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Nguyet during a literacy class with her teacher Quynh. Nguyet was born with cerebral palsy causing paraplegia of her legs and one hand and as a result has been unable to attend school. Photo: Richard Wainwright/Caritas Australia.

Vietnam

With your generous support, we are helping people living with disabilities in central Vietnam, by promoting inclusive education and working with local governments to improve access to health services.

Our work in Vietnam

Vietnam has made significant economic and social progress since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, however poverty and inequality remain. The after effects of landmines and chemical warfare are also still seen in the large numbers of people living with a disability. In rural areas, in particular, people with disabilities experience discrimination and stigmatisation. They are often marginalised, face social exclusion and receive few benefits from government programs. Our work in Vietnam supports people who are facing this challenging combination of poverty and disability; improving their access to vital healthcare services, education and increasing their participation in social life.

Partnership

Working with local communities in Vietnam since 1997

Programs

We support two programs through two local partners in Vietnam

Priorities

Disability support services, education, livelihood development, social inclusion

Program snapshot

Empowering People with Disabilities

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Nguyeton her scooter purchased with income she made from her online business. Photo: Nguyen Minh Duc/Caritas Australia.

Running since: 2018

Partner Agency: Sustainable Rural Development (SRD)

Aims: To empower adults and children with disabilities to actively participate in their communities. The key focus is physical and mental wellbeing, as well as the development of sustainable livelihoods. Caritas Australia works with people with disabilities through parental training, community participation, vocational training and livelihood development.

Who it is for: Over 1,800 children and adults with disabilities and caregivers in seven communes in Central Vietnam.

Achievements:

  • Over 100 people, including nearly 70 people with disabilities, have accessed loans from the village savings and loan association.
  • Loans were used to improve livelihoods, as well as going towards emergencies and daily needs, such as food, school fees.
  • Parents of children with disabilities received high quality training in caring for their child, child injury prevention and disability rights, including how to access government support.
  • Living conditions for around 60 adults and children with disabilities have improved through regular physical rehabilitation services and home-based physical therapist visits.
  • 60% of participants showed improvements in physical rehabilitation and learning development.
  • Families also receive practical help such as transportation, physical therapy, and literacy programs.

Fact: This program is expected to reach over 2500 people, including around 1800 children and adults with disabilities, along with their families/caregivers.

More background

Vietnam has made significant strides in ensuring that people with disabilities are integrated into all aspects of Vietnamese society. However, many children and adults living with disabilities, still have poor access to education, health and community services.

Disabilities: Around 6.2 million people in Vietnam are living with a disability, that’s around 7% of its population. The figure is so high, partly due to the use of Agent Orange (chemical dioxin) and landmines throughout the Vietnam War.

Inequality: Although Vietnam’s economy has strengthened, the gap between rich and poor is wide. Women and children living in poverty, along with ethnic minorities, do not share Vietnam’s growing prosperity. Ethnic minority groups, especially women, are less likely to secure employment and many of them also have poor financial literacy and less influence over family and community decision-making.

Environmental changes: Vietnam’s geographic position makes it particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. Rising water levels in the Mekong Delta are already impacting Vietnam’s farming industry, posing concern as this fertile region provides up to 70% of the country’s agricultural products (source...UNICEF).

You can help

With your help, our programs focus on children, women, and men living with disabilities in rural communities in Vietnam. Our programs aim to improve living conditions for these most vulnerable people, providing better access to healthcare services, education, and social inclusion to allow them to participate more fully, and joyfully, in their communities.

Become a regular giver

You can provide critical lifesaving aid and assistance to the communities in Vietnam devastated by earthquakes, cyclones, flooding or conflicts. Your donation means that our partners on the ground can respond quickly and efficiently when disasters strike.

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