Nhat Hong Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired’s Mission is to provide services to children and youth with vision impairment, especially to blind orphans and multiple impaired children, to assist them to have believe and hope, to gain necessary knowledge and skills, so that they are able to be inclusive into society, to live happily and as independently as possible, depends on the abilities of individual, to have a brighter future.
The Vision of the Center is towards more inclusive and effective services. It hopes to expand services to more children with vision impairment in rural areas, so that all children with vision impairment will have care, education, and job to contribute to society.
In 1995, the sisters of the Thu Duc Congregation of Lovers of the Holy Cross met several blind children when they were going outside to serve the poor. Among these, there were children who live as beggars, did not have a place to stay and had no education. The sisters approached the Nguyen Dinh Chieu School for the Blind but there were no place available as the school was full. After a long discussion, the sisters decided to set up the Nhat Hong Home for the Blind in Thi Nghe, Binh Thanh District, Saigon, to provide food and shelter for blind children, and also provide career training for them with basket weaving program.
Later, the sisters recognized that blind children need not only food and accommodation but also education, and started to send blind children to the Nguyen Dinh Chieu School for the Blind to attend day classes then come back to the Home in the evening. The sisters also attended short-term training courses at the NDC School to get basic knowledge and skills to be able to work with the blind. At the same time, the Congregation sent a sister to Australia to get a Master degree on Special Education, focused on Teaching to Children with Vision Impairment. On her return, she trained other sisters and teachers so that they would be able to provide more effective and joyfully teaching to children with vision impairment.
In 1999, after a very careful preparation, Nhat Hong started to send its children to be integrated into ordinary schools and provided support to both students and class teachers. Day by day, the Inclusive Education program showed its success and brought a lot of benefit to children with vision impairment.
In 2000, the Blind Vietnamese Children Foundation started to support partly food and clothings for the children, so Nhat Hong extended its service to receive more children with vision impairment.
From 2001, with the support from Dark and Light Foundation in 5 years, the Early Intervention and Multiple Impaired Education programs were started and the Inclusive Education program was developed repidly in Saigon and also in Da Lat, Lam Dong province.
In 2002, to respond to the need of children with vision impairment and mental retardation, Nhat Hong set up the Long Thanh Career Training sub-centre to develop simple hand-craft and agriculture careers such as pig raising, rabbit raising, and planting.
In 2005, there were more children with vision impairment in Lam Dong province, especially those from minority ethics groups, who needed care and education, but the Da Lat Home for the Blind was too small to provide service to them, so the Suoi Mo Home for the Blind was set up.
In 2006, when the first 3 students graduated from high school enrolled to college and Universities, Nhat Hong started the Higher Education program to support these students, and later more students joining into the program.
In 2007, in Tam Ha, Thu Duc District, Nhat Hong had a new Centre that was built with financial support and in partnership with the Christian Blind Mission (CBM) to be a resource centre to provide services to children and young persons with vision impairment and also to provide human and material resources for its 5 sub-centers and other agencies.
Nhat Hong wishes to continue to write another page in its history, to develop its services and bring a better life to children and young persons with vision impairment in Vietnam