Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: Training Programme Benefits Blind People in Zanzibar

THE Zanzibar National Association for the Blind (ZANAB) has launched an initiative aimed at providing entrepreneurship skills and training to visually impaired individuals.

About 20 youths with visual impairment from Unguja and Pemba Islands have been selected and enrolled in the on-going training programme in Pemba Islands. The training facilitator Mr Masoud Suleiman said the initiative supported by ABILIS Foundation from Finland includes providing and encouraging the visually impaired youths to have skills on entrepreneurship and handcrafts.

The ABILIS Foundation supports activities that contribute toward equal opportunities for people with disabilities in society through human rights, independent living and economic self-sufficiency. "Being visually impaired does not have to be a stumbling block to owning a business; the most important things are skills and commitment," Masoud said as he thanked development partners for supporting fight against poverty in the Islands.

Ms Agness Keldrik and Madai Haji Silima were among the 20 youths who attended the five-day training and commented that they have been lucky to get the skills which will make their businesses improve.

"Promoting entrepreneurship among disadvantaged groups like us is very important because we need to develop and avoid some dishonest customers," Silima said, adding that as youths they call upon the government not to discriminate against them when giving out loans from the JK and AK revolving funds.

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