Children
 Vietnam
Project #16594

One Dollar One Meal

by Viet Blind Children Foundation
Tan & Kien
Tan & Kien

A STORY OF TWO VISUALLY IMPAIRED BROTHERS

 

Brothers of Kien and Tan are congenitally blind due to being born with prematurity. Tan has additional impairment with motor and mental problem. Kien and Tan’s parents have three children. Their father passed away when they were at the young age, their mother earns a living by gathering and selling palm leaf. Fortunately, the oldest sister is sighted and healthy; she can help the mother look after them.

 

At the age of seven, the mother took them to a local school for the Impaired. This school had an elementary program only, so five years later they were back to their families. Then their mother took to Vi Thuy Home for the Blind when they were 13 and 15 respectively.

 

At first, Tan and Kien were very homesick, but they adjusted quickly to the home life. Kien states: “It is very fun to live at this place. We have many friends and younger fellows. Everyone is joyful, studious, and well behave. The sisters teach us to pray for everybody. They tell us that we could do everything if we are praying with perseverance. God will help us with all kind of tasks. We cannot do anything to help our families, but we can do by our daily prayers. God will do everything for our families for us.”

 

Tan and Kien are making good progress.Their mother’s pain is reduced. Both of them know how to write and read in Braille, to play organ and frequently play this instrument in the church choir. Hoang Tan has a nice voice, sometimes he sings. They are still learning the instrument, and learning a traditional instrument. Their mother is very happy seeing them developing like this. When picking up, she usually borrows a keyboard from the shelter to bring home with them so that they can play the instrument at home to entertain their family and neighbors.

 

Sister director of Vi Thuy says: In the future Tan will join in career training program and learn traditional treatment, and Kien will continue studying further.

Thanks to your generosity and kindness, the two brothers have a good chance to study and develop in a warm environment.

Appreciation

I was born and raised up in a remote area. I have been living at Vi Thuy Home for the Blind for four years since the age of eight. I am in second grade now. My schoolwork is fine. During the last four years, I have learned many things: living skills, orientation and mobility skills, organ, craft making, core curriculum…

 

At school, I was an excellent student of the first grade. I got good grades for the latest organ exam. I am ok with craft making. Among subjects, I find hardest with social sciences. Yet I think that the more it is difficult, the more I have to try my best in order overcome it. Parents, Fathers, Sisters, teachers and donors have taught, encouraged me with their hearts, I cannot disappoint them. I believe that without kind arm stretches, I will not become who I am today.

 

Although I do not see the sun, and my parents as well as many beautiful and colorful things surrounding, I know I still have a pair of eyes of spirit to see life in hopeful green, and how beautiful it is. I am not an orphan, a leftover, a marginalized as many other children in this society.

 

Thanks be to God, thank you everyone for making a significant contribution to make my and my friends’ lives better. The enormous efforts of Fathers, Sisters, Teachers, and Benefactors I will embed into my heart so that I may live happily. I promise to learn well, obey to the Sisters so that I will be a useful person of the church and the society. I would like to wish Fathers, Sisters, and Teachers and Benefactors abundant health, God’s grace, and a completion the duty which God has given to you.

Tung & Toan
Tung & Toan

A STORY OF THE TWIN BROTHERS 

The twin of Tung and Toan one of the five pairs of siblings of Vi Thuy Home for the Blind. They were taken into Vi Thuy Home For The Blind in August, 2014. Here is their story.

After more than four hours seeking a family in Kien Giang, eventually we found the house of a couple, Mr T.V.D and Mrs T.T. B. They have four children, the two first daughters are sighted, and the twin sons were born with blindness because of prematurity. These identical boys have a special mark which is they use one birth certificate name – QUY, usually called Tung and Toan at home. The Father goes fishing on local river and the mother is a hiring worker for a living.

The first sight, we saw those skinny boys on a hammock together. Their grandmother told us: because of aging, and not knowing how to look after a blind child, she did not know how to take care of them; therefore, they did not know how to use a toilet, how to eat like a normal boy though they were both 9 nine years old. They stayed with the grandmother during the day while their parents went out for work. Neither did Tung’s and Toan’s parents know how to raise them, they had no idea how could a blind child study, since there were many sighted children in their neighborhood not being able to study at all. Thus, they had never thought of sending them to a school, as well as they knew no school for the blind. In addition, they could not afford their schooling. So, they just were put in the hammock while the grandmother was waving the fishing net.

Having realized that we came with an intention to take them to our school, the whole family was very glad and amazed at us. They could not believe that someone could come and take them into their special care without conditions. It was hard for them to understand.

Tung and Toan’s health was worse than other peers in the Home. Initially, they just sat still, talked to no one and were totally dependent on the sisters for all basic needs. After one month of rehabilitation, they began communicating and playing with friends. After eight months of care, they made obvious progress. Both Tung and Toan began interacting with others, knowing how to respond to a call, how to scoop the food; even Tung starts learning to write and read in Braille, to ride a bicycle, and to put on the clothes.

Their families are happy with their development; sometimes their parents come to see them. Having seen them walking around, playing, and studying, they only break in tears.

Thanks be to God for giving us a heart full of Your Love, a desire of sharing endless. May this kind of love continue rise and rise forever to raise up all Vietnamese blind children to God so that this world will feel your love in this life.

My Life Story 

Today, I would like to tell my own life story as well as express my deep gratitude to those who contribute to raise me up.

