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Dien Bien Support Center for the Development of Inclusive Education to welcome 50 new students

The Dien Bien Support Center for the Development of Inclusive Education (Support Center) held its official school opening ceremony on September 5th, 2021, with the enrollment of 50 new students.
Despite no case of COVID-19 infection was recorded in the province for the last 17 days, protective measures were still strictly adopted. The ceremony was held on a smaller scale with all participants wearing masks.

Instead of bringing together all students, this year the school opening ceremony is held on a smaller scale. Photo: Dien Bien Support Center

In the first half of August 2021, the Support Center conducted a series of screening and counselling session for over 90 children with disabilities and symptoms of developmental disorders. The children were residents of Dien Bien Phu city and five neighboring districts of Dien Bien province. The activity was organized under the support of the provincial Department of Education and Training (DoETs), in close coordination with local primary schools and kindergartens.
The screening and evaluation were conducted using the Denver Developmental Screening Test (DENVER) II and the Psychoeducation Profile – Revised (PEP-R), followed by basic counselling provided to parents on the education that best suits the needs of their children, aiming to help them achieve full potential.

A screening session conducted at the Support Center in August, 2021. Photo: Dien Bien Support Center

Recently, the admission results were approved by the provincial DoETs, with 50 children with disabilities get admitted.
In the academic year 2020-2021, 50 students received education and intervention from the Support Center. Out of the 10 which have been transited to mainstream schools or relocated with their families while the other 40 continue their second year at the Support Center. Together with the 50 newly admitted children, in the school year 2021-2022, the total number of students of the Support Center therefore will be 90, including children with intellectual disabilities, speech impairment, hearing impairment, autism and DOWN syndrome.

For the academic year 2021-2022, the Support Center will continue to offer three education programs, which are pre-primary school (using Vietnam’s official primary program with adaptation), early intervention (using Vietnam’s official preschool programs with adaptation) and life skills for children with severe disabilities.

In 2021, MCNV will continue the assist the Support Center and the province on inclusive education via providing capacity-building on early detection, early intervention and early education to local education managers and teachers, establishing collaboration mechanism for inclusive education support between the Support Center and satellite schools, providing information on early detection, early intervention and education for children with disabilities is transfered to all 10 districts/cities in Dien Bien./.

Students receive Certificate of Merits for outstanding effort in the school year 2020-2021. Photo: Dien Bien Support Center
  • Since 2014, MCNV has started to support Dien Bien with a project of community-based rehabilitation for people with disabilities. In 2016, MCNV and Dien Bien Provincial Department of Education and Training (DoETs) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a mutual collaboration in setting up a Support Center for the Development of Inclusive education for children with disabilities in Dien Bien and fund raising for construction of this Support Center.
  • In October 2019, Dien Bien Support Center officially started its operation. With financial and tecnical support from MCNV’s project, staff of Dien Bien Support Center were enabled to join some basic capacity building activities. The Center’s staff has initially formed their capacity to care for and educate children with disabilities.
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summary of strategic plan 2021-2025

Although the plans for meeting staff from all our offices in our Amsterdam office had to be canceled because of COVID-19 measures, we have come to a strategic plan for the coming five years. Please find below a summary in English, or click here to download. The full plan, also in English is available when clicking this link.

Strategy-mcnv-2021ENG_LR

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Consultation workshop on sustainable forest management plan period 2021-2025

On August 26th 2021, MCNV collaborated with the Quang Tri Association of Smallholder Forest Certification Groups (SFCG Association) to organize a consultation workshop on the sustainable forest management plan of the SFCG Association for the period of 2021-2025 and the preparation for the FSC® audit of the community-managed natural forests in Chenh Venh village (Huong Phung commune) and Ho village (Huong Son commune), Huong Hoa district.

The workshop was conducted within the project “Promoting sustainable partnership between CSOs and enterprises for sustainable forest management in the context of climate change” (PROSPER) co- funded by the European Union and MCNV.

Various stakeholders of the project were present the workshop, including delegates from Huong Hoa district Forest Protection Department, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Huong Hoa – Dakrong Protection Forest Management Board, Northern Huong Hoa Nature Reserve Management Board, Forest Science Center for Northern Central Vietnam, Community Forest Management Board of Ho Village and Chenh Venh Village, Chan May Cooperative, etc.

