The Angel of the Blind
During her conversation with a group of Thai expatriates in Japan, American English teacher, Genevieve Caulfield, asked them about blind people in Thailand. She was shocked when they said there were no blind people in Thailand.
In most Asian countries, handicapped children are considered a shame, so families often keep them at home for their entire life, believing it is useless providing them with an education. Determined to improve their quality of life, Caulfield spent more than ten years saving her money and fundraising in the USA to set up the first school for the blind.
When she first arrived in 1938, she faced strong opposition from the locals who believed she had a vested interest. Although she finally secured permission from the government to establish a school for blind children, there was no budget. So, she withdrew $US800 from her own savings to rent a small house and bought all the necessary teaching equipment. With the help of Thai students, they created Thai-Braille alphabet and vowels.
Her contributions earned her awards and decorations from Japan, the USA, Thailand, and Vietnam. Caulfield died at 84 from old age and was buried here, as she wished.