In southern Vietnam a strikingly large group of schoolchildren is visually impaired or blind. Because there is no basic eye care available locally, they have nowhere to turn. For the poor, this means that they remain trapped in a cycle of poverty, because visually impaired children stay behind in school and do not get the chance to develop. And all this despite the fact that the solution to many eye problems is often pretty straightforward.
The studious Lan (11) is one of many visually impaired children in south Vietnam. The girl lives with her family in the province of Ca Mau. Her parents work long days in the fields. After school, Lan and her brothers help their parents. The family can just get by.
Lan dreams of becoming a nurse, so that she can earn enough money to provide for her family. But will that even be possible? Lan has always gone to school motivated and eager to learn. But lately her grades dropped. She couldn’t see clearly what the teacher wrote on the blackboard. Her grades worsened and this affected her self-confidence. Her mother explained, “Of my three children, Lan always was the best at school. I was so proud that she wanted to study and care for us.” It seemed that the family`s high hopes would not be realized.
Her teacher said that Lan might need glasses. But where could they go? The family had no money to travel to a hospital, no money for an eye exam and no money for glasses. They could not help Lan. Because her grades kept getting worse and Lan did not enjoy going to school anymore, her mother considered pulling her daughter out of school so that she could help her parents work the fields. It was heartbreaking: the opportunity for a better future was so close, yet just out of reach. But last year an eye care centre opened in Ca Mau. Fortunately, the staff came to Lan`s school to give all the children eye exams. The solution to Lans problem was suddenly simple. She was given free glasses and could finally read what was on the blackboard.
“I had to get used to my glasses and found it strange to put them on at first. But it is very nice to see clearly. I’m doing better at school and I`m having fun again!”
Thanks to the support of people like yourself, we have been able to set up three eye care centres in the provinces of Ca Mau and Soc Trang last year. They provide basic eye care that the local people need very badly. And this eye care is free for the poor.
But… the eye care centers have insufficient equipment and manpower to visit all the schools, carry out eye exams and provide enough glasses.
And this while there are still 29.903 schoolchildren who need to be tested, of which an estimated 2.845 children need glasses that they can not afford.
Will you help us? Then we will be able to provide the three eye care centres with what they need to help many more children.
Any donation you can give us will help:
- For € 30, – you can give a child like Lan an eye exam and glasses
- With € 60, – you can help two children
- With € 90, – three children will regain their eyesight.
We are very grateful for your donation on behalf of children like Lan, regardless of the amount you are able to donate!