Busisiwe Mzyece Head of Programmes Zimbabwe Council for the Blind
The Zimbabwe Council for the Blind (ZCfB) has taken a bold step towards promoting eye health and raising awareness about visual impairment in the workplace with the launch of its ground-breaking campaign, ‘A seeing workforce is a healthy one’ which came at the right time as the World Sight Day 2023 focuses on ‘Love Your Eyes at Work.‘ This campaign was launched on the 5th of April 2023. Through this initiative, the ZCfB seeks to create a more inclusive and supportive work environment for visually impaired individuals and also screen employees at their places of work as some do not have the time to leave their jobs for screening elsewhere. This campaign is a testament to the power of collective action and the determination to break barriers, making Zimbabwe a more inclusive and compassionate society.
Understanding the Need for ‘Love Your Eyes at Work’
Visual impairment affects millions of people worldwide, hindering their ability to fully participate in various aspects of life, including the workplace. In Zimbabwe, like in many other countries, visually impaired individuals often face considerable challenges at work, leading to some leaving employment.
The ‘Love Your Eyes at Work’ campaign aims to address these issues head-on by fostering a culture of empathy, understanding, and inclusivity within workplaces. The campaign will also include screening of public transport operators so as to ensure road safety.
Visits to Workplaces by ZCfB major towns
One of the key components of the ‘Love Your Eyes at Work’ campaign is the series of workplace visits conducted by the Zimbabwe Council for the Blind. During these visits, representatives from the ZCfB engage with employers and employees to raise awareness about visual impairment and its impact on the workforce and also screen employees on site.
Numbers reached by the programme so far
Since the programme launch in April, the mobile eye unit teams have been to 30 workplaces and 978 (383M and 592F) workers have been reached. The people reached are inclusive of school teachers, game rangers, chefs, bakers, development workers and courier drivers. We intend to reach 5000 workers by October 2023.