For 38 years GENEVIEVE CAULFIELD has befriended the
blind in Japan, then Thailand and now in Vietnam, sharing with all she met the deep
conviction of man's brotherhood and the "kingdom within" which led her across
Blind from infancy, she taught herself to live like other people, to be independent and
useful. Prompted by an example of prejudice stemming from ignorance of another people's
way of life, she decided at the age of 17 to contribute to international understanding by
learning to know the Japanese while helping their blind.
For 15 years she prepared for this undertaking, surmounting countless obstacles that would
have daunted a less determined voyager. Qualifying as a teacher of English, she did
practice teaching of the blind, proved she could earn a living and move about alone.
Arriving in Japan in 1923, she first lived with Japanese families to learn their customs
and language. Supporting herself by teaching English, she also trained blind people to
read Braille. After the close of World War II, she returned to Japan to help school the
adult blind and other physically handicapped.
When she learned that those without sight in Thailand were considered useless, she spared
no effort until there had been created a Bangkok School for the Blind. Financed partly
from her own savings when it was opened in 1938, the School now is well-established and
has won regular government and private support. Refusing repatriation, she kept classes
going throughout the war and now gives vocational training and helps pupils find suitable
An invitation from the Government of Vietnam led to her most recent effort for the blind;
the opening of an elementary school for the sightless in Saigon in 1958. It is now being
enlarged to include a rehabilitation center for boys.
Over the years she has made periodic lecture tours in the United States, sharing with her
countrymen the understanding that is the fruit of affectionate labors. Now at the age of
73 a commuter between three Asian countries, she continues to support herself by teaching
English, while working with the blind.
In electing GENEVIEVE CAULFIELD to receive the 1961 Ramon Magsaysay Award for
International Understanding, the Board of Trustees recognizes her international
citizenship and guidance to full and useful lives of those in other lands afflicted like