Visually impaired students explore Khao Yai National Park

Photo courtesy of KhaoSod

In a remarkable display of inclusion and environmental appreciation, nearly 30 visually impaired students, accompanied by sighted peers, embarked on an educational trek through the lush trails of Khao Yai National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Thailand.

The event, yesterday March 12, titled Friends Lead Friends (Blind) Through Khao Yai Forest, entered its second year, symbolising a growing commitment to ensure that all children, regardless of physical limitations, have the opportunity to connect with nature.

The heartwarming scene unfolded at the park’s entrance in Moo Si Subdistrict, Pak Chong District, where the students from the Khao Yai (Mukdahan) School for the Blind were paired with 30 of their sighted counterparts from Ban Klong Due School. The sighted students acted as buddies, providing subtle guidance and support as the group navigated a 33-kilometre nature trail through the park’s vast wilderness.

The initiative was a collaborative effort between the Khao Yai Love Club, the Khao Yai Tourism Association, the local restaurant operators association, and national park authorities, who were joined by a contingent of 80 international tourists.

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Chaiya Huayhongthong, the head of Khao Yai National Park, along with Rithichai Kaengsuennue, president of the Khao Yai Love Club, and other local leaders and volunteers, orchestrated this unique educational experience. It not only provided a platform for the visually impaired students to learn about their natural surroundings but also facilitated a mutual learning experience between them and their sighted peers.

These encounters fostered a sense of camaraderie and empathy, as the children aided each other in navigating the forest, reported KhaoSod.

Visually impaired students explore Khao Yai National Park | News by Thaiger
Photo courtesy of KhaoSod

Rithichai revealed that the initiative, now in its second year, intentionally involved sighted volunteers, including international tourists, who served as guides for the blind students. He emphasised the dual benefits of the program: it allowed the visually impaired students to immerse themselves in nature and also offered them a chance to practice English conversation skills with the visiting foreigners.

Thailand News

Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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