The Vietnam’s day of persons with disability is celebrated on 18 April annually. Today, let’s have a talk with Pham Thi Thanh Van – Partnership and Localisation Specialist to better understand the concept of “Disability Inclusion”, a common term when it comes to persons with disability.
Hello! Thank you for spending time with us. First of all, can you share more details in order for other members of ChildFund Vietnam to gain a more profound insight into disability inclusion?
Hello! Inclusive development is when development activities are inclusive and beneficial to the entire community. Persons with disability are a part of society; therefore, they have all the same human rights as others, namely the right to participate in community, political, and social activities. Persons with disability may fall into the “vulnerable” population; however, they have unique strengths and ideas to which they can contribute to society. They are experts in living with disabilities, they know better than anyone the obstacles they face in their daily lives. Therefore, their participation in the process of tackling disability issues in particular and the economic and social development in general of any country is very important.
Thank you. In your opinion, what are the difficulties and obstacles in the process of promoting disability inclusion?
Some parents are unwilling to share about their child’s disability. They do not want to admit that their child has a disability and needs support. Many families do not let their children with disability go out and play with friends because they are worried that their children can be bullied or injured. Parents will often make decisions for children with disability because they think that their children are not able to do so. Education opportunities for children with disability are also restricted since many people assume that these children cannot attend higher education. Even if persons with disability are not subject to discrimination, they can still be considered pitiful, thus requiring support from others.
In addition, the capacity and understanding of disability inclusion among public service providers is generally limited. Therefore, there are still many challenges for persons with disability to actively participate and integrate in the socio-economic development of the country. There are many different types of disabilities where teachers lack the necessary knowledge or skills to support students with disability, or there is a shortage of people who can interpret the sign language of persons with disability to doctors and other individuals. Even many persons with disability themselves, such as those with hearing impairments, cannot use sign language to communicate.
Pham Thi Thanh Van during Retreat 2022
Many agencies and units lack ramps for persons with disability to use wheelchairs to access. Public transportation is not equipped with wheelchair lifts, whereas sidewalks are challenging for persons with disability to commute.
At ChildFund Vietnam, how activities to promote disability inclusion are being integrated into project activities, can you share with us?
Since 2017, ChildFund Vietnam has been promoting disability inclusion in project design and implementation, as simple as how to get more people with disability to be benefited or participate in project activities. Since 2018, ChildFund Vietnam has prioritized taking concrete strategic steps in promoting disability inclusion such as establishing partnership with organisations of persons with disability. We have also supported the formation and development of self-help groups, as well as integrating principles of disability inclusion into the development of new projects. These efforts have resulted in initial achievements, namely changing the perception of ChildFund Vietnam members and partners, thereby fundamentally enabling us to understand issues of poverty and inequality more coherently instead of being confined to one specific area (intersectional).
We have also supported persons with disability in Na Ri district to develop the Organisation of Persons with Disability in Na Ri, with more than 100 members and is recognized and supported by the local government. ChildFund Vietnam is also promoting initiatives to strengthen the capacity of groups and organisations of persons with disability so that they can gradually become more independent in tackling issues related to persons with disability in the area. Education is an area where we have had many early successes. The introduction and training of teachers to develop and implement individual education plans for students with disability is being implemented, thus helping more students with disability to have more learning opportunities and getting more community and parent involvement.
Thank you very much for your sharing today!
Last April, Do Duong Hien (Online Safety Specialist – Hanoi Office) and Nguyen Manh Cuong (Project Officer – Hoa Binh Office), participated in organising a TOT training on online safety for ChildFund Cambodia’s core team and partners, thereby sharing ChildFund Vietnam’s experiences with other countries.
Attending the training course were 24 individuals, including Child Protection Officers and Swipe Safe Project Officers in Cambodia, the Women’s Union, and other agencies specialising in child protection Cambodia. Through the training sessions, the members knew how to use manuals and tools to organise training classes for children, parents, and child protection workers. All attendees highly valued practical experiences of ChildFund Vietnam. Due to the nature of the project, many technology-related issues such as device management, device connection, practices and forms of communication were also discussed enthusiastically by participants.
The workshop “Mobilising resources for the first 1,000 day-approach for bright future” conducted in Bac Kan province
News by: Luc Huy Chung – Project Officer
On 6 April, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in Bac Kan province cooperated with ChildFund Vietnam in organising a workshop “Mobilising resources…………”
The event “Celebrating Vietnam Day of Persons with Disability 18 April & Meeting excellent role models of people with disability”
News by: Hoang Van Hung – Project Coordinator
On 18 April, within the framework of the project “My Right to Education” phase 2, the Organisation of People with Disability in Na Ri………..
