July 15, 2024

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Empowering the Visually Impaired through Braille: The Story of Twagirayezu Theophile



A Resident of Rwamagana district, Rubona sector, Kabatasi cell, Twagirayezu Theophile, a visually impaired man, is projecting to break barriers and defying stereotypes.

Born in 1983, Twagirayezu is a husband and father of five children. Despite facing the challenges of blindness, he is determined to learn and thrive.

Twagirayezu is currently learning Braille, a script designed for the blind at Masaka Resource Centre for the Blind.

In a heartfelt interview, he shared, “as soon as I was diagnosed with blindness, I felt that my hope for life was over.”

He described the initial despair he felt when he lost his sight in January 2018, leading him to isolate himself at home.


However, everything changed when Twagirayezu joined a program that taught him valuable skills like farming, writing, and reading through Braille.

He expressed gratitude for the newfound confidence and sense of purpose this knowledge has given him.

“I have learned that a blind person can farm, write, read…we still have something to give to the country,” he said.

Twagirayezu is eager to utilize his Braille skills for reading the word of God and managing business-related information.

He emphasized the importance of equal rights for visually impaired individuals, especially in areas like voting during elections where Braille can be utilized for visually impaired persons to freely vote for themselves.

He highlighted the need for accessible equipment and called upon the government to support the blind community by providing necessary tools for learning and communication.

Despite facing challenges, Twagirayezu remains optimistic and hopeful for a brighter future.

He expressed his desire for sponsors to help enhance accessibility for visually impaired individuals, ensuring that their writings are valued and recognized.

Through his determination and resilience, Twagirayezu is paving the way for empowerment and inclusivity for the visually impaired community in Rwanda.

From the inception of the Masaka Resource Centre for the Blind in the year 2000 to date, 986 persons with visual impairment from different district of the country have received training in independent living skills to enable them to live as normal life as any other person.

People who were trained at the center are now living examples in their communities as they now participate fully in family and community activities.

Most of the former trainees are now the ones leading Rwanda Union of the Blind branches nationwide, others have gone back to formal education and employment while some trainees are now back at tertiary institutions after going through their primary and secondary education.

The MRCB is the only centre in the country which provides rehabilitation to persons with visual impairment and all the work done depends to donor support which is also insufficient compared to the number of applicants that we receive and not able to cater for.

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