Spreading Vietnam's Image to the World
The Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organizations - the standing body of the People's Aid Coordination Committee awarded 35 foreign NGOs which have made many positive contributions to Vietnam's economic, security, and social development in 2023.
Phan Anh Son, President of the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organizations shared: "Every your contribution, whether in the form of material, experience, professional knowledge or human resources, contribute to changing the future and bringing a better life to the Vietnamese people. Besides, you are also messengers bringing the image of Vietnam's country, people, policies, traditions, and human values to the world; as well as contributing to consolidating and cultivating friendly relations between Vietnam and progressive people in the world."
Living green and sustainably together with Vietnam
Instead of cultivating three rice crops per year as before 2023, Nguyen Thanh Nguyen, residing at Vinh Dai commune, Tan Hung district, Long An Province, applied the model of two rice crops and one crop of floating rice - allowing them to fish farm during flood season. What was once a troublesome season for the farmers has now been made to be both a profitable and eco-friendly time of year.
The above initiative is one of a number of activities within the framework of the project "Convenient solutions to adapt to climate change in the Mekong Delta" that the World Wide Fund for Nature Vietnam (WWF Vietnam) coordinated with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Long An province to support farmers in Vinh Dai commune.
According to Le Thi Thu, Administrative and External Relations Manager of WWF Vietnam, in 2023, in addition to promoting biodiversity conservation, WWF has implemented many specific and effective operational projects related to sustainable development such as renewable energy, raising awareness, community livelihoods, especially vulnerable communities, strongly affected by climate change, among others. WWF projects are implemented in 30 provinces and cities.
Some typical projects including Biodiversity Conservation (USAID-BCA), Saving Threatened Wildlife (USAID-STW), Carbon and Biodiversity Phase II (CarBi2), Reducing Marine Plastic Waste in Vietnam (BMU), Improving climate resilience of mangrove and agro-ecosystems and communities in the coastal areas of the Mekong Delta (UBS), Water resource restoration and management, and Implementing nature-based solutions to restore wetlands and natural processes of the Mekong Delta.
Through the implementation of projects, WWF hopes to create a comprehensive change in both awareness and behavior of stakeholders in nature conservation and sustainable development, towards a future in which people live in harmony with nature.
In addition, WWF also accompanies and supports agencies, ministries and sectors that play key roles in making proposals and recommendations in policy-making related to the fields of biodiversity conservation, ocean plastic waste, and nature-based solutions. At the same time, build a strategic framework to support the Vietnamese government in realizing its commitment to net zero emissions - Net Zero by 2050.
According to Thu, in 2024, WWF will continue to review the organizational strategy, aligning with the priorities of the Vietnamese Government. From there, it helps Vietnam get closer to its set environmental and climate goals in the best way.
“WWF will also always accompany the Government, support the implementation of specific action plans, and act as a bridge, connecting international donors, mobilizing resources to find a direction for effective solutions based on nature in Vietnam," Thu added.
Improving the quality of life for people with disabilities
For the past 37 years, Hoang Thi Tot residing at Khe Sanh town, Huong Hoa district, Quang Tri Province, has cared for her child who has suffered from cerebral palsy due to Agent Orange.
In September 2023, she participated in a 2-day training class on caring for people with disabilities. Here, Tot was guided by experts on basic daily care skills for people with disabilities such as feeding support, hygiene care, and fall prevention. At the same time, she also shared their experiences with other caregivers.
Tot said she has learned a lot of new knowledge and practical skills, making her daily task easier.
The skills training class that Tot attended is within the framework of Inclusion 1 project, a component of the project "Improving the quality of life of persons with disabilities in provinces heavily sprayed with Agent Orange" in the regional region (referred to as Inclusion 1 project). The project is implemented by the Medical Committee Netherlands - Vietnam (MCNV), funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), owned by National Action Centre for Toxic Chemicals and Environmental Treatment (NACCET) and managed by the Center for Creative Initiatives in Health and Population (CCIHP).
According to MSc. MD. Tran Thu Thuy, Deputy Director of Inclusion 1 project, MCNV, this is one of the outstanding projects implemented by MCNV from 2022 and especially promoted in the 2023-2025 period. In 2023, the project will continue to be implemented in three provinces including Quang Tri, Thua Thien Hue, and Quang Nam.
