The Japanese Government is to build an educational and vocational training centre for blind children in the central province of Thanh Hoa , home to 10,000 vision-impaired people, of whom 10 percent are children.

The contract for the almost 98,000 USD grant was signed in Hanoi on January 25 to join hands with the provincial Centre for Education and Vocational Training for the Blind in alleviating the plight of the target population through providing them with skills in information technology, wickerwork, massage and music playing.

The centre, established in 2000, however has not yet owned any property and has to use rooms from the Association of the Blind as classrooms and dormitories for boarding students.

The grant will help build a three-storey building on an area of 420 sq. m. for the centre to provide accommodation and a canteen for students.

Japanese Ambassador Yasuaki Tanizaki said at the signing ceremony that he expected the project would help the blind in Thanh Hoa further integrate themselves into the community and promote relations between Japan and Vietnam./.