Project #16594

One Dollar One Meal

by Viet Blind Children Foundation

How can blind students use computers, even connecting on Facebook?

How can blind students attend regular school, eventually enrolling in colleges and universities?

How can blind students participate in sports?

How can blind students grow up to support their families and take care of their children?

How can blind students work to give back to the centers where they learned?

All of these accomplishments come from simply having the passion to change for the better. 

The blind students at the centers in Vietnam that BVCF supports have truly astounded me with everything they have done so far in their lives. After traveling to Vietnam, I received the opportunity to visit nine centers, hang out with the children, and observe their daily lives. I am truly thankful for this experience and consider the students my great teachers. Moreover, they became excellent role models for me because of everything they taught me during my time there. Not only have they helped me realized things I hadn't thought about before, but they opened my own eyes. 

One thing that I realized right away is that these blind children use all of their senses. Even though they can’t see, they notice everything around them; they’re more aware than I am. If there’s even one change in the setting or environment around them, they notice it right away. They hear, feel, taste, and smell more accurately than I do. Also, they don’t think of their blindness as a disability, but instead, just a minor setback. Others outside of their community might think that they are disabled and will always need aid. But that’s not the case for many. As I talked to many children, I saw that they are constantly striving to become independent, and have adapted very well to their blindness. 

They may not see, but they are certainly not disabled.

Even when I was simply talking to them, they were full of energy. They always greeted me with a smile; in fact, I never saw anyone at the center show a frown. One of the most admirable qualities is that they are very optimistic and positive. They overlook the negativity that they are sometimes presented in life and always exemplify a positive attitude. Every time I visited a center, I could never stop smiling and laughing after talking with the children. Their humor and bright personalities eventually spread to me as an overwhelming joy. 

One of the questions I had in mind before my visit was how the children studied and went to school. I had previously heard of Braille, the language the blind use to communicate and write, but I had never seen it up close. After visiting the Vi Thuy Home for the Blind, I learned how to read and write my last name in Braille, but I wasn’t even close to learning all the complex patterns and combinations that the language has. I was definitely impressed after observing one child swiftly moving his hands over the dotted paper and reciting a story with ease. It took me a few minutes to read just one word. I’ve realized that when I learn, I only have to read and retain the information, but many of the children have to work twice as hard to recognize the information. But they don’t let the added difficulty stop them from learning. These children are really the most amazing students that I have ever met. 

If I were to describe the children in one word, I would say that they are passionate. They are hardworking and diligent with everything they do. Whether it’s learning or playing, they give it their all to enjoy it. After they became blind, they didn’t simply give up on their old lifestyle and resign themselves to a lesser life. They learned to adapt and continued to grow. They have created their own dreams and chase them as hard as they can. 

The challenges that I might face will never be as significant as theirs. They might not be able to see, but they absolutely have a bigger heart that I do. They cherish everything they have, which makes it easier for them to fight for what they believe in. That’s why with everything that they do, they never give up; they persevere until they reach their goals. They have the courage to face any challenge that comes their way. To them, nothing seems impossible, because they know that as long as they keep working hard, it will work out. They have the faith that they can change for the better and improve their lifestyle. 

They have realized that the decision about how they live isn’t up to the people who care for them, it’s up to them and how they decide to live. The choices that they make take them one step closer to success and more happiness. 

If there is one thing I learned from them that I will never forget, it’s that I must have the passion to follow what I want and always strive to change for the better.


In September, 2012, my parents took me to Vi Thuy Home for the Blind. I felt everything very strange at first interaction.

I started getting used to with the surroundings: from human, objects, to activities. The Sisters carefully instructed me to familiarize myself with rooms by identifying and safely navigating from one to another; then I learned to get used to with daily activities such as: eating, sleeping, studying, playing, and personal hygiene care.

After one week, I became familiar with the home’s activities, peers, and the Sisters. Currently, I am very much familiar with all activities and I realize that this home is providing me good chances to study and live happily.

I feel lucky to be accepted into this place. The Sisters are taking care us with kindness. I also share lives with other friends having the same conditions with mime as well as with individuals with additional disabilities. The facility is spacy, fresh, and clean enough for us to live and play.

Sometimes we are taken to meaningful community events: Festival for the Disabled, Christmas Eve; and to a funny picnic by which I swam into man-made sea in Suoi Tien Theme Park.

I am very glad to live at this home. I wish the Sisters abundant health to continue taking good care of and educating us; and wish friends good health, submission and well studies. As well, I would like to express my sincere gratitude towards donors for your geneous support. Best wishes to you and your families.


I was born in a cozy family. I am the oldest son and have a younger brother. I grew up with parental love and protection. My parents gave me everything I needed. My childhood seemed to be peaceful and happy until the accident that caused me losing an eye at the age of nine. Although I had only one eye to see, I did not value it. I did not listen to my parents. I was severely addicted to games; I neglected my studies. As a result, I had an eye surgery when I was sixteen. The surgery went wrong; I lost my sight forever. Since then, I started a life in darkness. I felt disappointed and regretful of my deeds. If time could have reverted, I would have valued my remaining eye.  Having lost it, I realized it was more valuable than everything else was in the world. My game addiction cost me a life in darkness.

