By Elias Hakizimana.
Valens Gafundi Ndizeye, the citizen of Nyagatare District, Nyagatare sector in Balija cell was not born with visual impairment in 1976.
Ndizeye was Labour Inspector in Nyagatare district and a lecturer at University where he taught Business Law before he became blind in 2010 and left his work as public servant.
Having the Bachelor’s Degree in Laws, the 43-year-old man decided to invest in poultry to avoid begging after leaving his work.
He was thinking about his future and his family after becoming vision impaired.
Ndizeye began the new life with modern hens in which he invested Rwf 1,000,400 and bought 100 modern hens by spending his final pay and support from National Council for the people’s with the disabilities NCPD).
He managed to build a poultry house worth Rwf 3,500,000.
“I found that poultry farming is possible in my village as I hoped that this is the fast way to help someone get out of poverty. I had the idea even before experiencing this problem of blindness since I previously used to rear livestock,” Ndizeye said.
One year later, he bought an incubator machine worth Rwf 1,500,000 to help in reproduction of chicks. The machine has the capacity to host 500 eggs. He had a target to make a business of chicks.
“I had an opportunity of having a university degree but I was challenged enough by this problem. Before it happened, I held various positions, including City court president, Local government mediator. I could not think about all of these positions when I became blind, what I prioritized was to create my own job,” he said.
Ndizeye lacks enough eggs to produce chicks as the machine’s capacity is 1500 eggs while current produce is 25 eggs.
“The hens I have are of different categories and most of them are still too young to lay eggs,” he said.
He also faces a challenge of electricity cut that can happen quite often in Nyagatare District, and it hinders the reproduction of chicks.
“I do not have generator or solar power and the machine requires electricity to function.” He said.
Lack of skilled employees to help me increase the produce, limited financial capacity to pay them when I find them and lacking professional training in poultry farming are the barriers to my project and I am still covering all the duties besides being visually impaired, Ndizeye said.
He wants to have partners in terms of skills development in poultry farming in order to increase the number of hens.
“I wish that the government of Rwanda can intervene in helping people with disabilities to strive for development by creating businesses. The government can also encourage civil society organizations to intervene and be our partners,” he said.
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