Gateway to Elation commemorated the 2021 International White Cane day by having a gathering of 50 blind people in Bulawayo. All are vaccinated.
The theme for our event was:
Navigation to elation as a blind person made possible through the use of a white cane.
We discussed the uses of the white cane for a blind person. For example, it was noted that the white cane serves as a tool that makes it possible for a blind person to walk alone and independently. The white cane is indeed an extension of the hand and/or the pointing finger. It makes it possible to detect objects and items in front and sides of a path.
In addition, a white cane may be used as an identity. Motorists and pedestrians exercise caution when they meet someone carrying a white cane on the roads and in the streets. It makes it easy to ask for assistance when crossing the roads and/or asking for directions.
On the other hand, one of the participants – Themba Samora Moyo, queried why the white cane is not being manufactured in Zimbabwe? Seeing that most white canes being donated are imports. He was seconded by Themba Moyo and Nqabayezwe Dube. Gift Ncube offered to repair broken canes but to a certain extent. It was, however, noted that business people begin by assessing if a product will give them profits or not before starting production.
Gateway to Elation has a history of white canes being confiscated by customs, hence, long time beneficiaries raised this vital topic.
A recommendation was made that captains of industries should attempt white cane manufacturing. Better still, blind people themselves should take charge: with Gateway to Elation having a department for manufacturing/assembling white canes.
Deep Appreciation goes to Gateway to Elation volunteers who made this event a success! Special mention goes to Mhlelusizo Ncube, my fellow YALI RLCSA alumni who facilitated this venue at the last minute.
This event was proudly sponsored by the Vera Ahlemann Schoeller-Foundation.