A blind man from Hanoi has been working as a journalist for the past 15 years, a much needed snub to country’s preconceived notions about disabilities.
Hoang Van Ly was born in 1982 with vision loss, a genetic trait he shares with his brother and father.
However, Ly has managed to capture the attention of teachers and friends thanks to his gifted writing which was published in national newspapers and read on radio stations throughout the years studying at Nguyen Dinh Chieu Middle School for the Blind in Hanoi.
“Every time my name appeared on mass media, I felt like my heart was filled with pride and happiness,” Ly recalled the nostalgically.
|A photo of Hoang Van Ly using Braille to produce his works. Photo: Dong Dong / Tuoi Tre|
His hard work paid off when he, along with his schoolmates, released the first edition of their monthly newspaper, Hoa Nang, at Nguyen Dinh Chieu which later, through mass media, was circulated to children across Vietnam.
The positive feedback Hoa Nang received from thousands of students in different Vietnamese regions inspired them to begin contributing their work to the newspaper.
Ly’s the unconditional passion for writing left him spending most of his time composing poems and editing the writing of his collaborators, rather than hanging out with friend, which made his Hoa Nang editorial group seem like a genuine newsroom.
After graduating from a prestigious university in Hanoi, Ly continued to work as a freelancer at Huong Nghiep Va Hoa Nhap (Career Orientation And Association) newspaper and later became a journalist with lots of well-known talk shows on national radio Voice of Vietnam, one of which was Niem Tin Anh Sang (Lights of Hope) for the blind.
He began to form his own production team, took training courses to advance his skills and established Bao Chi Tuong Lai (Future-to-be Journalists), a club for those with disabilities who desired to be journalists.
|Hoang Van Ly still manages to use the computer despite vision loss. Photo: Dong Dong / Tuoi Tre|
Le Huong Giang, a collaborator in Niem Tin Anh Sang, said Ly had never thought of giving up for the past 15 years and always tried to provide readers with best quality works despite his hardship and a lot of pressure coming along the way.
“He was our motivation to keep moving forward no matter how hard it was,” she said.
Ly shared that he had quite a hard time when Niem Tin Anh Sang stopped broadcasting, but the love and support from his family, friends as well as audience did help him overcome the shock to initiate other programs for the blind, especially Dom Dom Studio (Firefly Studio).
“News media is the most effective means of communication; it connects me with the world,” said Hoang Van Ly.