March 1, 2024

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RUB and ROCOCS Celebrate Graduation of Second Cohort of Trainees in Sport and Massage Therapy

Young people with visual impairment graduated in Sports and Massage Therapy

By Emmy M.

Rwanda Union of the Blind (RUB) and Rwanda Ophthalmic Clinical Officers and Cataract Surgeons Society (ROCOCS) through their Empowerment Project are celebrating the graduation of their second cohort of trainees in sport and massage therapy.

The primary goal of this project is to enhance the lives of visually impaired individuals by equipping them with practical skills and knowledge, ultimately enabling them to enter the job market with confidence. Through this project which is funded by the UNDP Rwanda, RUB and ROCOCS are paving the way for a brighter future for blind persons in Rwanda.

Speaking at the graduation event on Friday, 9th February, 2023 at Masaka Resources Centre for the Blind, Marie Jose UWISUNZE, the representative of the Rwanda Ophthalmic Clinical Officers and Cataract Surgeons Society (ROCOCS), emphasized that the training aimed to improve the employability of individuals with visual impairment.

READ ALSO: Inclusive Massage Therapy Training for Visually Impaired Individuals: ROCOCS and RUB’s Empowerment Project

According to research, blind people possess a heightened sense of touch, making them well-suited for massage therapy. “Massage clients often feel more relaxed when blind individuals provide the service, so our goal is to help them find employment in this profession to improve their lives,” she stated.

UWISUNZE noted that the program promoted maximum independence for blind trainees by integrating rehabilitation skills.

The focus on massage therapy as a valuable skill would aid in their personal development. Joseph MUNYURANGABO, representative of the Rwanda Union of the Blind (RUB), revealed that the project aimed to teach blind persons the profession of massage therapy.

He explained that the project has already assisted 16 students, with the first group recently completing their training.

MUNYURANGABO expressed pride in the project’s impact on blind persons’ development and appreciation for the support provided.

Lilian MUTESI, one of the participants, viewed the training as a tool to help visually impaired individuals work and thrive in their daily lives.

She appreciated the knowledge gained during the three-month course, which included understanding human anatomy and muscle treatment.

MUTESI believed this knowledge would benefit her in caring for individuals with muscle problems.

Another trainee, Joseph ITANGISHAKA, expressed gratitude to the project founders for providing massage lessons that enhanced his confidence and knowledge. He commended the teachers for their effective instruction, allowing him to professionally learn massage therapy.

Erneste MUNYANEZA, one of the three teachers who trained the blind persons, highlighted that visually impaired Persons can excel in massage therapy and other professions.

He emphasized the need for advocacy to change societal perceptions.

MUNYANEZA mentioned that the lessons included understanding the nervous and circulatory systems, providing basic care for injuries, and studying human anatomy and physiology.

He expressed the desire for continuous training to ensure blind individuals have specialized skills in the field of massage therapy, as their heightened sense of touch makes them well-suited for this profession.

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