Free class teaches the deaf to paint and share

A free painting class opened by painters in HCM City teaches the hearing-impaired people a skill and gives them confidence.

 The money they earn from selling their paintings not only helps support themselves but also other disabled people.

Hear.Us.Now offers English lessons to hearing-impaired
Father teaches deaf daughter how to speak

Free class teaches the deaf to paint and share
COME ONE, COME ALL: The free painting class of Mekong Art Club has more than 20 participants of different ages from different provinces. The youngest student is just 17 years old while the oldest is nearly 65. Photo kenh14.vn


There is a special painting class held every weekend in HCM City, with no tuition fees, no lectures and no talking between the students and the teachers. Instead, they communicate by body language and the only sound that fills the room is the sound of colours.

“There is no sound in the world of the deaf,” says painter Bich Ngan about her small classroom.

“My lecture can't be heard and sometimes I can't understand their sign language. However, the teachers and the students have a strange mutual understanding through art. Colour is also a kind of sound, helping the painter confide their innermost feelings that are unspeakable,” she adds.

Launched in March 2017 with a few members, now the free painting class of Mekong Art Club has more than 20 participants of different ages from different provinces. The youngest student is just 17 years old while the oldest is nearly 65.

“I was moved to witness many hearing-impaired children giving signals in public to ask for help. Then I thought I had to do something. Fortunately, they know how to read and write so I suggested they learn how to paint. If they were interested, they could go to my workshop and I would teach them how to paint,” recalls painter Van Y.

The biggest barrier is communication. The teachers and students have to communicate with pens and papers and if the teachers want to lecture, they have to write on the board while the students have to write on paper if they want to ask anything.

The teachers have also gradually learned sign language to pass the knowledge to their students more easily.

“Life is fair. If a person has their voice and sound taken by God, they will be endowed with another gift, and for the students of my class, it is the gift for colours,” Ngan says.

The improvement and creativity of each student often surprise the teacher.

“Many ordinary people sometimes could not paint as beautifully as them,” the painter says.

Job opportunities

Job opportunities for the disabled and the hearing impaired in particular are hard to come by. Most of the jobs on offer are manual or handicraft work with low salary, which are likely to offer little self-esteem.

“Our initial aim is to teach them a job. We do not expect them to get rich but at least, to become more confident and erase the complex that they are a burden to society,” Ngan says.

Free class teaches the deaf to paint and share
FOCUS: Painter Van Y, the founder of the free painting class, teaches deaf students painting. Photo kenh14.vn
 


Even though both Y and Ngan have encountered many challenges in maintaining the class, they still try to create the best environment for their students.

“Opening the class was easy, but maintaining it is particularly difficult. Honestly, we teachers are not well-off, and sometimes we have to make ends meet to have expenses to purchase the colours, brushes and then to cover the students’ meals or outdoor painting trips,” the teacher says.

They teach without tuition fees, spend their own money to manage the class and have overcome many difficulties, but Van and Y have never thought of giving up, as they get great happiness when seeing their students improve and take care of each other.

The teachers and the students’ efforts have paid off. In 2018, the painters have been able to earn a living by selling their works.

“In the past, I did not think that I could paint such paintings,” says student Gia Huy in sign language. “After being instructed by teacher Y, now I feel proud of my paintings, even though they are not truly excellent but sufficient to convey my speech.”

Though many outstanding works of the students have been sold and their income has improved, the teachers do not consider money the ultimate purpose of the painting class.
“The initial purpose is to help them become more confident and overcome the complex about their handicap. Now they have become much confident in their self and not being a burden for society anymore,” Y says.

Free class teaches the deaf to paint and share
Painter Ngan has taught at the free painting class since its early days. Photo kenh14.vn

Half of the money collected from selling the paintings is kept by the students, 25 per cent is to maintain the class and the rest is used to help other disabled people.

“At first the students did not support the idea because they reckoned that they were handicapped and unfortunate people in society. They argued that if society didn't share with them, why should they share with society,” Ngan explains.

“Expecting them to learn more about other unfortunate plights, I contacted the Association of the Blind in Phan Thiet City in the central province of Binh Thuan and asked for permission to allow the deaf to directly present gifts to the blind.

“When they held hands, despite being unable to hear or see each other, they still can feel and communicate via their hearts,” the teacher says.

Free class teaches the deaf to paint and share
GIVING BACK: By selling their paintings, the deaf painters can earn a living and share with other unfortunate handicapped people. Photo kenh14.vn


After that meeting, the students changed their minds. They understood that at least they have legs to run, hands to paint and eyes to contemplate the beautiful world. They have realised that losing the voice doesn't mean losing everything.

“The students have received support from the teachers so they should also learn how to share with others. We receive and then we give, that’s the way of life,” she adds. VNS

By Toan Nguyen

Free class for poor students at Long Cat Pagoda

Free class for poor students at Long Cat Pagoda

Abbess Thich Nu Duc Thinh of Long Cat Pagoda has overcome many challenges, but still insists that her role is to create a better future for poor children.

