Chau Tang Phong, a resident in Cang Long District in the southern Vietnamese province of Tra Vinh, does not let his blindness keep him from climbing coconut trees to provide for his wife and children.
Born to a poor family, Phong’s difficult life began when chickenpox caused him to lose sight in one eye at the age of one. At 15 years old, a serious injury involving a tree branch left him blind in his other eye.
While many might have given up on themselves, Phong chose not to surrender to his disability and instead tried to make the best use possible out of his hands and legs.
After years of practice and patience, Phong mastered the art of climbing coconut trees to harvest their fruit and earn a meager income.
Using this special skill, he is able to earn enough money to support his wife, children, and grandfather. Local residents often help by employing Phong to gather the coconuts, ensuring some profit for the day.
On average, Phong earns VND120,000 (US$5.5) each day, an income barely enough to cover his family’s necessities. The man and his wife have also begun delivering coconuts to local cafeterias to supplement their income.
Although his life is still full of difficulties, Phong is living happily with his small family.