Finding Hope in Music

July 7, 2016 • Vietnam
A blind student in Vietnam plays the drums
Vu Hoang Trung is a blind student enrolled in Samaritan’s Purse music classes in Vietnam.

When I became aware that I couldn’t see the world, I felt dissatisfied with life. I always wondered why I had to suffer. I found refuge in music; songs and melodies lit up the darkness deep in my pained heart.

The first time I heard the sound of the keyboard was when I took part in activities at Bac Ninh Province Blind Association at the age of 10. The seeds of my passion for music were sown then, but they couldn’t germinate because I couldn’t afford music classes.

Vietnamese School for the Blind

Vu Hoang Trung

It wasn’t until 2009, when I was studying in the second grade at Nguyen Dinh Chieu School, that I was introduced to a keyboard class funded by Samaritan’s Purse. During the first days, I learned to play keyboard, but I struggled with the finger positions and coordination. Playing a musical instrument is difficult for a person with sight, let alone a visually-impaired person who cannot observe his teacher’s hand positions; I have to imagine them through my teacher’s description.

I’m now a deputy leader of my school’s folk music band. It’s my pleasure to contribute to the performances receiving visitors to our school, performances on special occasions, and music contests. I will never forget one music contest in which we took part. Due to the absence of one member in my music band, I had to play drum on my keyboard, which was not my strength. Despite this difficult situation, we won the gold medal in the contest. It’s an unforgettable memory.

I will be 24 next year. I’m going to graduate from the junior high school soon.  I’m pondering over my future journey: whether I should take entry exams to the music institute or teach myself keyboard while working as a masseur. Although the upcoming turn in the road remains shrouded, I believe that there will always be kind-hearted people who will encourage and assist me as Samaritan’s Purse has. I can see hope glowing ahead.

Vietnam Projects Samaritan’s Purse has been working to better the lives of Vietnamese families since 1996. Our teams are focused on supporting maternal and child health, especially during pregnancy; preventing child abuse and human trafficking; and providing educational and vocational opportunities for vulnerable and disabled children. We also have projects focused on clean water, agriculture, and livelihoods, as well as disaster response.

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