Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — The photobook Life and Ambitions featuring the daily struggles, hopes and dreams of a sightless singer who wishes to have a normal life was launched in HCM City, with the aim of empowering sightless people to conquer the challenges they face.
The book’s co-authors and collaborators were Phạm Nguyễn Huy, founder of Lighthouse Vietnam, a student-led non-profit organisation, Hà Văn Đông, a sightless singer and music teacher at Crescendo Music Centre, and photographer Ân Nguyễn.
Huy said he admired Đông’s perseverance, dedication and passion for music, and above all, his ability to assert his independence.
He also learned that Đông, like many other sightless individuals in Việt Nam, hoped for nothing more than the ability to lead a normal life on his own terms like everyone else.
“Many schools for the blind around the country do their best to care for and train the sightless in order to help them become self-reliant. However, in the face of discrimination and prejudice, these individuals may recoil and isolate themselves from the outside world to avoid being hurt,” he said.
Huy felt that Đông’s story had to be disseminated after witnessing the isolation that children in blind schools experienced.
Not only did he wish to inspire the general public, but he also wanted to give hope to sightless individuals who may have felt ostracized and secluded by their disability.
Huy convinced Đông to create a biography that could be easily accessible to the sightless and sighted alike. So, along with Vietnamese and English texts, a Braille version of Đông’s biography is also available.
Đông said he wanted everyone to know that sightless people can do things that the sighted can do, and that people should create a more harmonious and inclusive environment for them to promote their abilities.
He hopes his story will help sightless people think in more positive ways as well as give them hope and encouragement to find a way to lead independent lives.
The photobooks, printed on glossy, high-grade paper, are packaged in a colorfully designed box.
The books are not for commercial sale. Three-hundred photobooks will be donated to the Nguyễn Đình Chiểu School for Blind Children, and the Nhật Hồng and Thiên Ân Centres for the Blind. — VNS