Italian Business Association, Vietnam
Mantovan Association, Bolzan, Italy
Italy - Vietnam Association, Venice, Italy
The SAO MAI Education Fund was established in December 2002.
After one year of monitoring the activities of the SAO MAI Computer Center for the Blind, the Italian experts who had run the Bung Sang Computer Project and had set up the Center decided to:
a) create a Fund to support computer education for the blind and assist the Center activities
b) promote extensive information about the Center
c) look for experts, collaborators and donors to help the Center develop.
The SAO MAI Computer Center is a unique experience in South East Asia for technology and know-how.
It is the only place in Vietnam equipped with seven Braille Displays for using the computer or reading texts in Vietnamese and other languages. It has great potentials but it needs time and international collaboration to develop and obtain self sustainability.
The document A letter for you was written to help us circulate information about the Center by emailing it to your friends and asking them to do the same.
Our approach is to focus on computer classes and research, but we also contribute to operating costs, such as power, telephone, Internet and tuition allowance for the blind trainers.
Scholarships are for blind who wish to attend computer training at the Center or for independent study and research. Blind-to-blind training can reach quite advanced levels, such as accessing Internet resources, printing books in Braille, writing Jaws scripts or producing a CD. When the students go back to their place of origin they can teach other blind and help reduce the Digital Divide.
We encourage blind computer users to research and study on various topics, such as Linux environment, the Internet, or software for blind children to develop cognitive skills.
Italian NGOs Associazione Mantovan (Venice and Bolzan, Italy) and Associazione Italia Vietnam (Veneto Region, Italy) were committed to monitoring the developments, and provide assistance to the Computer Center, for two years after completion of the Bung Sang Project (concluded in December 2001).
The Sao Mai Education Fund, under the patronage of Italian Business Association, Vietnam, is an extension of this commitment. Mantovan Association will provide receipt of donation for tax purposes when contributions are received in the Association bank account.
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