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Vietnam contractor provides lifeline for deaf-mute construction workers

Sunday, December 11, 2016, 14:56 GMT+7
Vietnam contractor provides lifeline for deaf-mute construction workers
Ho Vu Anh Tuan (L) and his eight-man team of deaf and mute construction workers

A contractor in Ho Chi Minh City has recruited and provided a living for a group of construction workers who are deaf and mute people for nearly a decade.

Ho Vu Anh Tuan, a 36-year-old director of a construction company, has not felt any regret after deciding to employ a team of physically challenged workers some seven years ago.

Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters met Tuan at the construction site of a four-story house in District 12 as the man was moving his arms around, trying to instruct the team.

“Despite their disability, they are very skillful. Communication was a challenge at first but we have been able to understand each other over the years,” Tuan said of the workers.

Upon graduation from the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology and Education, Tuan spent three years working before starting his own company, the man said.

During his time working at a construction site in the southern province of Binh Duong, Tuan saw a group of young men dredging a local canal and sewer.

They were working hard but often yelled at and even beaten by their employers whenever they made mistakes, Tuan recalled.

He found out the workers were deaf and mute people before inviting them to work with him without any hesitation.

Two of the disabled workers came to his workplace the following day, Tuan said, adding that the number doubled a week later. There are currently eight of them, who are between 30 and 40 years old.

“They prefer working there thanks to a better salary and environment,” the contractor elaborated.

After finishing their construction in Binh Duong, Tuan and his team continued to do their job at other building sites in Ho Chi Minh City and neighboring provinces.

After about seven years, the two most skilled workers in the group can now earn VND330,000 (US$15) a day while the other members make VND250,000 ($11) daily.

Commitment and dedication

The first days were the hardest, Tuan said, explaining that communication was one of the reasons.

Other colleagues also complained about not being able to talk to the deaf and mute workers as well as their lack of experience in building houses.

“However, Tuan’s commitment and dedication to help the men later changed how we felt about them. We all joined hands to help,” Binh, human resources manager of the firm, said.

“They are now all senior employees. In some ways, the men can even be more skilled and devoted than the rest of us,” a colleague said.

Tuan believed that helping such people is a way to contribute to society.

Aside from being an understanding boss, Tuan also assists the deaf and mute workers in their daily life by helping them find a place to live.

The company director often organizes casual gatherings between the men and their peers on the weekend.

Tuan also opened up about his intention to run a housekeeping service to create jobs for deaf and mute women in Binh Duong.

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