Le Thi Nhung was born (07/08/1989) blind and grew up in Tan Phu, Tay Ninh. Since 2009, Nhung and her older sister started living in Nhat Hong Warm Shelter. Nhung got accepted to attend University of Pedagogy, Special Education Program.
In Viet Nam, going to school is a dream for many and going to college is even a bigger dream, especially to those whose are poor and/or disabled. I, a girl with visual impairment coming from a poor family, have been very fortunate to be able to attend college. Thanks to the loving care and support of many people. I know that attending college will be filling with difficulties and challenges. For instance, materials for visually impaired students are limited or not available. Furthermore, during lecture, I can only listen to the lecture while the nun takes notes for me. However, I feel very blessed and humble to have this opportunity.
When I was growing up, though my family was very poor, I had always lived in happiness and under the loving care of my parents. When I went to school, I received a lot of warm, love and care from the teachers and nuns. Due to my loving environments, from home and school, I have not known the concept of sadness and loneliness. In other words, I am always happy. In addition, I do not know the concept of separation because I have always been surrounded by the love of my parents, friends, nuns, teachers and benefactors (such as BVCF and, now, Globalgivings). Finally, happiness, to me, means having someone walking along with me in time of difficulties.
Since last report, BVCF has been recognized by San Francisco-Ho Chi Minh City Sister City Committee for services provide to the blind children in Viet Nam...
Lan Anh was born blind fourteen years ago in the northern part of Viet Nam. She is the oldest of three children. Her younger brother and sister both have normal vision. Her family was very poor and moved to Binh Duong in the southern part of Viet Nam in 2001. It was here that her father found work as a carpenter and her mother found work as a seamstress. It was a neighbor who introduced the family to Nhat Hong School for the Blind in Ho Chi Minh City. Then, Lan Anh was 5 years old. She started learning Braille in kindergarten. Her parents live far away but manage to visit her once a month. Four years ago, she moved to the new Nhat Hong School for the Blind in Tam Hai Thu Duc. She is now in the 9th grade in a regular public school with sighted students. Currently, she is a straight A student. Also, she is a very good singer (please see the video in the link below) and loves to play muscical instruments at school. She is very happy at Nhat Hong School and is very close to her friends there. She is forever grateful to the many nuns, teachers and volunteers who have helped her through the years. Now in conjunction with GlobalGiving Foundation's, her dream to become a teacher for the blind is a step closer to become a reality. As of today, BVCF has raised almost $8,000 for tuition for the blind students like Lan Anh. She is a shinning example of the work of BVCF and GobalGiving Foundation's. We can feel and see the warm and genuine smile on her face.
South East Asia has about 900,000 non-sighted people among the population of 88 million. Blindness or low vision in Vietnam is most often due to a deficiency of nutritious food, vitamin A deficiency, the inappropriate use of medicines, poor hygiene, limited access to eye-care services, premature birth, bombs and Agent Orange during the war, and accidental injuries, among other reasons. The major causes are cataracts (70%), glaucoma, corneal infections, trachoma, childhood blindness (Retinopathy caused by prematurity and cornel scarring), refractive error, retinopathy degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy. Some causes are preventable and treatable. Several Catholic eye doctors and charity groups have participated in blindness prevention projects. The projects include raising social awareness, eye screening, assisting poor people in rural areas to obtain access to eye-care services, cataract surgery, provision of Vitamin A and medicines, and clean water supplies for villages.
During the last twelve years Blind Vietnamese Children Foundation (BVCF) has successfully supported the education and career training for many blind children in several schools and facilities for the blind. Up to this day BVCF has made grants to pay for the tuition for over 310 blind students every year. Dalat Home for the Blind has 41 blind students both in elementary school and in high school and is one of the facilities which has received aid from BVCF. Tuition for each high school student is $250/year; for elementary students, the amount is $150/year. Thanks to the GlobalGiving Foundation’s listing of BVCF on its global fundraising program, donations have increased. In the month of September alone, BVCF was able to raise more than $6,000 for the tuition of these blind children. Thanks to our donors who generously gave to this tuition project.