Rwanda Union of the blind (RUB) realized that it was necessary to provide training for Blind people to help them reintegrate themselves into the society. With assistance from the swedish Handicap International Aid, now called MYRIGHT, in the year 2000 RUB established a center for rehabilitation training located at Masaka sector, Kicukiro District in Kigali city. the centre is called MASAKA RESOURCE CENTER FOR THE BILND (MRCB).
Blind people are admitted at the centre from all over the country and they receive various forms of training for a period of six month, free of charge. After this, some of them go home to resume normal life in the community, some rejoin schools and continue with the education while others return to their jobs or find new jobs.
The MRCB is the only centre in the country providing rehabilitation training for adults’ blind people. the mission of this centre is to work towards the improvement of the situation of blind people through education and rehabilitation for equality and integration. It provides training in Orientation and Mobility, Activities of Daily living, Braille Literacy, Farming or Agriculture and Animal Husbandry. With these skills, a blind person can comfortably join the mainstream society in a rural setting.
1. Orientation and Mobility (O&M):
In this activity, blind people are taught how to use a sighted guide, a white cane and how to orientate themselves. they are taught how to cross roads and to wave down moving vehicles.
2. Activities of Daily Living (ADL):
In this activity, blind people are trained how to do household chores such as: cooking, washing up, tidying up, cleaning the house, making beds, washing clothes, pressing sewing on batons, etc. Most blind people feel more confident and more useful at home after this training.
3. Farming Activities:
We chose this activity because most of the blind people come from the countryside where agriculture is the major work.
At MRCB training; farming, agriculture or animal husbandry involves clearing and preparing the land, planting, weeding, harvesting and all other activities including making manure. It goes along with livestock keeping. Livestock keeping covers the attending of different farm animals.
At MRCB we have: chickens, rabbits, and cows. For other commonly kept animals such as goats and sheep, the teaching is done theoretically because they are easier to tend.
4. Reading and Write Braille:
Reading and writing is a very necessary skill for anybody who wants to stay informed or to go to school. Blind people are taught how to read and write in Braille especially for those who want to rejoin school or to go to universities or those who want to go back to their jobs. the centre helps people who lose their sight while in school or employment to learn Braille and continue from where they left off.
Most blind people can read and write in Braille in the 6 months they spend at MRCB.
objectives of MRCB are:
• To set up a rehabilitation system for blind youth and adults in order to restore the independent life for persons with visual impairment;
• To provide instructions in activities of Daily Living (ADL), Braille and Communication skills so that trainees may function at a maximum level of independence;
• To integrate skills acquired in other areas of rehabilitation;
• To build confidence in skills and knowledge;
• To make each trainee aware of his/her limitation and the need for assistance.