established with the help of the DKBW in the spirit of the Church.
The DKBW has firmly supported the work of the blind not only in developing countries but also in Japan, where Christians are a minority. It is particularly important that there is a priest, a nun, or a lay Person in all supported countries, who is conscious of the problems of the Catholic work for the benefit of the blind, and can locally take the right decisions together with the blind. The DKBW cannot, and does not want to act alone. Our association pursues the principle to render assistance to the blind, so as to enable them to help themselves.
In its international activities, the DKBW is maintaining contacts with other organizations affiliated with the International Federation of the Catholic Associations of the Blind (FIDACA), in order to avoid double investments and to offer efficient aid (E-Mail: Mail to email@example.com).
Groups or organizations desiring to ask for DKBW’s help can apply for it directly or via FIDACA. Member organizations of the FIDACA can be found in the Internet under www.fidaca.org.