Title ID 9234Collection ID1123
TitleBlind Farmers of the Sarawak
Genre/TypeProfessionalFilm/Video companyNon-fictionFundraising
ThemeRural Life Working Life
KeywordsCharities Communities Disabled Persons Ethnic Groups Farming Handicrafts Health Services Music Passenger Vehicles Trades
LocalSarawak Kuching
NationalMalaysia Asia
ProductionA. Gordon Smith
DirectorA. Gordon Smith
ProducerA. Gordon Smith
Commissioning bodyRoyal Commonwealth Society for the Blind
Funding bodyRoyal Commonwealth Society for the Blind
NarratorUnknown; Ronald Babonau (?)
ParticipantsThe Sarawak Society for the Blind; Ronald A. Babonau
Format16mm Colour Sound
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


This colour documentary film highlights the work of the the Royal Training Centre for the Blind offering rural farm skills training to blind farmers in Kuching, Sarawak. The training is supervised by 'Ronnie Babonau' under the Freedom from Hunger campaign. Funds come from the local Sarawak association for the Blind and The Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind. The film has opening and closing titles with a voiceover narrative throughout and some music.


The film shows 'life' at the centre, with trainees preparing meals, playing musical instruments and learning traditional craft skills so that they can provide for themselves and/or their families. Skills include making rope, baskets and repairing fishing nets and hats for working in the fields. The trainees are taught reading and writing in Braille and traditional crop farming techniques, which includes the preparation of the land and the methods for making compost.

The film includes a red Volkswagen (VW) camper van being used as a mobile eye unit, donated to the RCSB.


A still from The Unseen Valley (1962)

Contextual information

Mr Ronald A. Babonau was the secretary for the South Western Branch of the National Institute for the Blind, UK in the 1950s. Source: Cornishman, 1950. County Organiser for Blind Retires. Cornishman. Thursday 7th September, p4.

Related resources


Blind Farmers of Sarawak (1965)

Further information can be seen on the BFI Explore Film & TV page with cast and credits