Blind faith: How a priest is helping Thailand’s sightless win jobs

 Blind faith: How a priest is helping Thailand’s sightless win jobs

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Defying the belief that the blind have limited career prospects, one Italian priest has spent the last 30 years training them in everything from massage therapy to judo

Going through life without vision is hard enough in any country, but in Thailand’s it’s a particularly tough battle.

For those of you who have visited or live in Bangkok, try and recall how many beeping pedestrian-crossing signals you’ve seen. Or how many Braille magazines you’ve spotted at the bookstore. Even worse, how many times have you stumbled and cursed your way down a pothole-ridden sidewalk? Our guess is, respectively, hardly any, never have and way too often.

Father Carlo Velardo has spent the past 30 years making it a bit easier for the blind to experience healthy and productive lives in Thailand. As director of the Nonthaburi Skills Development Centre for the Blind, his facility is dedicated to not only providing friendship and care to his students, but also giving them the training they need to make a living in a city that can be a challenge even if you aren’t disabled.

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