PRESS RELEASE -The International White Cane Day Celebration, 2023
Kigali 15/11/2023: For the 15th time in Rwanda, the Rwanda Union of the Blind-RUB commemorates the international white cane Day, which takes place each year on October 15 and serves 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 launchedthe white cane awareness week which started on 8th to end on 15th November,2023. This awareness campaign mainly targetsdrivers, other road users and the entire community on the importance of the white cane and the rights of white cane users.
Since the year 2009, Rwanda Union of the Blind in partnership with its various partners organize and celebrate the International white cane day and through different awareness raising activities including the celebration of the International white cane day, we have seen many changes relating to independence of blind and partially sighted people. However, barriers to accessing and using roads still remain as drivers claim to not fully know the white cane and the rights of white cane users while crossing the roads and roads are not accessible to persons with visual impairment.
The white cane awareness week will be closed by the Street challenge which will be proceeded by white cane demonstration walk that will take place in Kigali on this Wednesday, 15th November, 2023 from 9:30 am at Rubangura Building towards Downtown where the street challenge event will be conducted with the objective of improving the level of awareness on the role of white cane among the general public. In the evening, RUB in collaboration with MTN Rwanda will host a Dinner in the Dark which will take place at Serena Hotel for the celebration of the White Cane Day.
As we celebrate this year’s White Cane Day and in keeping with Article 9 of the UN Convention on the Rights of persons with disabilities (UNCRPD) which requires countries to identify and eliminate obstacles and barriers and ensure that persons with disabilities can access their environment, transportation, and public facilities, the Rwanda Union of the Blind (RUB) wishes to use this time to create more awareness and advocate for accessible spaces that are user friendly for white cane users to protect and promote the rights of persons with visual impairment. We thank MTN Rwanda for supporting us and for those who pledged to provide white canes that enable independent movement of persons with visual impairment across the country for safety and inclusion,” expressed Dr. Beth Mukarwego Rwanda Union of the Blind Chairperson.
Please join us to celebrate and acknowledge the independence and mobility of blind and partially sighted people in Rwanda
Rwanda Union of the Blind (RUB) is a local non-governmental organization legally operating in Rwanda since 1995 with the mission to work towards the improvement of the situation of blind people through education and rehabilitation to facilitate meaningful equality and integration.
RUB’s activities aim at improving the welfare of persons with visual impairment through the provision of rehabilitation service, advocacy for quality education of people with visual impairment, supporting people with visual impairment to form local branches with the aim of helping them to come out of isolation and solitude, capacity development and Socio-economic empowerment of members and policy advocacy for respect of the rights of persons with visual impairment in Rwanda.
Since its foundation, RUB has strengthened and extended the scope of its activities by establishing branches in almost all districts of the country. Currently, RUB has 64 well-established branches in 30 districts with primary beneficiaries being Persons with visual impairment. It has about 3000 members across the country with its headquarters in Kigali City, Nyarugenge District, Muhima Sector on Poid -Lourds Road.
For further information, please contact:
Advocacy& Communications Manager, RUB