The Malawi Union of the Blind (MUB) in conjunction with Norwegian Association of the Blind and Partially-sighted (NABP) has ventured into a programme of educating elderly people with visual impairment on the use of braille.
According to Violet Baleti, Project Coordinator at MUB, the programme aims at equipping elderly people with visual impairment with skills that can help them to produce and read braille documents.
Using braille typing machine and reading braille documents is not popular among elderly people with visual impairment mostly because its technology and resources are very limited in the country. However, the coming of different organizations in braille education is reducing the trend.
The programme has started in Karonga and they are targeting over 200 people to be trained as braille users. The programme will later proceed in all other districts in Malawi in phases, said Baleti.
“Our organization advocates for the rights of visually impaired people. With time, we have noticed that these people, especially the elderly do not have chances to access important information printed in braille. Most of them lack basic knowledge of using braille documents.
“We believe that by the end of this project many people through this programme will be able to read and write braille documents for themselves and their friends in the communities,” she said.
Walinase Gondwe, one of the beneficiaries in the newly established adult literacy programme, said the project has come in a good time.
Gondwe has been receiving braille documents from different institutions, however, because of limited knowledge on the use of braille, she has been failing to use such resources properly.
“I would like to thank MUB for coming up with this timely initiative. I believe that many people with visual impairment like me will now be able to access information at their own convenience,” she said.