By DUSABEMUNGU Ange de la Victoire
The Rwanda Union of the Blind (RUB) in close collaboration with different partners are putting more efforts in capacity building among Persons with visual impairments in order to enable them have required skills in conducting self-advocacy rather than always relying only on outside advocacy.
This was announced on Wednesday, in Byimana sector in Ruhango District, Southern Province of Rwanda where representatives of RUB and 29 Persons with visual impairments grouped in Wisigara Association held a session to discuss how they will use the RUB financial support in advocacy programs.
RUB has started to support Associations of Persons with visual impairment through its capacity building programs where beneficiaries will be doing advocacy themselves on matters that affect their living conditions.
RUB has about 62 Associations of People with visual impairment across the country.
The organization says the goal of capacity building in advocacy is to enable beneficiaries have basic skills in conducting advocacy for themselves rather than relying on outside advocates every day.
The advocacy Fund support was provided through DREAM RUB Project which is being funded by Disabled People’s Organizations Denmark (DPOD).
According to Rachel Musabyimana who is in charge of Communications and Advocacy programs at Rwanda Union of the Blind, the self-advocacy will also enable beneficiaries to believe in themselves, feeling unique and valuable persons while at the same time fighting for their rights in society.
The total of Rwf 170,000 was deposited on the Association’s Bank Account to facilitate them during advocacy programs.
Members of the Association have elaborated three areas where they will focus namely advocating for 15 members who have not white canes, conducting campaign on eradication of stigma among people with visual impairments and their families and advocacy for education of children with visual impairments.
“We want you to use this support in a productive way. We want tangible results from the advocacy that you are going to conduct.” Musabyimana urged.
“For instance if you want members to have white canes, do the advocacy and make sure that those white canes are available to them.” She added.
RUB has first trained three people in each association on how to do advocacy.
After the training, they were requested to go and meet other members of their Association, explain them what RUB has trained them and come up with a list of advocacy activities that they will conduct.
Local officials confirmed that they are sure Persons with visual impairments will run a smooth advocacy campaign due to the fact that they were given enough training to do the work.
Murukundo Rosalie, in charge of Social Affairs in Byimana Sector said “No need of worrying that they will not be able to do advocacy. Some of them were trained and they will represent their colleagues in advocacy campaigns. Not all will go to conduct such activities; they have elected their team to work on that.” Murukundo explains.
She commends RUB and partners for tireless effort put in the well-being of beneficiaries and urged them to feel free to contact her office in case there is an issue that needs her intervention.
Speaking to TOPAFRICANEWS.COM, Ntibashoboka Jean Paul, President of Wisigara Association said “With this financial support we will be able to facilitate our advocacy team for instance by giving them transport ticket during their field work, communications among others.”
Wisigara Association was created in 2008 and current members are 29 made of 20 men and 9 women.
Three of them (boys) are under 18 who need special attention.