Nguyen Van Vong is physically impaired but he is a shining example of will and determination to overcome obstacles and hardships to realize his dream of becoming a good citizen and contributing to the development of society.
Hardships and challenges
Like any disabled person, Vong had to face many hardships and challenges. The 33-year-old had paralysis fever at the age of nine, causing significant muscle weakness and impaired movement. Since then, he has been bound to a wheelchair. His father died when Vong was still small, so he had to rely on his mother for all his daily activities.
After graduating from the Information Technology Department of Vinh University, Vong and his mother moved to HCMC in search of new job opportunities and a better life. They rented a small room.
Before the fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic came, Vong worked as an admin for a food fan page on Facebook and then took charge of accounting at a company. Meanwhile, his mother picked up waste bottles and did housework for a living. Vong’s mother also wheeled him to work every day. Vong always considers his mother’s sacrifices a motivation for him to keep making efforts and moving forward.
However, Covid-19 social distancing and lockdowns made Vong and his mother jobless. Since then, life has become tougher for them and they have had to rely mainly on donations from generous persons.
Worse still, he was recently diagnosed with kidney stones, worsening his health.
A journey to realize his dreams
Despite numerous shortcomings, Vong always made the utmost effort to overcome his physical shortcomings with his strong will, his mother’s endless love and encouragement from people around him.
With support from teachers and friends, Vong finished his primary and high school though it took him 16 years to enter university.
Besides majoring in information technology, Vong practiced English on his own every day in the hope that he would receive a scholarship from the Australian Government one day and because he believed English would be useful for his career.
As Vong could not afford to take English classes at any foreign language center or even a regular English class, resisting daily physical pains, he studied English on the internet in his neat, hot and humid room.
His efforts finally paid off when he got a 5.0 for his IELTS test and was eligible to file an application for the Australia Awards Scholarships.
However, Vong admitted that his English speaking skills are pretty weak as he does not have much chance to practice and hopes to find someone to speak with.
Besides his wish to find a job, get a scholarship and have money for his treatment, Vong also dreams of setting up a company where disabled persons like him can earn a living and become useful in their families and society.
Vong shared that one of the biggest difficulties faced by the disabled in Vietnam is that they can hardly access the infrastructure and services independently. Most buildings, pavements and public transport are not friendly to the disabled, he said.
Therefore, he hoped the Government would develop services and infrastructure supporting the disabled.
“You cannot always change the situation but you can change your attitude,” is Vong’s motto, which he always bears in mind when faced with difficulties.
Despite many obstacles ahead, Vong believes that his continuous efforts will pay off and that he will realize his dreams one day. Despite undergoing hardships in life, he will be persistent in his journey to become a good citizen in society, a son with gratitude for his mother and a shining example and inspiration for the youth.