The main goal of the project is to improve the capacity of rehabilitation staff at provincial, district and commune health facilities; providing rehabilitation services and care services for people with disabilities in communities and medical facilities, and strengthening the capacity of the rehabilitation system in project provinces. After more than two years of implementation, 1,760 people with disabilities have benefited from the project's results; as well as 424 medical staff was trained.
Thuy said that in 2024, MCNV will continue to promote activities within the project framework but expand the implementation area in project provinces and increase the number of beneficiaries.
In particular, the project will strengthen training for medical staff at the provincial, district and commune levels through organizing long-term classes (Specialty I on rehabilitation), medium-term (6 to 9 months) and other courses; continuous training classes with practical topics, suitable to local needs. In addition, at medical facilities, MCNV will also continue to promote the model of providing multi-disciplinary rehab services. Currently, MCNV is supporting 16 medical facilities, including central, provincial hospitals and district medical centers, in three provinces of Quang Tri, Quang Nam, Thua Thien Hue to provide multi-disciplinary rehab to stroke patients.
“Through promoting the above areas, MCNV hopes to contribute to the goal of improving the quality of life of people with disabilities in a sustainable way. MCNV believes that when medical staff has good professional knowledge and skills, they will provide quality and comprehensive services, contributing to improving the quality of life for people with disabilities in the locality," Thuy emphasized.
Global Coffee Platform
Affection for Vietnamese coffee
Organizing training courses on how to raise productivity and crop quality, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, studying prohibited substances' risks in the coffee industry are among the activities of the Global Coffee Platform (GCP) this year, aiming to further improve the quality and value of Vietnamese coffee.
Good training comes to fruition
Ho Thi Thuy, a coffee farmer from Ia Der commune in the Ia Grai district of Gia Lai Province, said two years ago, she was at the mercy of aging, ineffective coffee trees. To learn how to better maintain their coffee crops, her family participated in the GCP-organised Training of Trainers (TOT) project on sustainable coffee production and occupational safety in the coffee production chain.
After the training, Thuy's coffee production techniques have been significantly improved, from tree pruning and canopy raising to the fermentation process of organic fertilizers using biological products, fertilizer application, harvesting, and coffee preservation. As a result, her family's intercropping garden has experienced strong development.
"Many people see our family's coffee plantation growing well, so they want to learn from our farming experience. I share the knowledge acquired from the training, guiding other farmers and even going to their plantations to help them with soil preparation and planting. The GCP training project has changed my family's life, and I hope that it will be expanded to help many other farmers," said Thuy.
According to Doan Thi Nhung, a GCP training program official, over the past time, GCP has collaborated with the International Labor Organization (ILO) to develop a set of guidelines for sustainable coffee production integrated with occupational safety and hygiene issues. Subsequently, they have organized training programs and projects for over 37,000 laborers in main coffee-growing regions of Vietnam, such as the Central Highlands and some northwestern provinces.
GCP is also concerned about gender equality by consistently encouraging the participation of at least 50% women in the training programs. With their knowledge, they can independently practice, make decisions, and have a stronger voice in their families in choosing varieties, farming methods, and markets, Nhung added.
|Pham Quang Trung (right), GCP Vietnam Country Representative.
Various development targets
Pham Quang Trung, GCP Vietnam Country Representative, said in the coming time, GCP will contribute more to the Vietnamese coffee industry and launch more training programs on farming methods and occupational safety.
GCP aims to increase the minimum income for 215,000 coffee growers in Vietnam by at least 25% by 2030, he stressed.
GCP also focuses on environmental protection, recognizing that while many industries emit CO2, the agricultural sector plays a crucial role in absorbing it. Joining efforts to achieve the national target of net zero emissions by 2050, GCP also aims to reduce 25% of carbon emissions in coffee production by 2025 by guiding farmers to use organic fertilizers, apply organic farming models, and increase the use of renewable energy.
Trung said the risk of prohibited substances remains an important issue that needs attention. Currently, 90% of Vietnamese coffee exported must meet quality criteria. In 2024, GCP will collaborate with international organizations to research the risks of substances that may be gradually reduced or banned in the near future according to the requirements of importing countries. GCP will also conduct research and provide warnings to help the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development make timely policies to satisfy those requirements.