On 18 April, within the framework of the project “My Right to Education” phase 2, the Organisation of People with Disability in Na Ri collaborated with the Vietnam Youth Union of Bac Kan province in organising the event “Celebrating Vietnam Day of Persons with Disability 18 April – Shining the Will of Vietnam & Meeting excellent role models of people with disability in 2023”.
Participants of the event were more than 100 delegates who are people with disability and people without disability in Na Ri district, along with 65 excellent role models of people with disability in 2023 in Bac Kan province.
A variety of activities were conducted during the event, including health check-ups and consultations, and talks with excellent role models of people with disability in Bac Kan province. Besides, meaningful gifts were also given to people with disability who have been contributing to promoting inclusive education in the province.
The event received a positive response from the community. Excellent role models of people with disability have become an inspiration for many other people across the country. This is also an opportunity to raise community awareness about disability and motivate people with disability to overcome difficulties.
The Workshop “First feedback on promoting language development for ethnic minority children through experiences and games”
News by: Dinh Thi Thu Ha – Project Officer
On 15 April, within the framework of the project “Ready for Primary School”, the Workshop “First feedback on promoting language development for ethnic minority children………”
The workshop welcomed the participation of 60 delegates who are officials from the Department of Education and Training of Kim Boi district, school leaders, and preschool and primary school teachers in the project area.
At the workshop, representatives of local schools presented the contents and practical results of promoting language development among ethnic minority children through experiences and games. In addition, the advantages and challenges of designing activities to facilitate such an approach were also discussed and commented on, thereby paving the way for timely and effective solutions.
Thank you to the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) for their support through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).
The event “Book festival – Innovative ideas by students & Enhancing social-emotional and independent living skills”
News by: Lo Thuy Dung – Project Officer
Recently, on 17 April, 300 students from Quang Trong Primary & Secondary School, Cao Bang province participated in the event………
The conference “Meeting people with disability and developing disability integration plans” in Kim Boi district, Hoa Binh province
News by: Tran Van Tu – Project Coordinator
“This life is so worth living!” – that is the sincere sharing from Du, a person with visual impairment at the conference “Meeting people with disability……….”
The Workshop to introduce the project “My right to education Phase 2” in Na Ri district, Bac Kan province.
News by: Hoang Van Hung – Project Coordinator
“Participating in the project is an opportunity for us to learn and build our capacity towards our goals” – that is the sharing from Pham Thuy Hang, the Director of………
Bitter bamboo shoots are a quintessential cuisine for many ethnic groups in the northern mountainous areas of Vietnam, especially the Tay, Thai, or Muong ethnic group. Bitter bamboo shoots can be made into many dishes such as boiled and stewed bones, steamed duck, or pork.
In the spring, when the weather is rainy, the bamboo shoots begin to sprout from the ground. These bamboo shoots carry a strange vitality, thus enabling them to grow quickly. When the shoots are mature enough, groups of ethnic people go to the forest to find bamboo shoots. At the beginning of the season, bamboo shoots often have a sweet taste with a gentle bitterness, but when the weather is rainy, they will turn bitter. Bitter bamboo shoots become a dish not only favoured by local people but also by many visitors from far away. The most delicious bitter bamboo shoots are “Mang sat”, a type of bamboo shoots. For Hoa Binh people, bitter bamboo shoots are processed into many delicious dishes such as boiled bamboo shoots, stir-fried bamboo shoots, bone stews… However, perhaps the most special dish is sour bamboo shoots cooked with chicken and duck. Specifically, bamboo shoots are taken, boiled and soaked until sour and then cooked with chicken and duck.
Let’s meet again Pham Thi Thanh Van – Partnership and Localisation Specialist. This time, Van will share with us about the important role of disability inclusion in a very important strategy of ChildFund in the coming time – localisation.
ChildFund Vietnam is gradually promoting the meaningful participation of persons with disability in our project activities, specifically the role of representative organisations of persons with disability such as self-help groups or organisations of persons with disability. These are the actions that contribute to the implementation of the motto of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which is “Nothing about us without us”. Issues related to persons with disability will need to have the participation of these people themselves.
In order to achieve this, the process of capacity building, working together, and learning from experience is essential. In fact, many organisations of persons with disability are newly established, so we cannot apply the same working principles with them as with other organisations or units. Many persons with disability have limited opportunities to access education, so activities to strengthen the organisational system and guide them on how to manage and operate are essential and should be given priority.
We also need to change our approaches to make sure we can become their equal and inclusive partners. The Organisation of Persons with Disability in Na Ri district Bac Kan province have been participating in activities to support self-help groups of persons with disability in Quang Hoa district, Cao Bang province. The best way to improve their capacity is to grant them opportunities to learn from experiences and practice. That is an essential part of localisation, promoting voice and action of the local community in making development.
CHILDFUNDERS – FOR CHILDREN’S WELLBEING