Vietnamese nuns give the disabled a chance to live better

Outreach success

Mary Le Minh Thuy Khuyen gently massages the legs of a woman, attentively listening to her health, family and business problems and giving her useful advice, reports NCR Online.

'I earn $210-$260 monthly. I use the money to cover medical treatment when my parents get ill, repair their houses and help my siblings, said Khuyen, who is blind from birth.

The 30-year-old is among 20 visually impaired people working at a 15-bed massage parlour run by Lovers of the Holy Cross sisters near their motherhouse on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City. On a daily average, they give 60 customers massages.

The workers obtain massage certificates by a local college of medicine. They are also given free food, accommodation and education and are treated with care by the nuns.

 'We no longer live alone and had a complex about our physical disabilities, but are proud to bring joy and good health service to other people,' Khuyen said.

'We are deeply grateful to the nuns who provide us with opportunities to live a normal life like others and integrate into society in a self-confident manner,' said Khuyen, who has five siblings. Two of her siblings also suffer visual impairments and are supported by nuns. They are from the southernmost An Giang province.

Sr Anne Nguyen Thi Hoa, who runs a centre for the visually impaired in Ho Chi Minh City, said her indigenous congregation provides free food, accommodation and education for some 300 people with visual impairments ages 5 to 30 at its eight centers throughout the country.

Most of the visually impaired people are from poor families who live in rural and remote areas. Many are orphans. The nuns are moved to serve the many people with visual impairments that have no access to education and vocational skills and are considered burdens to their families and society.

FULL STORY Vietnamese nuns give the disabled a chance to live better

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