The Rwanda Union of the Blind-RUB organized the international white cane Day, which takes place each year on October 15 and served to highlight the significance of the white cane as a tool of independence for blind and visually impaired people.
To celebrate this year’s International white cane day, RUB in collaboration with various partners launched the white cane awareness week which started on 8th and end on 15th November,2023.
This awareness campaign mainly targeted drivers, other road users and the entire community on the importance of the white cane and the rights of white cane users.
Donatilla KANIMBA, the Executive Director of RUB, has requested Rwandans to understand the significance of the white cane for visually impaired individuals.
She said “our white cane helps us relax when we are walking”,
According to Dr. Beth MUKARWEGO, Chairperson of RUB, “Today we wanted to show the problems we face as blind people, I request everyone who see a person with a white cane to help without asking, because that’s what they call humanity”.
She focused on the fact that in Rwanda there is no market that sells white canes, which makes it difficult for visual impairment to find them and requested the advocacy for respect of the rights of persons with visual impairment in the country.
“We are sending a message to all Rwandans in our country and abroad, I know they would see us so they can know that we need white canes to be sold in Rwanda, in order to reach us easily”
The white cane awareness week was closed by the Street challenge which was proceeded by white cane demonstration walk that held at Rubangura Building towards Downtown. It was conducted with the objective of improving the level of awareness on the role of white cane among the general public.
Attendees participated in a street challenge as a way to support people with visual impairment on the way to create awareness on the role of the white cane for safety.
Ama G The Black revealed some of the strategies he takes from the street challenge. He said he should help any blind person. He encouraged his fellow artists to do something that support the visually impaired as the most followed people.
“you saw that I covered my face, it was really not easy. I felt that the car was going to hit me and it was only for a little moment, so ask yourself as a person who lives like that on all his entire life, let us help them, they are people like others” He said.