Roda Mabuluco

If we were blindfolded, how many dreams would disappear?

This was the question that Roda asked when she met Mónica, a blind geography student, who couldn’t see maps and, because of this, had to change course.

At 20 years old, Roda started a relationship with Inclusion. When they met, Inclusion said to her:

– I like you!

Roda answered: – Me too!

This is not a love story between two people, but between a lost mission and a physical limitation, thatonce upon a time got together to invent light.  Roda’s mission was lost since when the fear of the dark set place on that huge tree (a Sclerocarya birrea) that existed at her house and served as a shelter to thousands of khukhuas (little bugs that she was afraid of).

When she met Mónica, it was as if she was meeting the light that she was looking for a long time ago. In the beginning, she was happy and, then, paralysed. On the other side of fear, there was always her brother Crispim, challenging her to overcome herself even more and more.  During a university exchange in Brasil, she discovered the world of tactile maps.  She finished the course with a very specific goal enlightening her way. But it was only with Girl Move that this goal became clearer.

Roda underwent her internship at ESRI. The first goal of this internship was to supply her with all thepractical tools and give her training. Then she met some university teachers who develop their work in this area and who shared with her software, tips and strategies that they use on their blind students.

The internship ended with two projects in which Roda, helped by her mentors, adapted already existing apps and combined them with other digital tools to simplify the mobility of blind people on the streets. After the internship, she came across three associations that work with other kind of handicaps – CERCICA, Associação Salvador and EKUI – and also Movimento de Expressão Fotográfica (MEF).

On a first stage, Roda wants to continue her investigation and has already decided to undergo a master degree in Geographical Information Systems. But she has a bigger plan to strengthen her love for the cause of Inclusion: to create a lab that will produce tactile maps, and where she will also train teachers from Preparatory School into tactile cartography.

And that’s how Roda’s voice answers the question that led her to this mission  “While there are still hands and fears to grope, dreams will not disappear, but they will grow!”