Sharing “Beautiful pages” of childhood Education
Organizing Book Day, participating in the “Flying Books 2023” campaign and building friendly libraries are among the activities carried out by Good Neighbors Vietnam (GNI) to contribute to promoting the reading culture for Vietnamese students in the era of booming information technology
GNI organized the third “Book Festival” on October 22, 2023 in the northern mountainous province of Hoa Binh. The festival attracted the participation of more than 500 students and local residents, with various reading booths featuring genres such as science, literature, comics and life skills.
In September 2023, GNI collaborated with the 'Books, Open up!' (SOMR) project to organize a ceremony at the Ban Ria Secondary and High School in Quang Binh district, the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang, where more than 5,000 books were donated, and an exchange on reading culture was held. This was one of the activities under the “Exchange for Change” project rolled out by GNI in 2023.
With the desire to help children have sufficient textbooks and access quality books and materials, and to extend the lifecycle of used books, GNI, in collaboration with the SOMR project, launched the campaign “Flying Books 2023: Bringing Good Books to Readers.” After nearly two months since its launch, the campaign has garnered over 8,300 books, 141 sets of learning tools, and more than VND 21.6 million ($886.33). The cash amount has been used to purchase new books for six schools, including Ban Ria Secondary and High School, Bang Lang Secondary School, Yen Thanh Secondary School (Quang Binh, Ha Giang); Bac Son Secondary and High School, Do Nhan Secondary School (Tan Lac, Hoa Binh); Dong Quy Secondary School (Son Duong, Tuyen Quang), and Vinh Loc High School (Thanh Hoa).
Promoting reading culture is a key program of GNI. From 2018 to 2022, GNI established and maintained a community library system in Mai Chau, including one community library in Panh hamlet, 12 mobile libraries in 12 hamlets, and 7 self-managed community libraries in Xam Khoe commune. These libraries have contributed to cultivating reading habit and reading culture among not only children but also residents within the project area.
In the last six months of 2023, GNI rolled out a plan to support the building of four libraries/community centers in Hanoi, Hoa Binh, Tuyen Quang, and Ha Giang, as well as intensified activities related to child education and protection.
With such diverse books and materials donated, GNI aims to alleviate difficulties and promote reading culture at schools, providing better opportunities for students to access quality education.
Plan International Vietnam
Encouraging a Safer city
More than 600 students and their parents and teachers from Co Loa Secondary School in Dong Anh district, Hanoi, on December 6, 2023 participated in a seminar themed "New Generation - Speaking Up for a Safe City."
The seminar conveyed the message that any form of sexual harassment is unacceptable and intolerable. It emphasized the need for active participation from youths in raising awareness and capabilities, eliminating gender stereotypes and biases, and ending the practice of blaming victims. Simultaneously, it aimed to spread meaningful messages on preventing and addressing sexual harassment and abuse in public spaces to friends, relatives, and the community.
This event was part of the "Safe and Friendly City for Girls" project initiated in 2014 in Hanoi, and sponsored by Plan International Vietnam. As of December 2023, the project had supported 1,620 boys, girls, and LGBTIQ+ groups to become leaders in changes for gender equality and the rights of girls. Additionally, 650 teachers from 27 secondary and high schools were trained on gender equality and gender-based violence, and 400 transportation workers received training on gender equality and violence against girls in public spaces.
Le Quynh Lan, Plan International Vietnam's Program Impact & Partnership Manager, said the “Safe and Friendly City for Girls” project is a key model within Plan International's gender-based violence prevention program.
“In the future, we are committed to implementing new projects and models to promote gender equality, children's rights, and collaboration to create sustainable changes, fostering confidence in the transformative potential of both boys and girls,” she said.
Plan International Vietnam was honored with a certificate of merit on December 26, 2023, by the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organizations for its significant contributions to the sustainable development of Vietnam in the year.
Migena Shulla, Country Director of Plan International Vietnam, noted that the organization’s journey does not stop here, but it strives to build a world where every girl enjoys her rights, chooses her path, and pursues her dreams./.