Life without barriers
07 Sep 17
Since 2009, Caritas Australia has funded the Empowering People with Disabilities program. Run by the Sustainable Rural Development Centre (SRD) in Vietnam, thousands of people living with disabilities have accessed their vital services.
Around 6.7 million* people are currently living with a disability in Vietnam, and their challenges are compounded by cultural stigma, which results in a life of seclusion and shame. Now through collaboration with the Centre for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD), Caritas Australia is bringing sustainable livelihoods to the most marginalised and vulnerable communities.
"Before I could only reel in my net by hand 3-4 times a day, but now with a motor I can triple that amount," days Hong. Photo: Patrick Makenen, Caritas Australia
For participants in the program, the result is a better and more just future. SRD, a Vietnamese non-profit organisation was formed to bring sustainable livelihoods to the most marginalised and vulnerable communities.
Hong Thi Hoa lives in the village of Trung Hai, in Central Vietnam. In a village where fishing is traditionally men’s work, Hong’s work as a fisherwoman makes her stand out. As a single mother, she has a daughter to support and educate and this is the driving force of her hard work.
“I need to work hard to afford my daughter’s education.”
Her disability, which has affected the strength in her legs, makes it hard to reel in heavy fishing nets and make a living.
Supported by Caritas Australia’s “Empowering People with Disability” program, she has now found an innovative way to grow her income and this has changed her life. Through a loan from the project, Hong was able to invest in a small motorised fishing net. At the touch of a button she can now reel in a substantial catch, with relative ease.
“I am very proud. I enjoy being a role model to show that as a woman with a disability I can still do hard work. I know I can do it!”
Watch this short clip to see how the motorised fishing net works:
*UN development figure
This program is supported by Australian Aid through Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).
This story appears in Caritas News Spring 2017.