Image of young student Wylliane walking with white cane
Young student, Wylliane, walking with white cane

The founder of Bats in Action is German, but she had worked in Brazil before starting the project, initially as a German teacher at the federal university in Fortaleza and as a volunteer in the Braille library in the same city. While she herself is blind, she thinks of blindness not as a disability, but as a situation that makes life interesting with always new challenges and opportunities. Her training at Kanthari International in India prepared her with the necessary skills to plan and implement this project.

In February 2013, Bats in Action initiated a needs study identifying blind students in the region of Sobral, Ceará in the northeast of Brazil. The first phase of the project had the objective to gain the trust of blind students and their families and establish partnerships with schools and special education teachers. In 2014, the first Braille classroom was established in Sobral in partnership with the local government that provided a room in a school building, employed a part-time teacher and organized transportation for students enrolled in public schools.

In August 2013, Bats in Action was established as a registered entity in Sobral, with the objective to promote education and independence of blind people. The organization moved its headquarters to Ubajara in 2014 and initiated activities for blind people of the rural areas of the Serra da Ibiapaba. The main project of the organization is establishment of the first preparatory school for blind children and teenagers in Brazil.