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Trang chủ arrow News [Alt + T] arrow News arrow Hanoi association of people with disabilities – a past journey

Hanoi association of people with disabilities – a past journey

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The first Congress of Hanoi Association of People with Disabilities (PWD) known as DP Hanoi was held on April 12th 2006, marking the important point in the history of forming and developing official social organization of PWD. This event is a very first start of implementing DP Hanoi's goals. Today we recall our 10 year operations, we can be happy and proud of what DP Hanoi has achieved, thought about practical lessons learnt to be confident in striving for the bright future of PWD - when inclusion and equality in all fields of society and life is active.

More than 10 years ago, there were some self-help groups of PWD operating in Hanoi. One of which was "Bright future of PWD" that always kept their persistence to achieve their goal establishing a united organization of Hanoi PWD. Being supported by Association of Hanoi Handicapped and Orphans, Department of Labor, invalids and social affairs and other functional institutions, especially tight, united cooperation of self-help groups of PWD in Hanoi, "Bright future" group implemented project "Promoting to establish Hanoi Association of People with Disabilities" with support of The Danish Society of Polio and Accident Victims (PTU). This project was very successful in the achievement of establishing DP Hanoi which was consisted of 19 organization members, clubs and 750 individual members.

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Training on planning skills for leaders of district disabled people organizations

10 years of establishment and development of DP Hanoi has been implemented in favorable conditions. National socio-economic situation is rather stable and vulnerable people are taken more care. In disability field, Vietnam joined Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities in 2007. National assembly approved Law on People with Disabilities on 17/6/2010 and National assembly ratified Convention of United Nations on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on November 2014. In order to improve quality of life of people with disabilities, Prime Minister signed decision number 239 and 1019 on 10/2006 and 8/2012 to approve the national program to support people with disabilities for the period of 2006-2010 and 2012-2020. Besides, Hanoi People's Committee has published its plan to implement the program to support People with disabilities on the above period.

However, DP Hanoi met difficulties when it was a newly established social organization of vulnerable people. Those difficulties were insufficient staff and limited capacity, poor individual members who might have limited qualifications with a lot of illiterate people resulting in their low self-esteem feeling. On those beginning days with a lot of challenges, board of leaders of DP Hanoi especially Chairman Vu Manh Hung decided to prioritize solving urgent issues such as setting DP Hanoi office, searching human resource to stable and develop the organization.

After five months from the first congress, project proposal for the period 2006-2008 about stabilizing and organization development of DP Hanoi was approved by of PTU. It is very crucial to highlight that the cooperation with PTU played an important part in organization development of DP Hanoi. Board of executives confirmed the necessity to expand the network of DP Hanoi to the district aiming at bringing activities supporting PWD to the community. At the end of 2007, some core officials were assigned to set up three pilot districts in Ba Dinh, Dong Da and Hai Ba Trung. At the beginning of 2008, two organizations of disabled people in Ba Dinh and Dong Da was officially established towards decisions of Hanoi People's committee. This event encouraged the formation of board of advocacy of establishing Disabled People organization at district level. This progress was also resulted from the successful results of training courses on setting up associations of people with disabilities. At the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009, Disable people organization at district level as legal representative of local people with disabilities were established in following districts such as Hai Ba Trung, Thanh Xuan, Hoang Mai, Cau Giay, Thanh Tri, Dong Anh, Soc Son and Gia Lam. After Ha Tay was merged with Hanoi, the number of people with disabilities went up to 90.000.000 people. This meant that development tasks of DP Hanoi was more severe. Being supported by Hanoi People's committee and other functional institutions, on the boundary of the cooperative project with PTU for the period 2009-2011, DP Hanoi started to set up disabled people organization in the former Ha Tay. Workshops and training courses in Son Tay and Thanh Oai were conducted in June 2009 to representatives of 14 districts of former Ha Tay. This activity was become a new fresh air in the lives of people with disabilities who have been living in a closed and low self-esteem environment. Until 2010, DP Hanoi had 36 organization members including 16 district disabled people organizations and total individual members reached 3.000 people.

Until now, DP Hanoi was expanded with 53 organization members including 30 district disabled people organizations. The big house "DP Hanoi" has opened to welcome more than 10.000 individual members. Network of disabled people organizations at commune level reached 72 communes and 97 sub branches which have been operating aiming at bringing practical benefits and suitable for needs of local people with disabilities. However, setting up disabled people organization at commune level still met some challenges. One of the most important reasons is insufficient core members who have adequate capacities.

