Leading mobile communications company, Airtel Malawi, has donated assistive devices – worth millions of kwacha – for visually impaired learners in Blantyre and Mulanje to ease up the latter’s challenge in as far as reading of printed materials is concerned.
The devices, which include embossing paper, braille machine (embosser), braille hand frame and stylus, among others, were donated to Blantyre Secondary School (BSS) and Mulanje Vocation Training and Rehabilitation Centre for the Blind.
Airtel Malawi brand communications manager, Norah Chirwa, said the company values education in its corporate social responsibility as it is key to the development of the country.
“As Airtel Malawi, we are very passionate about promoting education at all levels. As such, last year we engaged Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare to guide us on which schools to assist with assistive devices for visually impaired learners to enable them improve in their education.
“Gladly, the Ministry helped us with information and Airtel Malawi will provide assistive devices worth K15 million to five institutions including Department of Disability, Ekwendeni School for the Blind and Chiranga School for the Blind,” Chirwa said.
She advised the recipient institutions to take care of the donated braille materials to ensure that those that come after them benefit as well.
Chifundo Petro, a Form Four student at BSS, expressed gratitude to Airtel Malawi for the donation, emphasizing that the move is a motivation to many visually impaired learners to attend classes.
“Previously, we had two functional braille machines against seven learners with visual impairment. As such, during learning sessions, it was very difficult for some of us to actively participate.
“But with the donation of five braille machine, it means everyone will have their own machine and be able to read printed materials; and, in so doing, this will improve our academic performances,” Petro said.
Adam Mulagha, Principal at Mulanje Centre for the Blind, also hailed Airtel Malawi for the devices saying it would ease the teaching and learning sessions.
“We are aware that such materials are expensive and they are not available in Malawi. We thank Airtel Malawi for supporting us with braille material to ease challenges faced by learners and teachers,” Mulagha said.
He urged other institutions and well wishing individuals to emulate what Airtel Malawi has done to alleviate the plight of visually impaired learners in country’s education institutions
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