It is a normal tradition which has been carried through the last century for organizations for groups of people with disabilities to form guilds or organizations where they could meet, discuss their problems and experiences and seek solutions where possible. This tradition was also introduced in Africa and through such organizations; people with disabilities have been able to place for their rights and for recognition as equal citizens with the rest of the society. It is in this light that the Rwanda Union of the Blind (RUB) was formed to strive for the rights of persons with visual impairment in Rwanda.
Rwanda Union of the Blind is a local non-governmental organization legally operating in Rwanda since 1995. It is registered with Rwanda Governance board under the legal personality no 60/05 of 16/03/1995 to work towards the improvement of the living conditions of persons with visual impairment in Rwanda.
RUB is a member of both the National Union of Disabilities Organizations of Rwanda (NUDOR) and Umbrella of Organizations of People with Disabilities in the Fight against HIV and AIDS and in Health promotion (UPHLS). It is also affiliated to the African Union of the Blind (AFUB) and the World Blind Union (WBU). Over the time, the RUB strengthens and extends the scope of its activities by establishing branches in almost all districts of the country. Currently, RUB has 57 well-established branches in 27 out of 30 districts with its headquarter in Kigali City, Nyarugenge District, Muhima Sector on Poids -Lourds Road.
RUB envisages to have a situation where all necessary services for people with visual impairment are provided as a right of the individual and hope to see education and employment opportunities as well as all other welfare services being as available to those who are visually impaired as they are to all other citizens. RUB utilizes advocacy and lobbying, capacity development and other various strategic mechanisms in order to promote access to necessary services and inclusion for persons with visual impairment and improve the legal and institutional framework in Rwanda.
Most of the organizational activities are based on advocacy work which aims at supporting Rwandan people living with visual impairment in a wide range of situations, including cases where people have been denied their right to education, to work, to live independently, to access a good standard of healthcare and to enjoy participating family and community life.