The beginning life of blindness made me miserable and gloomy; I blamed the misery on myself. Sometime I thought it was just a nightmare. I almost collapsed before difficulties. Fortunately, I still have caring parents, friends, and families who always encourage and take care of me well. Thanks to their affection, I gradually grow with confidence.

My life really turned to a new page when I met Vi Thuy Home for the Blind where I have been living under the loving care of the sisters for a year. I also have many brothers, sisters, and younger ones who share the same disability with me. Not only do the sisters accommodate my daily life, but also they care for my spiritual life. They give me chances to take part in classes that fit with my abilities such as: organ, guitar, and handmade crafts. By learning these skills, I obtain more joy in life. In spite of being a un-believer, I go to church with the sisters daily. I feel like tiny faith flame lightened within by God via the sisters. While attending the mass, I realize that all my sorrow goes away under God’s glory. Deep in my soul, I have faith in God; through the priest’s preaching, and sharing, I learn how to be human, to love and help others. I like Sunday Masses very much because of the beautiful chants. After the Mass, I usually return to the Home with peace and joy in my heart.

I am happy and lucky to live at this home. At this place, I have a stable life, everything is scheduled; especially every morning I learn doctrine with sister superior. She also shares useful living experiences. She shows me how to live a good life and how to please God. Furthermore, she instructs me special skills to live with blindness. I feel loved and protected under the supervision and care of the sisters. Thanks to the detailed lessons of walking and communicating, I am growing better in terms of relationship with others. I adopt this home as my second family. I will try harder in rehabilitation and practice in order to deserve with the sisters, parents, and whoever loves me. Thank you very much for supporting me to live this life more happily.

Through my shares above, I want to send the following message to the youth: “Be respectful and thankful for things you have; never be disappointed with anything so that you can lose faith in life, since there are many people caring for you.”

Tinh (blue T-shirt) is learning to make crafts
Tinh (blue T-shirt) is learning to make crafts

Twenty-five years of age, I have been living at Nhat Hong Home for the Blind for eleven years; so, naturally Nhat Hong becomes my second family.

Eleven years passes as quickly as yesterday only. Looking back the lively memories in my mind, I have thousands of emotions.

It is sadness and disappointment at first. I was sad of separation from my loved family, and disappointed of unexpected things. In the mind of a fifteen-year-old boy, Nhat Hong should have been a big and gorgeous place; simply it was in Saigon, the biggest city in the country. Yet, it was an old-three-story house among other cement houses. It took me a while to adjust myself to life at this home.

Having caught up with the Nhat Hong life, it becomes my second family. Here, the sisters love us with their hearts. They care for us from food to sleep and study. They care for our heath when we are ill. When it becomes cold, they give us warm clothes. They console, encourage, and soothe us when we are in a bad mood. They share with our joy when we are in victory.

Not only being nice mothers to us, the sisters also play a role of strict teachers when we behave without consideration and fall down before temptations in daily life. They guide us with discipline, instruct, and lead us back to a well-behaved way of living. Sometimes they are so strict with me that I become upset rather than grateful. Now, I appreciate them for being strict to me very much. “No pain no cure”, thanks to those bitter doses, from then to now, wherever and whatever I am doing, I will never make the same mistakes.  I come to an understanding that love is not always a smooth and soft melody; sometimes it soundly thunders making people fearful to turn around or change their way.

In this sweet home, I have chances to live with peers having the same circumstances with me. We sympathize, love, care, and share with each other our joys and sorrows, and help each other overcome obstacles in study and in life. However, it is a fact that life is not peaceful and joyous all the time. My Nhat Hong home is up and down sometimes. It is when we make a mistake with our selfishness and weakness. We treat each other badly, make each other sad and sorrowful. Some of the pains are healed; but some need time to get over.

The most important point after those breaks is that we then accept our faults and accept our own weakness. This makes us turn back to each other, hold one’s hand to continue our challenging journey. Those encounters are invaluable for me during my Nhat Hong life.

Having been lived at Nhat Hong home is my luck and happiness. Without this family, perhaps I did not become mature both physically and mentally as I do now. Thanks to Nhat Hong, I entered the university; it only takes me several more months, and I will possess a bachelor diploma of psychology.  I am well aware that beside the sisters like our meek mothers, we are also receiving affection and enthusiastic kindness from benefactors all over the world, especially from BVCF.

All precious love and care blow a strong desire and dream within us, lift our wings to fly up to the sky of knowledge and then to walk with confidence on challenging road ahead.

I would like to say special thanks to Fathers, Sisters, friends, and donors. May you be deepened into the rain of God’s grace.

My dream is to apply my knowledge of psychology into helping the children of Nhat Hong, then others having trouble with psychology. I strongly believe that deed is my practical thanks for Fathers, Sisters, friends, and benefactors.


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Organization Information

Viet Blind Children Foundation

Location: San Francisco, CA - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Thuan Hoang
San Francisco, CA United States

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