Please join me in raising money and awareness to support blind and visually impaired people in London.
I’m lacing up and hitting the road on 22nd April, running 26.2 miles in the London Marathon to support the blind and visually impaired community in London. Marathon training has been the most physically demanding activity that I have ever taken on, however, I believe this is not as challenging as the daily obstacles that the blind and visually impaired people face. This is the reason, why I am determined to make it to the finishing line!
Why I’m doing this?
Since I was a small girl growing up in Malawi, I have always felt an extreme sense of duty to serve those in need. I was raised amongst the poorest populations of Africa, so my father, a diplomat, always instilled in us an obligation to help the less fortunate. Issues focusing on our responsibility to help people in need was a nightly topic of conversation around the dinner table.
I have dedicated my career as a finance professional to the Charity Sector, having spent over two years working in the blind and visually impaired sector, I feel a special connection to the blind and visually impaired people.
One woman that I am especially inspired by is Khafsa (pictured above). She is a strong and truly magnificent woman, and her story is one that encourages me to get out and clock more miles each day in support of the blind and visually impaired people. Khafsa was born blind, but this did not stop her from steadfastly following her dreams. She earned her university degree and is a Grants and Members Liaison Officer. I have worked closely with her at the Greater London Fund for the Blind, and I am so inspired by her positive outlook on life. Khafsa has an amazing energy that moves everyone around her and challenges you deeply.
I want to raise funds and awareness so that blind and visually impaired people, can realise their maximum potential whilst living a fulfilling life.
A day in the life of the blind or visually impaired
Do you know what it’s like to be a blind or visually impaired in London? My friend and colleague Khafsa, share some of the biggest challenges that she faces on a daily basis.
Travel accessibility is a huge factor in limiting the mobility of the blind and visually impaired. Imagine being offered your dream job, and having to decline it because it requires a long and difficult commute that lacks accommodation for the blind. Or, think about that vacation that you plan every summer. You probably book your flight and hotel without a second thought. For a blind or visually impaired, many more elements have to be considered. Does the airline offer assistance in getting me to my gate? Will the hotel make sure that I have proper accommodation to meet my needs?
A general lack of awareness regarding the capabilities and potential of the blind and visually impaired further complicates the situation. The general public often views blind individuals as completely disabled and ignores their potential. This results in lack of employment opportunities and an inability to achieve one’s dreams.
This lack of awareness leads to constant under funding of services for the blind and visually impaired. There is little provision made for blind-focused initiatives, which leaves this population without access to basic necessities like job and living skills training.
How will these funds help?
It’s hard to believe that in the 21st century the blind and visually impaired are still being left out of statutory provisions that provide for greater services and assistance. The funds raised will go towards developing strategies and solutions for increasing awareness of the needs of blind and visually impaired. Most importantly, the funds will be used to promote engagement and advocacy in order to raise awareness of the needs of the blind and visually impaired population which has so much potential.
My goal is to help blind and visually impaired community in London to follow their dreams no matter what they may be.
Please join me, let’s get them to the finishing line of their goals, and stop leaving them at the starting gate.