Talking Books Library
As a co-founder of this high-impact program, the VNF made another significant contribution of USD 150,000 to complete the build-out of a new community center in Ho Chi Minh City that will house the Talking Books Library and other NGO organizations. There will be six professional recording studios to produce audio books that are available online for free so that blind children and the elderly can have easy access to books.
Sun Flower College Scholarship
This program provides tuition scholarships to all blind students who got admissions into colleges and universities in Ho Chi Minh city. It is the first and only program of its kind. From the beginning with only 4 scholarships recipients, we now have helped hundreds of scholars to attend college and graduate with bachelor, master and doctoral degrees. Currently, we support about 40-65 scholars each year. Most of them are from poor families where their blindness is an extra burden. Many of the scholars are second – or – third generation victims of Agent Orange that was used during the Vietnam War. The graduates of our program are leading giving productive lives across Vietnam. They are teachers, NGO leaders, business owners, performing artist, and even local officials. They are shining examples of what one can do through education.
Laptops for top Scholars
To invest further in their education, we have awarded about 20 laptops per year to our top scholarship performers. This important tool helps the students in their study, research and outreach to the world. Our limited financial resources did not allow us to provide more laptops to the students, but now with the invention of the 365 Machine (as explained below), we will be able to give every scholarship recipient a special laptop computer without a screen suitable for their needs.
360 Machine program
The 360 Machine is an innovative laptop without a screen, designed by us for blind users, but has an option for sighted users via a connector cable to a typical TV screen. This device has all the features of a computer, and everything fits inside a portable keyboard, and it costs only 50 dollars. The 360 Machine is a game-changer. It allows blind people in Vietnam and elsewhere to have easy access to the internet where they can communicate, learn, work and create an impact across the globe. Our experience in the Laptops for Top Scholars program help us take this bold step to create the 360 Machine in order to provide computer and Internet access to more blind students and other low-income people. We envision this game-changer device to begin its journey in Vietnam but will spread to many corners of the world and its impact will be felt in the lives of millions of people.
Lotus Scholarships for Blind Children
To inspire younger children toward education, we have been providing 50 annual scholarships to blind children in Ho Chi Minh City. These children often have multiple disabilities and are taught at a special education school that also receives help from us.