Musanze: White cane and Quick service delivery to the holder
As we continue to highlight the role of white canes to people with visual impairment, let us remember that persons with visual impairment believe that the white cane, for those who are lucky enough to possess them, have also been a symbol that allowed them to benefit from quick service delivery despite it not being respected every day, but at least service providers have started to develop an understanding on the urgency of providing timely services to the visually impaired persons.
As they said for instance, you can arrive at the hospital and find a long queue of patients who are waiting for the doctor. But can you imagine a patient with visual impairment waiting on a line of dozens of people to be treated? Sometimes people from behind will jump the queue and come in front of him/her.
“For example, we would go to the hospital and had to line up while waiting. But for now, people with disabilities are given attention. When we get there and they see us with white canes they welcome us and give us a quick service.” said Fulgence Nizeyimana, a resident of Gasongero Cell, Remera Sector in Musanze District.
While some touch on the fact of service delivery, others also believe that the white cane protects the life of its owner either while traveling on a difficult road/way or when passing through heavy traffic. Nizeyimana explains that before he got the white cane, he felt the loneliness, which could lead to illnesses, including depression.
“At that time I could not think of going out”, he says. “I always felt like I wanted to stay in bed only” He adds.
Nizeyimana, who lives with his wife and children, explains that he used to be idle but now he can wash his clothes, cook while others are involved in other family development work, and other simple tasks compared to his old age.
He noted that after getting the white cane, he was able to do a lot for himself, especially to do household chores independently.
In addition to Nizeyimana who testified that the white cane had brought some solutions, including quick access to services, Sylvestre, also visually impaired, confirmed that anyone who saw it immediately knew that he had a visual impairment and would help him in one way or another.
Sylvestre says, “This white cane makes everyone aware that I can’t see.”
“When a car is speeding and the driver notices that you have a white cane, he slows down to avoid hitting you,” he added.
The use of the white cane is important. Sylvestre, a craftsman, says that he can do his small business of making baskets (inkangara) and he can easily trade because of the white cane.