Nigeria: social and professional inclusion of visually impaired people
Providing access to an equal-opportunity education and professional life for visually people.
Nigeria is part of a group of sub-Saharan countries where the estimated prevalence of blindness is one of the highest in the world. Lagos, its most populous city is home to close to 20 million inhabitants, yet schools for the blind remain scarce and visually impaired children and students attend normal schools which often lack dedicated infrastructure and educational tools.
Availability of textbooks in Braille is an essential building block and, if not available, often a limiting factor for students to be able to follow better and more adapted schooling. With our support, Givaudan Nigeria partnered with a local organisation specialising in social initiatives aimed at visually impaired individuals, to buy new Braille embossers which were used to produce academic Braille books for secondary schools. These covered various areas (such as mathematics, literature, economics and biology), and were distributed to a college in Lagos.
In addition, employee volunteers from Givaudan Nigeria shared their expertise in flavours with the students through activities based on the sense of taste, where students had the opportunity to express themselves on topics related to food and flavours.
The Touch and Flavour project opened new horizons for our association. The two new embossers purchased, as well as the Braille books produced for blind students, will positively impact the life of blind and visually impaired in Nigeria far beyond the project lifecycle.
Edwige, Nigerwives Braille Book Production Centre representative
More recently, a new initiative to help visually impaired people access the job market, was started with the same partner NGO.
In Nigeria’s biggest city, Lagos, a large number of visually impaired people have difficulties in finding a professional activity that can be accomplished despite their disability.
To address this issue, the Givaudan Foundation and Givaudan volunteers in Nigeria have joined forces with a non-governmental organisation specialised in establishing social projects benefitting the Nigerian community. A programme to teach visually impaired adults how to make and sell fragranced soap will be initiated. Not only will the visually impaired adults learn the technical aspects of soap-making but they will also be taught marketing and selling techniques to start their small business. At the project completion a graduation ceremony will be organized which will also serve as networking event.