Glasses and school project for Nahá (2007)


Withing the community of Nahá there are many albinos. A frequently noticed problem among albinos is a bad eyesight. Bad eyesight is a problem within a traditional community like that of the Lacandones, because they do not have all the needed correcting eyeglasses at their disposal. To offer the children with albinism a better future, the Na Bolom foundation started a special campaign in November 1996. This campaign would make sure that the needed eyeglasses would be available. Although eyeglasses are not enough to completely correct the visual defects of albinos, the children say that a new world has appeared before them.

After my last visit I decided to continue this project. In March 2007 we arrived at Nahá with 130 glasses. The correcting glasses will be measured by an optician (through Na Bolom) and divided among the Lacandones. The sunglasses were given to the albino children directly after arrival. Especially Bol (see photo) was very proud with his new sunglasses.

As a gift for the local school, we have brought an entire suitcase with pens and papers. The school in Nahá was opened in 1996. The children learn how to read, write and how to do some simple sums in arithmetic. There is one small nursery school and a building with two classrooms, one for the very young children and one for the older children. The only teacher in the village (temporarily placed by the Mexican government) teaches a class every other day (until 14:00 hours). On days that the children do not have lessons, they will have to make homework. There is however supervision by an adult.

Although the Lacandones do not live in poverty (especially compared to the average standard in Chiapas) there is a large shortage of pens and papers (it simply is not available).

The children were very glad with their new pens and papers, although they completely forgot them when they saw the new leather soccer balls we have brought!

Without all the generous people who gave glasses, papers and pens, this project would not have been such a success. Through this way I would like to thank all the people who have made a contribution! Especially the DCMR Milieudienst Rijnmond, the Sint Franciscus Gasthuis and the friendly people of www.pennenland.nl