Disabled IT icon passes away on New Year's Eve

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Nguyen Cong Hung, an IT specialist well known for helping disabled brethren with free training and courses, passed away suddenly on Monday (December 31) afternoon while on a business trip from Ho Chi Minh City to Vinh Long Province.

Hung was 30.

The Dan Tri newspaper reported Wednesday that his family and the charity IT center Nghi Luc Song (The Will to Live), where he was the director, told local media that the death occurred around 4 p.m. They also said that they have yet to know the reason for his sudden death.

Hung was born into a poor family in Nghi Loc District in the north-central province of Nghe An and contracted to polio when he was just two. He quit school when he was in grade seventh due to the severe pain which typically accompanies polio.

His emaciated 20-kilogram body confined to a wheelchair, it took Hung two years to teach himself how to work with computers. Eventually, he became knowledgeable enough to instruct others in the field.

He established the Joining Hands club in 2003 to provide computer training to its disabled members.

In 2004, he was appointed director of the Cong Hung IT and Foreign Language Humanitarian Training Center by the Science, Production and Development Association for the Central Region. In 2008, the center's name was changed to The Will to Live Center, based in Hanoi.

The center has provided over 500 handicapped people with the opportunity to confidently integrate into mainstream society. The beneficiaries have found jobs after undergoing free computing training, as well as training in language and soft skills.

He was awarded the 2005 IT Knight title by Vietnamese magazine e-Chip for his dedication to empowering others to overcome obstacles in life. A year later, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union named Hung one of the country's most outstanding youths.

Hung was also honored for his volunteer work in 2011 by the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union and the United Nations Volunteers, a UN program.

"I feel happy when spreading to several handicapped people the will to live, courage to rise up powerfully in order to prove that they can be incomplete but are not useless," Hung once told the Tien Phong newspaper.

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