Children with a range of disabilities demonstrated at a cultural programme in HCM City on April 16 that they have the skills and abilities to perform activities that seem beyond their capabilities.

Students of the Hy Vong (Hope) Dumb and Deaf School No 1 in District 1, for instance, performed a dance named Que Huong Ba Mien (Vietnam's Three Regions) although they cannot hear music.

The audience was surprised at the sense of rhythm and grace showed by the children of sixth and seventh grade.

Nguyen Thi Thanh Hang, who guided the dancing group, said that it took a lot of time to practise and perform the item. Hang and her colleagues used sign language to guide the children to dance according to the right rhythm, she said.

"It was not easy for them," Hang said, adding they were very patient and worked very hard.

The children were performing at the annual Light and Belief programme organised by the Nhung Uoc Mo Xanh (The Green Dreams) group of volunteers from the Vietnam Youth Federation.

Children with other disabilities like visual impairment and Down syndrome added to the fun and gaiety of the morning, performing songs with equal fluency in Vietnamese and English, expressed their hopes and ambitions as well as their joy.

Nguyen Thi Duc Dung of the Nhat Hong Shelter for blind children in Binh Thanh district said that her wards enjoyed such programmes to the hilt.

She expressed gratitude to the organisations that made it possible for such children to have a good time.

Le Chanh Thuan, a second grade student of the Nguyen Dinh Chieu School for the Blind, said that he felt everyone's love and care for him and children like him during the programme.

He hoped that more such programmes are held in order to help children like him to have the chance to meet and dance and sing together.

Thuan shared with pride the news that he had won a scholarship worth 500,000 VND.

"I will give this money to my school's teachers so that they can use the money to care for my schoolmates," he said, adding that he will try his best to continue to get scholarships in the future.

Besides Thuan, 59 other children of other schools and shelters received the scholarship, including: the Hy Vong School for Dumb and Deaf Children No 1 in District 1; Tuong Lai School in District 5; and the Nhat Hong Shelter for Blind Children in Binh Thanh and Thu Duc districts.

More than 300 children with disabilities from the four corners of the city enjoyed a time of great excitement, joy and fun right from the very first item on the programme – a special performance by famous singer and composer Si Luan.

The children then treated the audience to music and dance performances of their own, and also showcased their skills in other art forms.

Pictures, collages and other works done by the children were displayed during the programme.

The annual programme celebrated the Vietnam Day for People with Disabilities that falls on April 18./.