Safaricom has partnered with AYUDH Kenya, an international youth movement dedicated to empowering young people to contribute to a peaceful and sustainable world, to distribute white canes worth over Kshs. 30 million to twenty thousand blind and visually impaired persons across the country.
The project will see ten thousand children and youth identified by the Kenya Union of the Blind (KUB) and Kenya Society for the Blind (KSB) receive white canes. Safaricom Foundation will distribute the remaining white canes to ten thousand blind and visually impaired persons as identified by AYUDH Kenya.
“Despite the crucial role white canes play in the mobility of the blind and visually impaired, their access is hindered by factors such as affordability and accessibility,” said Arjaa Shah, Chairperson, AYUDH Kenya. The project was started in 2014. It aims at providing assistive devices.
After the first ever Global Disability Summit in July 2018, Safaricom began a white cane campaign as part of its diversity and inclusion agenda, which seeks to mainstream disability inclusion.
“Two years down the line, we are still delivering on our commitments at the Global Disability Summit, which are centred around elimination of stigma and discrimination, economic empowerment of persons with disabilities and facilitating the availability and affordability of assistive devices. Through such initiatives, we hope to reduce inequalities and ensure that blind and visually impaired individuals across the country have access to white canes to enable them to live and work with dignity,” said Paul Kasimu, chief human resources officer, Safaricom.
The Safaricom Foundation ( which has distributed assistive devices to more than five thousand children with visual impairments across over fifty schools in the last three years ) will distribute ten thousand white canes across the country.
“We are glad to be part of this initiative to transform the lives of blind and visually impaired children and youth as it speaks to the foundation’s focus areas of health, education and economic empowerment. Our role is to deliver the white canes to areas where they are needed the most, we will rely on our strong community partnerships to reach those who are most in need and ensure that we leave no one behind,” said Joseph Ogutu, chairman, Safaricom Foundation.
Safaricom’s white cane campaign also entails a registration exercise in partnership with the Kenya Union of the Blind (KUB). The exercise seeks to create a database of visually impaired persons across the forty seven counties to help them get access to specialized government services. The project will also see the Safaricom Foundation and Lions Club Huru donate food hampers to ten thousand visually impaired beneficiaries.