Da Lat Shelter for Blind Children is a home for children and youngsters with visual impairment. Currently, there are 26 children living in the shelter, with six of them going to public school (both primary and secondary school). The smaller ones are learning how to use braille and basic knowledge (Vietnamese and mathematics) at the shelter in preparation for them to attend public school. There are also other children who have multiple disabilities and are not able to begin studying yet.
One group of children is listening to a story
To help the children in the shelter live happily and develop beyond their visual limitations, especially when they grow up, the shelter was very much in need of support to be able to buy some computers and musical instruments. Therefore, saigonchildren created a project on Developing Music and Computer Skills for Blind Children which was sponsored by PREMIER OIL and SANTOS, PVEP. Thanks to this great donation, the Head of Shelter purchased five sets of Dell desktop computers and three Yamaha keyboards to equip the shelter with tools to develop computer and music skills for the young students.
The children are singing to welcome guests
Children in this shelter are very musically inclined so they enjoy making music and singing for themselves and for visitors. With the new keyboards, they get to practice playing every weekend with a volunteer coach. They had a hard time getting familiar with the keys at first, but after three months of practice, they can now play or accompany many songs. It can be easily seen that their spirits are uplifted as the music has nourished their souls.
The children are singing a song accompanied by their friend
Before having the computers in the shelter, the blind children had to practice typing using old broken keyboards. Hence, when the computer arrived, they were ready to learn how to make a document. A talking software was installed to these computers to help the children use them more easily. The computer lessons were taught by a teacher in the shelter three times per week for each student, depending on the students’ schedules. After three months, the older students were able to read Braille texts with their hands and type them on the computer. The younger students can type easy words read by the teacher. They all concentrate and try very hard to learn this new complex skill.
The children are learning computer skills
This project is done with the hope that the use of computers with access to the internet will allow them to be opened to the world, to learn more knowledge and to get access to additional information about life around them. And the use of musical instruments will enable them to free up their emotions and thus help them to live happily.