About Gateway to Elation
This is an initiative which seeks to help blind people see their way into the society.
Our vision is:
To see a Zimbabwe which has knowledgeable, independent and socially active blind people.
We are doing this by equipping them with skills which make them elated: that is, filled with the spirit of joy, pride and optimism. This enables them to fully participate in their societies; hence, Gateway to Elation!
Gateway to Elation is a registered trust. It was registered in March 2016. The registration number of the trust is MA190/2016.
About the founder
My name is Robert Malunda. I was born sighted in Makhokhoba, Bulawayo; in south-west Zimbabwe. I was affected by glaucoma at the age of 3 and I became totally blind.
Braille textbooks were scarce so I had to depend on my sighted classmates for most of my academic needs. In 2011, a penfriend sent me a laptop from the UK and I began training myself computer use with a voice synthesiser. That opened a gateway to a lot of opportunities for me because I could now read books and access information on my own.
With the help of a blind friend, I began to train myself orientation and mobility skills and cane usage. This made me get out of isolation, it made me go far and wide. For example, in 2015, I won a scholarship for studying in India. I was at kanthari – International Institute for Social Change, which is located in Kerala, south India. It offers a 12 month, scholarship based leadership program for visionaries who have overcome adversity and who are keen to drive ethical social change anywhere in the world.
I strongly believe blind people need the above mentioned skills in addition to social interaction skills so that they are able to acquire knowledge, be independent and get out of isolation. Gateway to Elation is the social venture which I want to use to bring these to all blind people in Zimbabwe.