German Catholic Association of the Blind (DKBW)
The DKBW (Deutsches Katholisches Blindenwerk) is recognized by the Bishops’ Conference of Germany as an organization for the blind. This organization is a central association with branch members in various regions throughout the Federal Republic of Germany. These regional members are all independent associations federated into the DKBW. As the central association, the DKBW sees ist function in undertaking such actions which could not be successfully accomplished by the regional associations. Therefore, the DKBW, which receives funds exclusively through collections made among the Catholics of Germany, created central institutions to serve the blind of Germany and of course, the German-speaking blind in foreign countries as well as the blind throughout the world.
These central institutions consist of: a talking library, situated in 53117 Bonn, Graurheindorfer Str. 151a, firstname.lastname@example.org. Here books are recorded onto CDs and cassettes and lent to the library’s members. The main accent is placed on religious literature for the benefit of blind users. Of course, world literature publications in German language are also available and may be lent by the blind. German-speaking people living abroad may also apply to the library to receive literature. Under the commission of the DKBW the following talking 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.
Together 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 accent lies 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: email@example.com
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. These institutions are working to the full satisfaction of the regional 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 in all countries there is a priest, a nun, or a lay person, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org).
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.