Members of the Namibia Federation of the Visually Impaired (NFVI) receiving the cheque from Elzita Beukes (standing far left), Communication Practitioner: Stakeholder Engagement at Bank Windhoek.
Being born without the ability to see, or losing your eyesight, can be a devastating experience as it can affect your quality of life. However, this does not have to be the case, if more people were educated and sensitised about the needs of visually impaired people. It is for this reason that Bank Windhoek donated N$15,000 to the Namibia Federation of the Visually Impaired (NFVI), which will be used to commemorate the International White Cane Day on 15 October 2013, at Usakos, in the Erongo region.
The International White Cane Day is commemorated worldwide every year, to increase awareness and tolerance for people with visual impairments. On this day, the NFVI plans on educating the community about the difficulties visually impaired people face on a daily basis. This is to increase understanding and awareness of the visual impairment in order to fully integrate visually impaired people into the mainstream community and improve their quality of life. The funds donated are part of the money raised through the Bank Windhoek Golf Day in Aid of Welfare, which was held on 13 September 2013. The Namibian Federation of the Visually Impaired is the only umbrella body organisation of persons with visual impairments in Namibia and was founded in 1986. The NFVI is a member of the World Blind Union (WBU) and the African Union of the Blind (AFUB). Its aim is to promote social integration, influence public policies and practices governing the education, health, welfare, social security, rehabilitation, employment, sports and recreation of visually impaired people. It also disseminates information in order to promote positive attitude towards people with visual impairment as well as to empower them to stand up for their own rights. According the 2011 Namibia Population Census, there are 27 939 visually impaired people in Namibia. “This is the second year that Bank Windhoek has supported the commemoration of the International White Cane Day, and we are grateful for the financial assistance. Bank Windhoek has consistently been the company who has given the most support to our organisation. It is our hope that through this partnership we can create more awareness and tolerance for people who are visually impaired. The White Cane is a symbol of hope and independence for visually impaired citizens all over the world, and with these funds we can make an independent life possible for many people who are living with visual impairments in Namibia”, said Daniel Trum, Acting Project Manager. “Bank Windhoek is committed to ensure that people with visual impairment are accepted in mainstream society in all spheres, be it social or economic. We hope that the International White Cane Day will assist NFVI in its efforts to create awareness about visual impairment and promote a positive attitude toward the visually impaired community”, said Elzita Beukes, Communication Practitioner: Stakeholder Engagement at Bank Windhoek.