South African Guide-Dogs Association for the Blind - selected by Ayanda MVP from 947.
The South African Guide-Dogs Association for the Blind is a registered Non-Profit and Public Benefit Organisation. The GDA was established in 1953 to train Guide Dogs and is the only training centre in Africa. Its purpose is to enhance the mobility and independence of people who have visual, physical and developmental needs.
A South African, Gladys Evans, founded the GDA after she was trained in England with her guide dog named Sheena. Her guide dog so enriched her life that she wanted to make guide dogs available to other fellow South Africans.
The GDA offers the following valuable services: College-Diploma in Orientation and Mobility, Visual Impairment Awareness Training, Orientation and Mobility services, Autism Support Dogs, Guide Dogs and Service Dogs.
A puppy costs R5000. It takes 6 to 9 months to train a guide dog and the GDA is responsible for the puppy from birth. Depending on the breed, working dog training starts at 12 months. In totality, it takes 18 to 24 months to have a fully trained Guide Dog at a cost of between R80 000 to R100 000. The GDA breeds Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrieves, cross Labrador-Golden Retrieves, and German Shepherd Dogs.
A visually impaired person needs to afford to care for a working dog on a monthly basis, namely feeding and veterinary care. Regardless of their financial position, the working dog owner pays a nominal R205 for a trained working dog which includes training, accommodation and equipment. Working Dogs, which normally have a working life of 8 to 10 years, are often rewarded by their owners through physical touch and with a treat. The GDA visits the dog and its owner on a regular basis and offers advise and support where needed.
Different degrees of blindness can qualify for a Guide Dog or a white cane (also known as a long cane). Disabled people get very attached to their beloved Guide Dogs and to quote Pieter Van Niekerk from the GDA, "...Those we love don't go away, they walk beside us every day."
Heart-touched words from Helen Keller reflect how life-changing these dogs can be: "Alone we can do so little; Together we can do so much."
Guide Dogs make a real difference to the life of disabled people and are lifetime companions to their owners. These devoted Guide Dogs have a very positive influence on their owners. It is indeed very true when they say, a dog is a mans best friend!
It's time to give back this Big September, so make sure you join LottoStar and 947 on this memorable journey of giving!
The final amount contributed to Guide-Dogs Association is: R117,500