THE NCPD joins Rwanda Union of the Blind in Celebration of White Cane Safety Day

White Cane Safety Day

“Inkoni yera tuyimenye, tuyimenyeshe, tuyubahirize” (White cane, know it, make it known and respect it),those are words on placards during the walk in cerebration of white safety day.

From 1964, the 15 October of each year is the observation of White Cane Safety Day. In Rwanda, the observance of the day began in 2009. This year's national celebrations were held at Kayonza District.

Persons with visual impairment from Gahini and Nyamirama Sectors, District Authorities, the Representative of the Rwanda Union of Blind (RUB), the Representative of the National Council of Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) and other partners working in Disability movement began with the walk from District office. Messages on placards showed the role and use of white canes. Speakers were also used to sensitize community about the rights of Persons with visual impairment.


After the short presentation of Rwanda Union of Blind (RUB) by MUKESHIMANA Jean Marie Vianney, participants were given a short presentation on white cane. Here, Mrs. Donatilla Kanimba, the Executive Secretary of RUB said that the White Cane is a custom made stick that helps people with visual impairment to walk without assistance from anyone.

“The big challenge that Persons with visual impairment met, is that white canes are very expensive and medical insurances do not cover their cost”, said the RUB Executive Secretary. The NCPD representative, Mrs Nyirabugenimana Sylvie said that NCPD will continue to advocate on different levels so that persons with disabilities should get prosthetic devices more easily. The Social Affairs Vice Mayor of Kayonza District promised good collaboration with all associations of persons with disabilities.

During this event, ADRA (The Adventist Development and Relief Agency) made donation of 10 white canes to RUB. The visually impaired called on the government to address their plight as most of them lack white canes which are expensive. One white cane costs around Rwf 25, 000 to Rwf 30, 000.

Reported by NYIRABUGENIMANA Sylivie.