Launching the website (Photo: VNA)
HCM City (VNA) – Two teams of blind young people living in a HCM City shelter have created websites for job search and providing resume consultancy targeted at blind people that have won funding from a UNICEF programme to commercialise them.

The seven members of the two teams live at the Thien An Shelter in Tan Phu District.

Nguyen Minh Tuan of the team that set up the jobs website said from his own experience he knows the difficulties blind people have in seeking jobs.

Though the country has several employment centres for people with disabilities including visual impairments, only 20 percent of blind people have jobs, according to the Vietnam Blind Association.

A survey of 80 people with visual impairments the team carried out found 90 percent of them complaining about the difficulties in looking for employment.

Desiring to help people like them, he and three other set up the website www.jobsforblind.com to link up prospective employers and blind people looking for jobs.

It also shares the working experience of many blind people, Tuan said.

According to the Vietnam Blind Association, 10,000 of the country’s million blind people have the ability to browse the internet, and the others could ask family or friends to help access this website, he said.

“People with visual impairment can work as IT engineers, teachers and others in addition to being masseurs. Enterprises and organisations should give them the opportunity to show their capabilities.”

When the website was still in its beta stage, seven blind people found jobs through it, he added.

UPSHIFT, part of the larger ‘By Youth, For Youth’ UNICEF programme and which aims to engage and empower disadvantaged young people to realise their role as agents of social change, gave the two teams from the shelter and two others 20 million VND (888 USD) each for their innovations.

But Tuan said to run the jobs website another 70 million VND (3,111 USD) is needed this year.

The other two teams’ innovations involved educating primary school students about respiratory health and helping people with disabilities use public transport.

The four were chosen from 10 entries in late 2015 by the UNICEF Innovation Lab in partnership with the city-based Viet Youth Entrepreneurs.

UPSHIFT teaches transferable career skills in leadership and collaboration and communication, provides training in entrepreneurship and gives young people the opportunity to define a problem in their community and help develop its solution.

Its organisers met with 681 young people in the city during the course of the programme.-VNA