SCA celebrates International White Cane Safety Day

International White Cane Safety Day is also celebrated in Afghanistan by organizations working for the rights of visually impaired people. Visually impaired people, including girls, boys, men and women in Afghanistan still face many challenges in ensuring their rights in different areas of life, the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan commemorates this day by paying attention to solving the problems and securing their fundamental rights.

The Swedish Committee for Afghanistan is one of the non-governmental organizations that has been working for thirty years to ensure the basic rights of people with disabilities, including the visually impaired people in many provinces of Afghanistan. There are currently 174 children with visual impairment, including boys and girls, being educated through SCA’s 217 preparatory education centers and home-based educational services. Since 2010, SCA has integrated 330 visually impaired children in mainstream schools after their graduation from the preparatory education centers. SCA also provides vocational training services for visually impaired people aged above eighteen to empower them with skills and make them able to support themselves financially.

According to SCA’s disability program officials, lack of braille services in the country's curriculum, lack of professional teachers for visually impaired people, rejection by mainstream schools, improper treatment in society, lack of access to resources and jobs are considered to be the basic problems against visually impaired people in Afghanistan; whilst according to articles 43, 48 and 52 of the Afghan Constitution, they have the right to have access to education, work, health care and all their rights just like other people in society.

SCA with its extensive experience in providing services to people with disabilities, especially the visually impaired people, believes that the activities of government and non-government agencies are not sufficient to ensure the basic rights of the visually impaired people and therefore more efforts should be made to solve their problems.