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.
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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