With built network, what orientations DP Hanoi will follow to continue to have stable development in performing its long term mission as "Promoting an inclusive and barrier-free society and performing the rights of people with disabilities" and "Make the real". Being supported by the Medical Committee Netherlands- Vietnam (MCNV) in 2009, DP Hanoi built its development strategy for the period from 2009-2014. One point in that is "until 2014, DP Hanoi has been admitted to be successful in capacity building and protecting the right on equality of people with disabilities the Party, authorities, communities and other related organizations in the disability field". Main contents of that strategy are the red thorough line for activity orientations in following stages and annual plan. Thanks to that, specific development strategy was achieved as until the end of 2014, network of DP Hanoi reached 27/30 districts, awareness of people with disabilities and capacities of organization members were considerably improved. Besides DP Hanoi activities actively contributed to implementing and protecting the rights of people with disabilities. Then the second strategy for the period 2015-2020 and vision to 2025 were built at the end of 2014. According to this strategy "until 2020, DP Hanoi becomes an important partner participating effectively in implementing national and international strategies, programs about the rights of people with disabilities".

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Decisive factors for organizational development, strategy implementation is resources including human resources and financial resources. Awareness raising and capacities of staffs and members have been prioritized. DP Hanoi has been organizing more than 16.700 times of officials and members participating in workshops, dialogues, experiences sharing about association establishment, training courses about legal documents, policies of the government to PWD, basic knowledge on management, microfinance, community based business, accessibility and using policy loans effectively funded by Vietnam bank for social policies, training courses on skills for job search, approaching recruitment agencies, medical care for the past time... More than 2.500 times of officials at all levels participating workshops and trainings on leadership, advocacy, financial and office management, management and operation implementation, planning, writing project proposals, writing articles, communication skills, presenting skills, facilitation skills. A lot of members of DP Hanoi and its members participated in training courses organized by organizations, education centers such as International labor organization (ILO), Vietnam chamber of commerce and industry (VCCI), Voluntary service overseas (VSO), center for community empowerment, Ministry of Labour, invalids and social affairs... about advocacy, negotiation skills, project management, financial management and social work... DP Hanoi assigned some young officals to attend workshops and training courses in USD, Danmark, Australia, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Myanmmar, India. Morever, not only DP Hanoi but also its organization members like district disable people organizations, club of women with disabilities, club of youth with disabilities, club of parents of children with autism, clubs of parents of children with intellectual disabilities organized training courses to meet the demands of their members. The interesting point is that facilitators of those training courses were persons who participated in active teaching methodology training course supported by MCNV and ILO. Besides, they participated actively and effectively workshops and consultancy contracts in some organizations.

Results of training courses are not only figures of training courses and number of participants but its effectiveness brings to the people and community. Practically understanding of members of DP Hanoi on law on people with disabilities and other related legal documents is better than other people with disabilities. Currently, 95% of organization members of DP Hanoi including district disabled people organization can completely communicate via email. Leaders of district disabled people organization have good relationship and get trust from the authorities for its active contribution to solve the disability issue at the locality. Training component plays an important role in capacity building for leaders of all levels and other members.

Capacity building is a long term and continous task which is implemented by DP Hanoi towards capacity building for the individuals to ensure the ability to complete the assigned tasks, prepared for the next generation of leaders as well as capacity building for the whole organization to ensure a stronger, tigher and more professional structure.

One important factor to ensure stable organizational development, reinforce and maintain internal unity is transparency and accountability in every activity. Acknowledging that, DP Hanoi participated projects initiated by Research center for management and sustainable development (MSD). DP Hanoi was one of nine social organizations which achieved the standard of "organization performs transparency and accountability well" voted by social organizations in the network. Nevertheless, it is only the first achievement democracy, transparency and accountability need to be implemented continuously, widely and for the long term period inside DP Hanoi. Finally it would become organizational cultures.

DP Hanoi had made a lot of effort in advocacy on policies issued by Vietnamese government, local authorities, and functional agencies of Hanoi. These policies aims at improving quality of lives and promoting social inclusion of PWD. A lot of legal documents which were already issued, have not been implemented practically due to several reasons. Therefore, DP Hanoi specially paid more attention to advocacy which was regarded as an important task of DP Hanoi. DP Hanoi has contributed to give opinions to a lot of legal documents related to people with disabilities as well as plan to support people with disabilities in Hanoi.

