Working together in business and hope

1 Dec 2016   |   Blog   |   Long-term Development   |   Vietnam   |   Disability

Tags:  Vietnam, disability, empowerment   |   No comments

Linh Dao, right, feels more joy since joining a People with Disability club

International Day of People with Disability (IDPD) is celebrated worldwide each year on December 3. Caritas Australia is proud to be involved in several programs that support and empower people with disabilities.

Vietnam has more than 6 million People with Disabilities (PwD), which is 7.8% of the country’s population. The Quang Tri province, in central Vietnam, is home to many who are still feeling the effects of past wars and unexploded landmines.

Caritas Australia’s project for People with Disabilities in this province is helping give hope through improved mental and physical conditions, access to new skills and livelihood activities.

The set-up of five People with Disability clubs has increased visibility and awareness for the rights of PwD. The clubs give an opportunity for PwD to come together and support one another, share and learn from one another while also giving a voice to those who often have been shunned from society.

With new opportunities to collaborate, members of one PwD club decided they wanted to start their own business together to increase their income and provide each other with a stable livelihood. The project provided a small grant to start the enterprise, which now employs 9 members to make and sell incense sticks to the markets, cemeteries and the wider community. The club works together on both management and finances of the enterprise and gives a great support system for one another.

Linh Dao, 58, is a member of the club and works making the incense products. “I used to be a gardener and collect pepper from my pepper trees, I did not make much money back then.  I have been working for nearly a year with the club and like it very much.  I feel more joyful now. We share the same situation and the great part of this business is coming together.” Further to the joy that the club and the business has brought Linh Dao, he and his wife also have an 18-year-old son who is now going to university.

Photo/story provided by Patrick Makenen, Program Coordinator, Vietnam and & South East Asia Regional Support

Learn more about Caritas Australia's work in Vietnam and supporting people with disabilities

Watch a video, A Barrier Free Reality, created by our friends at CBM Australia in celebration of IDPD

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