WBU-AP(Senior group) Fine Work
“Braille - The Light Of My Life”
Vietnam Pham Thi Thuy(24/Female)

I was born into a poor farming family in Chau Pho town, in the mountainous district of Huong Son, in the province of Ha Tinh.I grew up with five brothers and
sisters during the period when every family was being affected by hunger and deprivation.Like all other parents, my father and mother had to work hard so that we children could go to school.
The deprivation of my family was worsened when my father had an accident and lost his capacity to work.So my mother had to shoulder the hard work alone and she grew thin with worries for the family.But she carried on bravely so that we children could continue our schooling.
When I was in secondary school, I began to cherish the dream of becoming an English teacher.I longed to be able to teach other poor students how to communicate in this language.This led me to enroll in the Department of Foreign Languages at the Teachers' College in Ha Tinh province.I studied hard so as not to betray my mother's love and hard work for the sake of her children and I passed the examination.
Unfortunately, just as my boat of knowledge was going to land at the harbour, fate dealt an unjust hand in my life - I was struck by an infectious disease and my eyes became opaque.My family had to borrow money in order to help me find a cure.But all their efforts were in vain and the bright light in my eyes grew gradually dimmer and dimmer.
After graduating from college, I was able to stand on the podium for a period of only two months; My eyes were growing too dim so that I had to leave my job.I was caught up in a state of hopelessness and emotional despair.Everyday I confined myself to my room and I would not meet with or talk to anyone.My bright future had suddenly turned to dust and ashes and I no longer had the purpose to exist.I was caught in an impasse of depression and inferiority complex.
Then, one day, fortune suddenly came my way again.Some people paid me a visit and I discovered that they were the leaders in the Blind Association.They gave me much encouragement and invited me to become a member of the Association.As I made friends with other people who had the same disability as me, I felt greatly revived.My despair and inferiority complex were gradually being replaced by hope and a new faith in life.
I took up a course in Braille and did well.I felt a strange attraction to the tiny dots that formed the Braille cell.I spent a lot of my time reading and writing the Braille letters.I did not give up even when my hands were weary with fatigue and I suffered from a stressful headache.As a result, after two months of training, I had no problem writing Braille and I could read fluently.I was ready to become a Braille teacher.
During my leisure time, I enjoyed reading the magazine of the Vietnam Blind Association known as "New Life".The magazine helped me to know and understand the guidelines and policies of the Communist Party, the Government and the Blind Association.I also learnt much about the activities of the provincial Blind Associations and I was inspired by the experiences of other blind people.
My spiritual life was enriched by the many short stories that I read in the Braille Newspaper and Braille books.I gained very useful knowledge on farming techniques from a Braille book that I read and I told my family how we could put the techniques into practice.And so we bought cattle and poultry and they grew rapidly, thereby bringing great improvements to our economy.
At the Blind Association, I had the opportunity to take up Vocational and Management Courses.Besides class materials, I also read widely as many documents as I could from other sources.Thus, I always got good marks for every test.
Then I became a collaborator for the Blind Association's magazine.I actively gathered information so that I could write articles for the central and local newspapers.
Although my eyes cannot see, the light of Braille burns brilliantly in my mind.With the help of Braille, a blind person can choose to be a Musician, a Writer or a Leader.As for me, the biggest success that Braille has brought me is the revival in faith and new energy to live.I am thankful for the Vietnam Blind Association which has brought the light of Braille into my life and dispelled the darkness forever.
I switch on the radio and the hilarious lyrics in the song, "I Learn Braille" by Le Tiep ring in my ears:
"The sunrise is bright,
Our life is more happiness,
And Braille chases away the darkness".
Now I can sail away from the harbour with a poem that I was inspired to write:
"Another spring is coming my way again,
The drizzling rain is at an end
And there's no more pain,
The clouds are gradually disappearing
Without trace,
And the bright sunlight of summer shines
Brightly on my radiant face".


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