In the boundary of cooperation with The Danish society of polio and accident victims (PTU) and Danish association of people with physical disabilities (PTU/DHF), DP Hanoi developed strategy on advocacy with technical supports from research center for management and sustainable development (MSD). Overall objectives of the strategy is to improve effectiveness of operations of the organization and protecting the rights on equality of PWD and focus on five following fields: livelihoods, vocational training, job creation; public construction and accessible transport; inclusive education and training; accessibility to broadcasting; participating in politics and decision making. In order to build capacity for officials in advocacy, DP Hanoi organized training courses on advocacy and participated in the project namely "Capacity building on advocacy for social organizations in Vietnam" implemented by MSD. Practically, DP Hanoi advocated Hanoi People's committee and Hanoi bank of social policies to use preferential loans to solve employment issues for PWD from 2012. This result brought a significant change in improving quality of lives of thousands of members. According to Hanoi bank of social policies, until 31/12/2015 outstanding loans of DP Hanoi is over 40 billion VND with nearly 2.000 households and more than 2.000 laborers. District disabled people organization regularly monitored loans usages for the right purposes and interest payment at maturity. As a result, DP Hanoi becomes the first locality of DPOs in the whole country which has preferential loans to solve employment issues for PWD.

DP Hanoi has a special interest in promoting the implementation of standards of public construction ensuring accessibility for PWD. Besides DP Hanoi organizes some dialogues to raise public awareness and get support from both community and local authorities regarding to accessibility to PWD; In addition, DP Hanoi had mobilized to renovate 41 buildings in Hoang Mai, Thanh Xuan, Dong Anh, Phu Xuyen, Gia Lam, Quoc Oai district. This work get strong cooperation from five above District People's Committee and then DP Hanoi cooperated with Hanoi Department of Construction to organize the workshop namely "Promoting the implementation construction standards to ensure accessibility to PWD; and it received commitment from representative of Ministry of Construction and Hanoi Department of Construction to lead sub department and organization to follow construction standards ensuring accessibility to PWD. These activities were conducted aiming at promoting one of important rights of PWD - that is the right to access public building.

DP has been implementing two projects in for districts of Gia Lam, Ba Vi, Thanh Tri and Soc Son, which were supported by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Caritas Switzerland, Caritas Norway aiming at promoting inclusive education for PWD. It is important to highlight that a lot of activities in these projects involves active participation of medical officials, educators and officials working labor, invalids and social affairs to have early identification, early intervention which are very important to bring children with disabilities to access education. Challenges and drawbacks arise during project implementation will be studied and reported to the authorities to adjust policies.

DP Hanoi has also paid special attention to information and awareness raising. After several months of establishment, "Nang Xuan" DP Hanoi's internal news was published at the first edition and then electronic information page was built and launched at dphanoi.org.vn. This website has become DP Hanoi's second information channel. These two tools have become an open forum for organization members and members to tell their activities, exchange ideas in disability topics and to appreciate successful PWD in studying and working. Readers of "Nang Xuan" are not only staffs, officials of DP Hanoi but also PWD in other provinces and cities and a lot of other organizations and agencies in the disability field. Until this point of time, DP Hanoi's website has attracted more than 13.900.000 access times in both English and Vietnamese version. Besides with support from programs and projects, DP Hanoi developed and published some materials such as "Build and develop organizations of PWD", Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities, "Question - Answer about policies on PWD, "Fundraising", "Activities for women with disabilities", "Public construction ensuring accessibility for PWD - Experiences to renovate public buildings", "Manual for PWD to use public buildings in Hanoi". In addition, DP Hanoi coordinated with CBM to develop "Instructional material - Program to support PWD to access eye testing and treatment".

One of indispensable programs conducted by DP Hanoi is to promote PWD network in the whole country. From 2009 and the following years, DP Hanoi had organized events in Nam Dinh, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh city, Quang Binh and Ninh Binh to network with disabled people organizations with hundreds of participants at each event. At those events, participants were active to share experiences, lessons learnt in association development, job creation for PWD and promotion to other issues in disability field. There was not only exchanges, discussions but also lovely songs.

