First blind student to access higher education says he faces several challenges

On the occasion of the celebration of the Day of Blind People, Daniel Ntiranyibagira, the first blind student to study at the university says the lack of materials for studies and money for daily survival is among the many challenges he is faced with.

Daniel Ntiranyibagira: “There are no libraries in Burundi which are appropriate for blind people”

Daniel Ntiranyibagira, Chairman of the Association of Blind people in Burundi is the only blind person to enter the university in Burundi.

He studies at Hope Africa University and is majoring in Social Service and Community Development.
He says he mainly lacks braille materials which could help him read and revise notes. “Lecturers prepare courses without considering blind students,” he adds.

Mr. Ntiranyibagira says he studies by listening. His computer has a software which helps him read notes. However, using a computer is very difficult for him.

“I would like to get braille, the appropriate tool for blind people,” he says.
This Chairman of the Association of Blind people in Burundi reveals that finding means of transportation from home to campus is also a problem.

I sometimes miss some of the things I need in my life because I am blind, he adds.
“As a university student, I am supposed to conduct research in library to increase my knowledge,” he says.

He deplores the fact that there are no libraries in Burundi that are appropriate for blind people.
This university student also says that there are no computers either on campus or at cybercafés which can facilitate blind people to conduct research on internet.

Despite those challenges he is faced with, he has succeeded to start “Espoir de l’avenir” (hope for future), a school for young blind people in Kayanza province, in the north of the country.
Mr. Ntiranyibagira calls on the government of Burundi to help integrate blind people in the Burundian educational system.

The Day of Blind People is celebrated on October 4. This year, Burundi will celebrate it on October 19.