AYUDH Kenya has partnered with Safaricom Foundation to distribute white canes worth more than 30 million KES ($200,000). Safaricom is a leading communications company in Africa that works in partnership with communities to positively transform people’s lives. AYUDH is our international youth movement.
The project will see 10,000 children and youth identified by the Kenya Union of the Blind and Kenya Society for the Blind receive white canes, while the Safaricom Foundation will distribute the remaining white canes to 10,000 blind and visually impaired people 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,” said Arjaa Shah, Chairperson, AYUDH Kenya.
“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.”
After the first 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.
“Two years down the line, we are still delivering on our commitments, which are centered around elimination of stigma and discrimination, economic empowerment of persons with disabilities, and facilitating the availability and affordability of assistive devices,” explained Paul Kasimu, Chief Human Resources Officer, Safaricom.
“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.”
In the last three years, the Safaricom Foundation has already distributed assistive devices to more than 5,000 children across over 50 schools.
“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,” said Joseph Ogutu, Chairman, Safaricom Foundation.
“Our role is to deliver the white canes to areas where they are needed the most, and we will rely on our strong community partnerships to reach those who are most in need and ensure that we leave no one behind.”