My name is Edwin Babanisi and I’m 35 years of age.
I am totally blind but I have ‘light perception’ which means that I can tell the difference between day and night and I can also tell if movements are right in front of my face. I was born with this blindness.
I’m living with my wife and my two kids and the house-help who helps us daily. Rose and I met way back in 2002 and we had a relationship going on for two years before we got married. I really like being a father.
I really love my kids and really love my wife. We both really love looking after the kids. One of the enjoyable games is where I simply throw the ball and both of them will run and fight to see who catches the ball first and give it back to me.
I work at the Ministry of Health and Medical Services. As a person with disabilities, I could say I’m being a role model to all the people with disabilities in this country because of my status and my living today.
The majority of Solomon Islanders see me as just a person with a disability that does not contribute to society and the Government. Those are the people who do not know me. On the other hand the people that know me really value me as a person with disabilities. Also the community and various groups that I join really value my contributions.
I joined the musicians in the Church. At first I saw that the activities they were giving me in Church were very limited and I was thinking I can do more. But why aren’t they giving me these activities? So, I played my part to show the people in that group I was joining, some extra skills that I had. And it really worked out and they starting put more trust in me as a person with disabilities and they said, “Okay he can do this and he can do that”. If you are a person with a disability, it is really up to him, he has to come out and really show the people that he can do this or that.
Orientation and Mobility: orientation means knowing your surroundings and mobility means moving around from point A to point B. Mostly, when learning, Orientation and Mobility people (who are blind) learn how to go from their house to a bus-stop, how to catch the bus and how to go to a certain point. I can take a bus and go to certain parts of the town – the main market for example. I can go there by myself because the pathway is ok, but there are some parts I really can’t travel because of the inaccessibility.
I’d like to say that – ‘Disability is not Inability’. This means that if you are a person with disabilities you still can – you are able to do things as other people can do. There’s always hope!