Blind Foundation rehabilitation instructor Natalie Perzylo shared her knowledge and skills with students at a blind school while on holiday in the country.
After falling in love with the beauty of Vietnam during a visit in 2014, Natalie returned in November 2015. She dedicated part of her trip to helping students who are blind or have low vision.
Natalie made the trip with her partner and their first destination was the capital city, Hanoi. Here they volunteered to teach white cane technique at the Nguyen Dinh Chieu Blind School.
They had to rely on a small number of canes that were donated to the school. The canes had no rolling tips and were often the wrong height for the students. Natalie says that all that mattered was they could walk without assistance
“I must admit that some students took to the cane like a duck to water – their eyes lit up when they understood that to didn’t have to be guided everywhere,” she says.
The school featured several sets of stairs and she says the blind students had come up with their own method to navigate their way around the school.
“The blind kids hold on to each others’ shoulders when walking down the stairs, with me holding my breath.”
But what stood out to Natalie the most was a teacher called Lam, who dedicates his life to the school.
Lam trained as an engineer but found his passion in working at the blind school.
“Pay is low so he works as a translator to subsidise his wages. I was amazed by his dedication to the school and I’ve made it my mission to do what I can to further support them,” she says.
Natalie returns to Vietnam, and the blind school in June and hopes to be able to buy and take books to help the students. If anyone would like to assist, please contact by emailing Natalie.