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The Vietnam Association for Disabled Children: Helping hand for disabled children

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that Vietnam has more than seven million disabled people, of whom three million are children living in rural, poor areas.

To provide protection, care and education for children, especially disabled children is a fine tradition of Vietnamese people. With this in mind, a group of scientists and researchers proposed the government to set up an association for providing support for Vietnamese children in the hope of using traditional and modern medicine to provide treatment for disabled children, helping them re-integrate into the community.

Set up on December 4, 1993, the Vietnam Association for Disabled Children had only five founders. Now, it has thousands of members nationwide. Four affiliates have been set up in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Phu Yen and Phu Tho provinces. It has also 22 centres in provinces, cities, districts and communes. All the members of the association, who are doctors, teachers, monks, retired people and officials, have provided care for disabled children with all their hearts. Many of them despite many difficulties have provided care for disabled children as their own sons and daughters. Teacher Dao and doctor Duc in Nam Dinh, teachers Nhu and Hong in Hanoi, teacher Thoa, doctor Chien in Son Tay, Ha Tay province, Mr Thanh in Vinh Chan, Phu Tho province, and Huynh Tieu Huong in Ho Chi Minh City are among many outstanding examples in providing care for disabled children. Also, the association has taken advantage of the support from Vietnamese and foreign individuals and organisations, including Maryknoll of the US, the Prudential Company, the Vietnam Circus Federation, the Vietnam Song and Dance Theatre, designer Tuyet Nhung and the Central Institute of Acupuncture, to provide treatment and care for 150 children each month.

The association has co-operated with agencies and organisations to provide vocational training for disadvantaged children, helping them integrate into the community. The association has sought agencies and enterprises to help disabled children find outlets for their products.

The pressure of population and the market economy with the environment, presents risks for all children. Also, bombs and shells, and toxic chemicals constitute a cause of disability for our young generation. Therefore, the number of disabled children who receive care and treatment remains far below than the number of disabled children nationwide.

To providing care for disabled children is a major policy of the Party and State, which requires agencies and authorities of localities to provide further support for centres for helping disabled children.

Over the past ten years, the Vietnam Association for Disabled Children has met part of the requirement for care for disabled children. With their kind hearts, thousands of members of the association have provided their best care for disabled children. In recognition of the association�€™s contribution, the Party and State has presented it with Labour Order, third class.

VNCG-VDC1 - (02/12/2003)

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