Gateway to Elation newsletter 3 – 2021

Gateway to Elation logo
logo

Quarterly Newsletter No 3 – 2021 

Welcome to the first quarterly newsletter of Gateway to Elation! As October is here, it is time  to share the news that happened in the third quarter of 2021.  

INTRODUCTION 

Gateway to Elation is an initiative of opening a gateway to the world for the blind. This is  done by providing training in computer literacy and daily living skills, which include  mobility and orientation, as well as social interaction. Gateway to Elation is located in  Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and it conducts its training programmes nationally and online. 

Since inception, a total of 70 blind Zimbabweans have been empowered to take their lives in  their own hands. These are the newly blind and those who were born blind and/or the ones  who are in-between. Though the focus is on children and youth, adults are also considered. 

In this edition of article of the quarter, we have a piece on rights for blind people. It is written  by Delisa Dube, one of the board members of Gateway to Elation. She talks about rights and  responsibilities of a blind person based on personal choices and/or interactions. Please find  out more here. 

RESUMPTION OF TRAINING SESSIONS 

Gateway to Elation conducted its first face-to-face training sessions in July of 2021!  Following the lockdowns as a result of COVID-19, I suspended physical training sessions.  Venues for training were closed whilst unnecessary travelling was prohibited. 

Following the vaccination drive in Zimbabwe, COVID-19 cases were reduced. This resulted  in easing of lockdown restrictions – especially for the vaccinated. This made it possible for  me to resume training sessions in July of 2021. It was a moment of re-awakening for me as I  met new blind participants who had been eager to learn computer skills. 

It is always interesting for me to meet new blind people who all have inspiring backgrounds.  Losing sight comes with a lot of challenges. Through Gateway to Elation, we are trying to  provide tools and skills that help them to get back on their feet. 

Training session in progress

In July 2021, I had a total of 3 new participants who I introduced to computer literacy. I  continued with them through August. Other participants who heard the news, had wanted to  come for refresher and upgrade courses – especially those who learnt online. In September,  intercity travel resumed. I attempted to take these training sessions out of Bulawayo for new  participants in Mbalabala, located 50km southwest of Bulawayo. The course is still ongoing. 

FEATURE ELATION STORY: from metal fabricator to chicken farmer 

Themba Samora Moyo

Please meet Themba Samora Moyo, a blind chicken farmer. 

Themba joined Gateway to Elation on the onset of the second pilot programme in June of  2016.  

“When my sight deteriorated due to glaucoma around 2004, I left my job to look for greener  pastures. I am a former employee of the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) where I was  a boilermaker. I went to South Africa where I bought equipment for metal fabrication. I lost  

hope when I became totally blind. All my machines and all that I had worked for was now  lying idle. I thank Gateway to Elation for making me realise that there’s more to life than  sight. I can now communicate with people using my phone, use WhatsApp, read books, and  research about chicken farming using these skills. Also, I can now walk alone anyway using  my white cane.” 

Currently, Themba is one of the well-known chicken suppliers in Phumula South and  Bulawayo as a whole. He utilises his backyard space for breeding those broilers. His  company, Arota’s Chicken is proving that blind empowerment is indeed a reality!

GATEWAY TO ELATION IN THE MEDIA 

I was interviewed by Yampier Aguiar Durañona of the Giraffe Heroes foundation Stick Your  Neck out podcasts. Please find the interview here.  

An article about Gateway to Elation was profiled by Enos Denhere. Please find the article  

here.  

On behalf of Gateway to Elation participants, I wish to thank all donors who believe in this  

project. I have witnessed lives being changed for the better in mere weeks after participants  

joined Gateway to Elation training. I also wish to appreciate the vital role being played by  

Gateway to Elation board members and volunteers. They ensure the organisation is running  

smoothly by devoting their valued time and energy. 

The work we do depends on donations and in case you are in a position to support, you can  

do this via our website here. 

Please do share this newsletter with family, friends, colleagues, and anyone else who is  

interested. Please stay safe and thank you for reading! 

Robert Malunda 

Founder – Director: Gateway to Elation 

www.gatewaytoelation.org

Gateway to Elation logo

By Robert Malunda

I am Robert Malunda. I successfully trained myself in computer use. I discovered that blind people can use any other computer with the help of screen reading software. I started Gateway to Elation to share these skills to other blind people in Zimbabwe and around the world. I by no means not an expert but I share my experiences and what I know with Gateway to Elation participants for the betterment of the lives of blind Zimbabweans. mobility and social interaction skills are added to prevent blind people from being nerdy. being totally blind myself, I believe my experiences can be understood by other blind people - whether born blind or who became blind later in life

Leave a comment