Safaricom & AYUDH Kenya Partner To Distribute White Canes To 20,000 Blind And Visually Impaired Persons

Safaricom & AYUDH Kenya Partner To Distribute White Canes To 20,000 Blind And Visually Impaired Persons

In the last census report released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, the population of women with disability is 523,883 compared to 394,330 men, with majority living in the rural areas. Among the disabled are the visually impaired who according to the report are 333,520.

One of the challenges they face is accessibility to white cane devices, among other resources crucial to their daily lives, since they aren’t as affordable and accessible. every day, visually impaired people rely on a white cane for safety, independence and it helps them travel with confidence no matter where they’re going.

Post the first ever Global Disability Summit in July 2018, Safaricom began a white cane campaign as part of its Diversity and Inclusion agenda, which seeks to mainstream disability inclusion.

Safaricom & AYUDH Kenya Partner To Distribute White Canes To 20,000 Blind And Visually Impaired Persons

Yesterday, Safaricom announced their partnership with AYUDH Kenya, an international youth movement dedicated to empowering young people to contribute to a peaceful and sustainable world, to distribute white canes worth over KES 30 million to 20,000 blind and visually impaired persons across the country.

The project will see 10,000 children and youth identified by the Kenya Union of the Blind (KUB) and Kenya Society for the Blind (KSB) receive white canes, while the Safaricom Foundation will distribute the remaining white canes to 10,000 blind and visually impaired persons as identified by AYUDH Kenya.

“Despite the crucial role white canes play in the mobility of the blind and visually impaired, their access is hindered by factors such as affordability and accessibility. Through our White C(r)ane Project, which started in 2014, we aim to provide assistive devices to blind and visually impaired persons, we are happy to partner with Safaricom to positively impact the lives of 20,000 children and youth in Kenya,” said Arjaa Shah, Chairperson, AYUDH Kenya.

“Two years down the line, we are still delivering on our commitments at the Global Disability Summit, which are centred around elimination of stigma and discrimination, economic empowerment of persons with disabilities and facilitating the availability and affordability of assistive devices. Through such initiatives, we hope to reduce inequalities and ensure that blind and visually impaired individuals across the country have access to white canes to enable them to live and work with dignity,” said Paul Kasimu, Chief Human Resources Officer, Safaricom.

The Safaricom Foundation, which has distributed assistive devices to more than 5,000 children with visual impairments across over 50 schools in the last 3 years, will distribute 10,000 white canes across the country.

Safaricom & AYUDH Kenya Partner To Distribute White Canes To 20,000 Blind And Visually Impaired Persons

“We are glad to be part of this initiative to transform the lives of blind and visually impaired children and youth as it speaks to the foundation’s focus areas of health, education and economic empowerment. Our role is to deliver the white canes to areas where they are needed the most, we will rely on our strong community partnerships to reach those who are most in need and ensure that we leave no one behind,” said Joseph Ogutu, Chairman, Safaricom Foundation.

Safaricom’s white cane campaign also entails a registration exercise in partnership with the Kenya Union of the Blind (KUB) through USSD *678#. The exercise seeks to create a database of visually impaired persons across all 47 counties to help them get access to specialized government services.

The project will also see the Safaricom Foundation and Lions Club Huru donate food hampers to 10,000 visually impaired beneficiaries.

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