 
 

Other News

.
Vietnamese students in Australia struggle amid pandemic
Vietnamese students in Australia struggle amid pandemic
FEATUREicon  21/04/2020 

Vu Binh may return to Vietnam before getting his master's degree certificate from Australia’s Queensland University of Technology (QTU) as commencement has been indefinitely delayed.

Intellectuals respond for Southern Liberation
Intellectuals respond for Southern Liberation
FEATUREicon  20/04/2020 

The 1970s was a time of huge significance in Vietnamese history, not least for the generation who responded to the movement 'Putting away pens to go to the battle'.

Solar power to boom after Decision 13
Solar power to boom after Decision 13
FEATUREicon  20/04/2020 

Decision No.13/2020/QD-TTg on encouraging mechanisms for solar power development in Vietnam sets the deadline of December 31 for solar systems of any scale to attain a certificate of delivery and enjoy the feed-in tariff 2 (FiT2) rate, 

Loan policy a true juggling act
Loan policy a true juggling act
FEATUREicon  20/04/2020 

The health crisis has led to huge demand for capital for Vietnam to fuel domestic production activities and medical treatment. 

OTT takes advantage of cinema slump
OTT takes advantage of cinema slump
FEATUREicon  20/04/2020 

National social distancing measures are dragging CGV and other cineplexes down, causing substantital losses.

A catalyst for digital change
A catalyst for digital change
FEATUREicon  20/04/2020 

There is no time when speed matters more than when a pandemic strikes, and what is unfolding with the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide speaks volumes to this. 

Evolving demand and supply chain norms
Evolving demand and supply chain norms
FEATUREicon  20/04/2020 

In early February, in the minds of most of us, COVID-19 was still a China-specific problem. Yet, the strict lockdown imposed early in China generated rapidly unprecedented chaos in global supply chains. 

COVID-19: VN earns accolades for punching above its weight
COVID-19: VN earns accolades for punching above its weight
FEATUREicon  17/04/2020 

As the global number of COVID-19 cases surpasses the two million milestone, Vietnam has started to receive international accolades for its all-out efforts that have managed to keep its tally considerably low given its close proximity to China.

The unsung warriors amid the COVID-19 pandemic
The unsung warriors amid the COVID-19 pandemic
FEATUREicon  17/04/2020 

The light in the lab of the Hanoi Centre for Disease Control (CDC) hasn’t been off for a second since March 6.

Expat brings people together while keeping a distance
Expat brings people together while keeping a distance
FEATUREicon  16/04/2020 

As social distancing continues to take its toll on residents obliging by the rules, one expat English teacher has decided to use the time to good effect.

Coronavirus pandemic: Tracking the global outbreak
Coronavirus pandemic: Tracking the global outbreak
FEATUREicon  16/04/2020 

Key maps and charts explaining how the respiratory virus has spread around the world and how it is being dealt with.

VN economy has shifted to a new state: senior expert
VN economy has shifted to a new state: senior expert
FEATUREicon  20/04/2020 

Vietnam’s economy continues to obtain high growth rate, but Covid-19 has upset all the key tasks and goals of the government and local authorities at different levels.

The economic front needs stronger weapons
The economic front needs stronger weapons
FEATUREicon  20/04/2020 

As businesses and people need emergency aid, former director of the Central Institute of Economic Management (CIEM) Nguyen Dinh Cung believes that the implementation of economic relief solutions needs to be organized in a quick and inexpensive way.

Architect graduate looks small to go big
Architect graduate looks small to go big
FEATUREicon  16/04/2020 

While studying at university to become an architect, Ha An, owner and chief creative figure of the Hanoi-based Veene Studio, probably dreamed of designing grand houses and epic constructions.

Feline cafe is winning the hearts of Hanoians
Feline cafe is winning the hearts of Hanoians
FEATUREicon  17/04/2020 

When children turn into adults they have many important decisions to make that will shape their entire life.

Organic mushroom grower finding stable customers
Organic mushroom grower finding stable customers
FEATUREicon  14/04/2020 

Nguyen Anh Vo, CEO of Nấm Xanh (Green Mushroom) Farm, has applied his school knowledge to find a stable consumption market. 

Service providers in Vietnam quickly adapt to COVID-19 pandemic
Service providers in Vietnam quickly adapt to COVID-19 pandemic
FEATUREicon  14/04/2020 

Virtual kitchen, tech fitness at home and others are among the business models going online during the stay-at-home period.

Shifting to medical face masks not very fruitful on long term
Shifting to medical face masks not very fruitful on long term
FEATUREicon  14/04/2020 

Switching to face mask production may not yield long-term benefits as the COVID-19 pandemic should last no more than two years based on previous epidemics.

EVFTA remains guiding light in mitigating trade depletion
EVFTA remains guiding light in mitigating trade depletion
FEATUREicon  13/04/2020 

The European Union entry ban on its wide borders comes in a crucial year for Vietnamese exporters to the EU, leading to the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement to become ever more important for both sides in the year to come.    

World watches as China moves ahead on economic chessboard
World watches as China moves ahead on economic chessboard
FEATUREicon  13/04/2020 

China is beginning to offer a glimpse into the near future for some countries, as the economic superpower tries to pick itself back up slowly following major lockdowns in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN