US couple fundraises to build Vietnam school for the blind

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A silent auction organized by the Landon Carter Schmitt Memorial Fund was held in Hanoi earlier this week to raise money toward the construction of a boarding school for children with visual disabilities in Quang Tri Province.

The fund was established by Dick and Dabney Schmitt, an American couple from Virginia, US, in memory of their son Landon who passed away in 2009 in Vietnam after living and working here for five years.

The 28-year-old first came to Vietnam as a Fulbright fellow to interview veterans of the Vietnam People's Army who had fought the French and the Americans.

"He loves the country and loves the people. He loves everything about Vietnam," according to his mother. "We decided to do something in Vietnam that remembers him and his love for this country."

With assistance from the Global Service Community Foundation, a NGO organization based in Virginia that works to eradicate poverty in Southeast Asia, the Schmitt family hopes that the boarding school project will accommodate 200 children by completion over a five-year period.

Construction for the school is scheduled to start this fall. It will include boarding facilities in addition to provide children in nine districts of Quang Tri Province with educational programming and resources to enrich their lives and support their families.

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