What activities do you want to engage in after you retire? For those who didn’t have a hobby, they may end up finding their days boring, spending time mostly on sleeping, watching television or being grumpy. But Dang Dam Tuan, a Vietnamese army veteran, tried to stay active and energetic after retiring from the military service. He found his days interesting and rewarding, not because of traveling or going to the gym, but by discovering new adventures and new joys that could last for the rest of his life: taking care of his family, and learning new things by participating in the computer training program at an ADOC.
Dang Dam Tuan spent his youth as a serviceman in the Viet Nam People’s Army. He could not spend much time at home because of his military career. Therefore, after retiring from the army, he committed himself to his family, especially taking care of his two grandchildren. Looking after these two kids gave him tremendous joy, and brought him on an unexpected journey: learning computer skills.
His wife bought a computer for their grandchildren. It didn’t take long for the kids to break the computer and render it inoperative. His wife came to him and asked him to fix the computer, but he couldn’t do anything because he knew nothing about computers. At that moment, he realized that he had entered a new era of the digital revolution, in which computers and the Internet have become indispensable in the daily life of many people. He consequently felt bad about himself for lagging behind the trend.
Although many senior people feel that the digital devices are too complicated to learn and refuse to adapt to new technology, Dang Dam Tuan, however, had a different perspective and mindset. He understood the importance of learning basic computer skills in the current digital age. Now that he had the will, he needed to find the way. He asked friends and relatives to find out where he could learn computer skills. Before long, one of his relatives told him about the ADOC, an institute that provides small businesses and individuals, especially women, youth and disadvantaged, the training on basic information and communications technology skills and e-commerce practices.
At his first visit to the center, Dang Dam Tuan was so impressed by ADOC’s clean facilities, modern computers and Internet access that he registered for the courses right on the spot. Dang Dam Tuan was happy with the courses. “The teachers were so enthusiastic and reassured me that I would soon know all about computers,” he said. After only three months of training, he already knew the basics, such as how to install and configure the operating system and how to use Microsoft Word and other application programs.
Most importantly, he also learned how to use the Internet to get online to collect information when helping his grandchildren with their homework. “Thanks to the ADOC project, I have confidence in fixing the computer at home whenever the kids break it or if there is an error,” he said. “I no longer fear this new technology and have found a way to bond with my grandchildren, compensating for all those years I was away from them.”
Since ADOC was established in Viet Nam in 2005, more than 100,000 people have benefitted from its computer training programs. Dang Dam Tuan is among the beneficiaries, who have received new skills and opportunities from the center to build up their confidence in using technology. This acquired confidence is another great joy that he has received durig his retirement. The ADOC project has helped him bridge the technology gap between him and his grandkids and further helped him to better connect with them.