“Our appeal was followed by all, the children and young people and their families”, Fr Raphael Casamayor SMA told FIDES about the recent initiatives organized for the blind children of the Catholic mission in Dosso, Niger Republic. “The goal was to offer educational opportunities that meet their needs: the children should learn something together that can help them with their independence,” explained the missionary. “A blind person lives in the dark, but this does not mean that he / she must constantly depend on others, they can make additional efforts to develop their own mobility and also to learn a trade”.
The project, supported by the Zankey Annuura Association, was launched on July 18th. “It was the first time that something like this was done in Dosso after a long period of planning and preparation”, Fr Raphael explained. “We picked up the children very early and met in the former library of the Catholic Mission, with large rooms that catered to our needs. After a small snack, the activities began with exercises and activities that lasted all morning and continued in the afternoon, after lunch”. The Mayor of Dosso also took part in some of the activities, accompanying the children as they practiced walking with the white canes typical of the blind, recognizing objects, navigating the city and crossing streets. “We were thrilled when the mayor, along with our group, explained to motorists the meaning of the raised white stick and their obligation to stop. He told us that this gesture should be included in the Highway Code and that it would raise awareness in driving schools”.
In this context, Father Casamayor also appeals to the country’s institutions and urges the government to invest in the education of the disabled without discrimination. “A life of dignity and freedom is the fundamental goal we aspire to for our young people. These people, who are certainly among the most disadvantaged and marginalized in this country, deserve to have a dignified and respected place in society”. (RC/AP)
With thanks to Agenzia Fides, 30/8/2022
Read also about St Martin’s Ministry to the Deaf – an initiative of the SMA Ghana Province.