There are 531 blind people and 2,031 partially-sighted people in the district of Ky Anh. There are four main reasons for the blindness in this district:
- The effects from the war and dioxin contamination.
- Congenital defects.
- Vitamin deficiency caused by malnutrition.
The Blind Association has been set up to help these people, and a small rehabilitation centre has been built comprising of massage rooms with gymnasium equipment, and some residential accommodation. It has been put to good use and some of the blind people have been trained to work as masseurs, making them self-sufficient and thus building their self-confidence.
MSAVLC have helped the centre by providing equipment, talking clocks and walking sticks for the blind people. We hope to provide more equipment in the future.
2015 – UPDATE
Trustees revisited the Blind Association in 2015 and learned that they now have ten trained masseurs who do about 25 massages each week, nearly always in the evenings. They live on the premises and we were shown their quarters, very dingy, damp and dark, with very little, if any home comforts.
We were pleased, and impressed, to learn that they had now found another source of work and income by putting toothpicks into plastic boxes and sealing the boxes with machines. They sold these to various institutions like the Women’s Union and the Education Department, and seemed to have no trouble with the distribution. They were thrilled to show us that they now had a computer which was able to read e-mails to them, and could even access Facebook!
They asked us if we could supply them with various pieces of equipment, 4 new machines to make the toothpick boxes, 2 air conditioners, 5 new beds, 100 dark glasses and 4 fans. This proposal was accepted by the Trustees.
We were impressed with what they are achieving and hope that MSAVLC will be able to help them more in the future.