Vision Impairment
(Fuan Nabilan)

Vision Impairment Centre (Fuan Nabilan)

Friends of Same support Fuan Nabilan the Timorese NGO Fundasaun Fuan Nabilan ba Matan aa’t (Shining Light to the Blind Foundation) which is based in Same, East Timor.

Fuan Nabilan works to assist blind and vision impaired people in Timor Leste to improve their daily lives, to achieve their full potential and to participate fully in the development of their young nation.

FN student, Elda Ediana walking

back from school with an integration aide.



for sale

Vision Impaired Same musicians 3rd CD out now - only $10

Fuan Nabilan CD 2, which features 9 songs in Tetum, and 1 in Mambai is also available.

To order CDs email: or phone Esther on 0439 555 291

Cost $10 each, or $15 for both CD’s (plus postage and packaging)

All proceeds go to support the work of NGO Fuan Nabilan ba Matan Aat Education Centre and the blind musicians in Same Timor-Leste.

The 3rd CD contains 8 beautiful songs in Tetum, with 2 bonus songs in Mambai and Indonesian.

Second CD

Third CD

Gioavana (on left) is in her 3rd year of school at St Michael’s (São Miguel) Primary School in Same, with the Fuan Nabilan inclusive education program.

Giovana was born with normal eyesight, but lost the sight in one eye completely after a fall from a height where she received head injuries, which also resulted in damage to the sight in the other, so she has very little vision.

Ediana (on the right) is in her 7th year at St Michael’s primary. She also was born with normal vision but lost her sight completely when she was 2 years old, following an untreated eye infection. Her mother has a mental illness, and the family is poor. At school, both girls study mathematics, science, Portuguese, and physical education.

At Fuan Nabilan, after school and at weekends they learn braille, orientation and mobility, tasks of daily living, and music (guitar, ukulele, drums and singing),and they often sing at community events. Their schoolfriends often come to Fuan Nabilan to do homework with them. Ediana is particularly good at Portuguese. She is often top of her class in oral Portuguese.

She may be able to work as a translator in the future.

Fuan Nabilan student Cerceres sitting exams at school as part of the inclusive education program. Cerceres has very low vision, and uses strong lenses to assist his sight at present.

When his eyesight deteriorates he will be restricted to using braille.

Fernanda is in her second year at St Michael’s Senior Secondary School.

She has a degenerative vision disorder that has deteriorated over time. At present she has no night vision and limited day vision. She is likely to become totally blind. At school she studies Portuguese, English, Science and Mathematics. At Fuan Nabilan she studies braille, music, mobility and orientation, and skills of daily living.

Fernanda likes helping care for the younger children, and also helping with household tasks such as washing clothes. A few years ago the older Fuan Nabilan students went to an institute in Kupang to learn handcrafts. In the photo Fernanda is making a duster from raffia to sell.

Faustino has a mild intellectual disability as well as mild vision impairment. He is happiest when he is outdoors and active, and his favourite activity at school is physical education classes. Like the other students he goes to St Michael’s in the Fuan Nabilan inclusive education program and is in his 4th year at primary school. He is in a class with children who are several years younger, however he gets on well with them. His home life was difficult, as his father was reportedly subject to violent rages related to alcoholism, but Faustino now has a more stable and happy life at Fuan Nabilan.The photo shows Faustino with Florindu, a care assistant at Fuan Nabilan, outside Florindu’s house. Faustino is very helpful collecting firewood, and carrying water, and he’ll undertake the difficult job of climbing coconut trees to cut the coconuts so they fall and can be used. Faustino would like to be a farmer when he grows up.

Jaquel (Ezaquiel) has had low vision from birth, and although he can distinguish broad outlines, he is unable to see well enough to read. He is in the 3rd year of Junior Secondary school at St Michael’s in Same. Jaquel is very musical. He can be heard singing on the 3rd Fuan Nabilan CD.

Jaquel studies mathematics, science, Portuguese and physical education at school, and music, braille, movement and orientation and daily living skills at Fuan Nabilan. He sings and plays guitar, ukulele or drums at community events

Prisca Meluk, graduating with a degree in Biology from UNTL in Nov 2017.

Prisca is starting as a new teacher/care assistant at Fuan Nabilan this year, together with former FoS scholarship student Jonia.

Performing on stage at the Natabora Music Festival

Fuan Nabilan sang at the Boaventura 100 year anniversary festival on 31 Aug 2012. The President and PM attended.

Fuan Nabilan have a massive Outreach tour of areas of Manufahi and Ainaru, from Ainaro areas such as Hatudo through to Weleluhu and other villages in Fatebelihu. They organised and paid for this themselves, with some money that Joaquim got for some work he had done. They were overwhelmed with the number of vision impaired people. They wish to carry this on, but require more funding.

Below are photos from the the Outreach Tour

Ainaro District Crossing

Joanna Training

Bela and Rita sitting on one of the folding beds kindly donated by the Lions Club of Boroondara Central. Until now they had to sleep on mattresses on the floor. The beds are stored away during the day.

Fuan Nabilan

"Many thanks to the Boroondara Central Lions Club for funding the very sturdy fence that keeps stray animals out ( cows, pigs.goats and poultry) that destroyed the Fuan Nabilan vegetable crops in the past. The large vegetable garden will greatly improve the children's nutrition".

Above are photographs of Fuan Nabilan students, Fernanda and Giovana weeding and watering in the Fuan Nabilan garden. At present they are growing chinese cabbage, bok choi, leaf amaranth and tomatoes. They'll be planting corn and cassava as well.

Fuan Nabilan student Giovana (vision impaired) is pictured watering the garden.

The students are trained to undertake small tasks like this according to their capabilities.

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