My story will begin with the onset of visual impairment. Many people are frequently asking the question of since when I am visually impaired. I used to have this same question. Once, my parents told me that when I was born, they had a very hard time. Even at six months old, I was so light weight that my mother was holding me on her arm and felt like holding a piece of cloth. My parents had to stay at the hospital during four months, as the pneumonia affected me severely. Of course, it was very expensive to save my life. By that time, they had no house, rent a room, and managed all kinds of expenses with their limited wage. Then it became tougher for them to manage the hospital fee and other payments for me. Althought they tried all their best to save me, but I still was crying day and night. My mother did not know what to do with me except crying.

After those hard days, my parents felt better when seeing in me the life. I made a full recovery eventually. This kind of consolation did not last long. When I was two years of age, the influence of being born with prematurity affected my eyes which became gradually blurred until my vision totally lost. I no longer could see the surroundings and my parents’ faces.

With my parents, the disability let them down. My mother often cried silently when not knowing how to deal with my impairment. Until she knew there was a place in where I would learn to function with my disability. Now she is better. She still keeps in her mind the image of her two year old sighted girl happily riding the bicycle around the hammock in the small space of the rent room.

For me, I had no memories of my babyhood, especially the period of time I had sight. I only remembered all details of the experience of my first day of school. When my mother took me, a five year old girl, to Vi Thuy Home for the Blind, she was telling a sister my story with full tears. Then she left me with the sisters. I was so homesick that I was crying all day long. In the afternoon, after bathing me, the sister made my hair, then she had me touch something soft on my hair. She told me they were two beautiful roses. She took me to the garden and put me in a swing. The sister was standing next to the swing and told me: “You are as beautiful as a small princess!”

Time passes so fast! It is almost five years away. I am ten years old now, I am in the fourth grade. With the tireless efforts of the sisters and all supporters, I have a happy life. My life is full of laughing and surrounded by loved people. I have good friends who play with me and share with my daily activities. I am well taken care by the kind sisters and taught to serve myself as well as all kinds of skills to compensate my visual impairment.

I am also proud of myself for my efforts and academic achievements. From the first grade to this grade, I am categorized as an excellent student. In addition, my mother stops crying, and she is very happy because of my good health condition. I am no longer as light and small as a piece of clothe, instead I am the biggest and tallest one in the class. Whoever first time sees me often guesses I was sixteen years old.   

Here is my schedule. My weekdays are full with schooling at a mainstream elementary school. In the evening, after school, the sisters take us to the church for the daily mass. After the holy celebration, I have dinner and then we pray together. At weekend, I join the church’s choir. I am a solo in the choir. I like singing a lot, since I feel wonderful to make this world more musically with my voice. On Sunday, a sister teaches me to play organ. I am taught to appreciate everything I have. I learn to pray for our parents and families, for the sisters and teachers, and especially for donors and supporters who are generously and unconditionally helping us with daily expenses, accommodation, food, and tuition.

I am aware that I should behave and study well to pay benefactors’ love and care, particularly the care of Siters, teachers, Father President and BVCF board of directors, donors all over the world. I will never forget the generosity of those who have been supporting the sisters to raise me up. I will take advantage of your kindness to study and practice with all my best. This year the facility is rebuilt and enlarged. I have a clean and big place to study, sleep, and play. The sisters teach me that all things I receive are from good people. I believe that you are building my strenght and giving me bright eyes of love, and firm feet of belief so that I will be able to enter the world with joy and confidence. Thank you very much for your unconditional kindness. To whom I have not met personally, I would like to extend my grateful greetings to you and to promise that I will live a joyful and useful life to pay your love.

With my sincere gratitude,

Bao Tran

In Mekong Delta surrounding by waters, there is an area known by very few people, but this is a place for dream sprouting, the dreams that seem too far away, but these could be come true because of the hands and hearts of all benefactors through the Blind Vietnamese Children Foundation. That is the Vi Thuy Home for the Blind, brings a brighter future for children with vision impairment in rural areas, including those from Kh’Mer minority people.

In 2005, the Thu Duc Congregation fo Lovers of the Holy Cross has extablished this Home to serve children with vision impairment, even though there is only a small ruined house. When Father Thuan Hoang, the Director of BVCF, visited Vi Thuy the first time, he himself had to sleep in a mat on the soil ground. At that time, the roads in villages have not made, so he has to visit blind children’s families by a small boat that had enough place only for people sitting closely. However, because he saw poor life conditions of blind blind children families, he called out for donations from benefactors to help blind children to have anough food to eat and cloths to wear, to have good care and education. For families that were very poors, he also help a small capital so that they can invest in the field to make enough rice or the families. The characteristic of this Home is it has 5 pairs of blood brothers and sisters, that are Giang and Truong from Giong Rieng, Tan and Kien from Soc Trang, Nhu and Tinh from Bac Lieu, Phi and Yen from Cau Mong, Phu Quy and Phu Quy from Kien Giang, Tran is by herself but as other children, she loves everyone as in her own blood family.

This year, with the support of BVCF, Vi Thuy Home for the Blind is building a new one-floor house to provide better facilities for the children, so that they will no longer be very hot by the sunshine and be wet by the rain. The building is in its process but it goes slowly because of limited budget. We are hoping that the Home will continue to receive donations from benefactors to be completed to welcome more blind children in the new school year. Surely when blind children live in this new house, they will not forget to thank the benefactors and keep everyone in their daily prayers.

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Organization Information

Viet Blind Children Foundation

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