In order to help DP Hanoi to implement its development strategy and plans, its operations have been actively supported by the cooperation with local and international non-government organizations. DP Hanoi has been implementing 14 projects in cooperation with The Danish society of polio and accident victims (PTU), DHF (Đan Mạch), MCNV (Netherlands), International Labour Organization (ILO), Voluntary service overseas (VSO - Englsand), Catholic Relief Services (CRS-USA), Swiss association of people with disabilities (SHIDA), Asia Pacific disability forum (APDF), Rehabilitation International (RI), Asia Trust Fund, Caritas (Switzerland), Association of Rehabilitation for PWD of Japan, Hong Kong, and Korea, Malteser International (Germany), Fund supporting people with disabilities of Finland (ABILIS), Association of PWD in Asia Pacific (DPI A/P), Research center for management and sustainable development (MSD-Vietnam), Vietnamese Association of Education for all (VAEFA), etc...We received both technical and financial supports from them and more importantly, that is professional working style, responsibilities, skills, management experiences and organizational development.

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Sharing experiences on disabled organization development and employment in Quang Binh in May 2014

In addition, DP Hanoi receives annual funds from Hanoi People's committee to conduct its assigned tasks. This amount has been significantly increased compared to the first years. Fund usage is tested ad monitored by Hanoi Department of Finance and it is internally auditted by Board of inspectors. Financial management of DP Hanoi is highly appreciated by Hanoi Department of Finance for its correct purposes, accounting books, clear and sufficient financial documents. Besides, almost all district disabled people organizations are financially supported by district people's committee depending on each locality. Furthermore, some disabled people organizations wrote project proposals for small projects. Other members has also seeked for funds for operations by projects. They are Holde the future center, Independent living center, Inclusive consultancy center, Supporting family and children with intellectual disabilities center, Family of children with autism club, Hanoi Deaf club, "Green dream" group and Disabled people organization of Ba Dinh, Thanh Xuan, My Duc, Phu Xuyen and Dong Anh ...

All achievements which DP Hanoi has got, have been attacched with the important contribution of two outstanding leaders for two period of 2006-2011 and 2012-2017. They are Mr. Vu Manh Hung and Mrs. Duong Thi Van who both had high education qualifications and capacities. They both had a dream of change life and position of PWD in Hanoi in specific and PWD in Vietnam in general. They have been following that path during the last 30 years. Making a lot of effort, time and passion for building and developing DP Hanoi, Mr. Hung and Mrs. Van have received both trust and love from DP Hanoi's members. Moreover, they have had big influence on national PWD movement and received respect, trust from organizations and agencies. Mr. Hung had suddenly left some time ago but he is still a beloved leader in all DP Hanoi's members for his understanding, deep and wide vision and his modest, simple and clean handed style. Taking main charge of leading DP Hanoi, Mrs. Van performs as an intelligent leader with a lot of brilliant ideas. She is not only decisive but emotional. Being a person having a lot of experiences in disability, she has high reputation in Asia Pacific disability movement and she is now Head of Board of Information of Asia Pacific Disability Forum (2015-2016). Practically, she is known as long term training course which DP Hanoi's members could learn her deep knowledge in disability field, flexibility, but she always keeps her principles for the benefits of PWD and her working patient and confident working style with partners. Together with Board of executives, Mr. Hung and Mrs. Van lead "DP Hanoi boat" to go over difficulties to each its goals.

Ten years of DP Hanoi has fulfilled activities and their effectiveness is obvious in lives of DP Hanoi's members. Not being low self-esteem anymore, PWD gradually live independently. Everybody seems to be busier with programs, plans of DP Hanoi but they all feels happier and the life seems to be more meaningful because they have been working for better lives of PWD community. It is when PWD is living in a respected, equal, barrier-free environment then they are included in the society. That future remains our continuous effort, evaluate strengths and weaknesses to adjust, overcome and renovate in the direction of sustainable development. Shall we keep our values for the last teen years which are enthusiastic, passion, willingness to scarify time and effort for DP Hanoi's activities, DP Hanoi's members and staff? Shall we strive for more PWD to get a warm and trustworthy position in the big house" DP Hanoi".

On the occassion of ten years of establishment, Hanoi Association of People with Disabilities shows our big thanks to Hanoi People's Committee, national and local organizations and institutions especially Hanoi Department of Labour, Invalid and Social affairs, international and domestic organizations who have supported DP Hanoi in implementing our activities for the benefits, inclusion and equality of people with disabilities./.

Phan Bich Diep
Standing Vice Chairwoman of Hanoi Association of People with Disabilities

 

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