MTN Rwanda, RUB Collect Over 500 White Canes for Visually Impaired in Unique Dinner in the Dark Event
The Rwanda Union of the Blind in partnership with MTN Rwanda, have collected 588 white canes designed to guide the visually impaired. These canes will be handed over to individuals who are unable to afford them. The canes were collected through an event called “The Dinner in The Dark,” organized by MTN Rwanda for the second time. The event was organized in collaboration with the Rwanda Union of the Blind (RUB).
This ceremony is marked by a unique gathering in which individuals from diverse backgrounds come together with the blind. During this event, participants cover their faces with a cloth to hinder their sight. Once they are wearing this black cloth, they are assisted in walking by a white cane, typically used by those with visual impairments.
The CEO of MTN Rwanda, Mapula Bodibe, stated that this event was organized to demonstrate the significance of the white cane for individuals with visual impairments. She expressed, “By participating in this event and agreeing to undertake this exercise, you are showcasing your support for individuals with disabilities, and we sincerely appreciate that.” Bodibe further emphasized, “This activity is intended to highlight the value of the white cane. From what we have observed, it enables individuals with visual impairments to carry out various tasks effectively, thus emphasizing the necessity for them to possess it.”
Mr. Kayigana Godfrey, a Social Protection Specialist from the Ministry of Local Government, expressed gratitude towards the organizers of the event, stating that it highlights the importance of not excluding any Rwandan citizen due to disability. He extended his thanks to MTN Rwanda and RUB for their efforts in organizing this event specifically for the visually impaired.
“Reflecting on the challenges we faced when our eyes were closed, it became evident to us the significance of the white Cane. We came to realize that it serves as both a source of strength and hope for individuals who are blind. This tool instills confidence and empowers them to navigate the world, while also symbolizing integrity to those who have shared similar experiences,” stated Mr. Kayigana.
He continued by stating that the Ministry of Local Government is prioritizing all programs that do not discriminate, ensuring that Rwandans are provided with equal opportunities.
The Executive Director of the Rwanda Union of the Blind, Dr. Kanimba Donatilla, praised the participants for their efforts and encouraged them to use their unique perspective as individuals who participated in the Dinner in the Dark Challenge. Dr. Donatilla urged them to assist visually impaired individuals, particularly in obtaining white canes.
This is the second time that MTN Rwanda and RUB organized ‘The Dinner In The Dark’. The first time, 250 white canes were collected and given to the visually impaired across the country. On this day, MTN Rwanda has provided 24 aids to people with disabilities, each with a value of more than 1 million Rwandan Francs.