Rwanda Union of the Blind wins international rights award

The Rwanda Union of the Blind (RUB) has won this year’s Human Rights Prize for their tremendous efforts in educating and uniting people with visual impairment in the country.

The Rwanda Union of the Blind (RUB) has won this year’s Human Rights Prize for their tremendous efforts in educating and uniting people with visual impairment in the country.

The award, by Leitner Centre of International Law and Justice, was announced during the annual Human Rights Prize and Dinner in New York, last week.

RUB, which represented Rwanda, beat competitors from Uganda, Ghana, Peru and Malaysia to this year’s award. The union was hailed for its effort in training visually impaired people in life sustaining skills.  

Speaking to journalists in Kigali on Tuesday, Donatilla Kanimba, the executive director of RUB, said she was happy that their efforts had been recognised internationally. 

“This award is not only for the blind but it’s for all people with disability. It is proof that they are as important as anyone else in the country,” Kanimba said.

Efforts to bring together the blind people under a national umbrella to promote their fundamental rights started way back in 1994, according to Kanimba.

She said the award has given them more reason to keep pushing to resolve their problems as the blind.

“We did not achieve this on our own but with our partners, especially the government which has been able to put in place friendly laws,” Kanimba said.

Jean Damascene Nsengiyumva, the executive secretary of the National Union of Disabilities Organisation of Rwanda (NUDOR), commended the media for supporting their campaign against inequality in society.

He called upon the media to keep advocating for the rights of minority groups in society.

“The award shows that even people with disabilities have a role to play in the development of the country,” Nsengiyumva said.

Athusalema Nshimyumuremyi, the vice-president RUB called upon the government to enforce laws requiring developers to construct buildings accessible for people with disabilities.

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