MCNV Chief of Central region office, Mr.Nguyen Dinh Dai speaks at the workshop. Photo: MCNV

2021 is an important year for Quang Tri SFCG Association as the Association will be audited for FSC® certification for the period 2021-2025. To meet with FSC® audit requirements, with the support from MCNV, Quang Tri SFCG Association has actively assisted 37 member sub-associations in the lowland districts in building capacity, strengthening the system of management and monitoring, designing and operating a smartphone application for forest management, and carry out other activities such as acacia plantation, silviculture, low-impact harvesting and establishment of high quality acacia seedling nurseries.

All activities were conducted in compliance with 10 FSC® principles in sustainable forest management. In addition, the Quang Tri SFCG Association has enrolled three more member sub-associations in the mountainous area, including Chenh Venh Community Forest Management Board, Ho Village Community Forest Management Board and Chan May Cooperative.

With the participation of the community forest management boards of Chenh Venh and Ho villages, this will be the first time the community-managed natural forests participate in the FSC® certification for non-timber forest products. Over the past time, MCNV and Quang Tri SFCG Association have recruited external consultants to conduct assessments related to these two community forests, including an assessment of high conservation value forests, survey of rattan & bamboo reserve, and environmental and social impact assessment. The community forest management boards of the two villages were also equipped with basic knowledge in sustainable forest management according to FSC® standards, first aid skills and participate in field visit to a model of sustainable supply of rattan. At the same time, they were provided with protective tools for forest patrols and first aid packages.

Based on the suggestions from delegates participating in the workshop, MCNV and the external consultants will continue helping the Quang Tri SFCG Association complete the preparation steps for the FSC® audit scheduled to take place at the end of September 2021./.

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Turning local resources into sustainable tourism products

Huong Hoa, a mountainous district of Quang Tri province is well-known for a chilling climate and magnificent natural landscapes. Since transport infrastructure is vastly improved, the locality has become a popular getaway destination for visitors in and out of the province.

According to Quang Tri provincial television, the idyllic beauty of waterfalls is a prominent feature that make Huong Hoa stand out. With the alluring view of cascading water, misty fresh air and the refreshing sensation of dipping in a natural plunge basin, a waterfall pleases multiple senses at the same time. Leaving behind the bustling urban life, trekking, swimming or going picnic at a waterfall site amidst the lush green nature seems to be a perfect choice for recreation.

Chenh Venh waterfall. Photo: MCNV

In a remote locality like Huong Hoa, the experience seems even more appealing since most of the waterfalls are left unmanaged, and therefore, no entrance or service fee is charged. Visitors can do whatever they like as long as they wish at a waterfall site. This factor, at the same time, also means the increase of safety risks, due to numerous seen and hidden hazards. Extra strong current and whirlpools, unseen logs and boulders, steep rock cliffs, any of them can easily lead to falling or drowning accidents, especially when people lack of vigilance and survival skills. Furthermore, due to the isolated location, the likelihood of getting immediate medical attention at a waterfall is very low.

In the last four years, at least two drowning deaths were recorded, at Chenh Venh waterfall (Chenh Venh village, Huong Phung commune), with the latest happened in May 2020. In addition to claiming lives, unmanaged tourism also puts the environment at risk, due to littering, improper smoking, irresponsible campfire, etc.

Extra strong current, logs and boulders are some of the threats in a waterfall like Chenh Venh.

In order to unleash the potentials of natural and cultural resources in a sustainable way, the People’s Committee of Huong Hoa district has come up with a comprehensive plan on community-based tourism. Part of the plan is dedicated to turning local waterfalls into established tourism site.

As a long-standing partner of Quang Tri province and Huong Hoa district in particular, MCNV is joining the local authority in this initiative. The first step is turning Chenh Venh waterfall into an established tourism site and is implemented as part of the project “Promoting sustainable partnership between CSOs and enterprises for sustainable forest management in the context of climate change” (PROSPER), co- funded by the European Union.

A discussion between MCNV, local authorities and people in Chenh Venh village. Photo: MCNV

Currently, key infrastructure at Chenh Venh waterfall site has been completed, including upgrading staircases, installing information board, protective barriers, hazard signs, dust bins and building bamboo huts for tourists.

Bamboo huts at Chenh Venh waterfall site. Photo: MCNV

At the same time, a group of on-site tourism staff is established, with the majority recruited from the village’s forest protection team and the residents living close to the waterfall. The staff is tasked with collecting entrance fees, providing huts renting services, maintaining safety and sanitation at the site. Along with first aid packages and personal floatation devices, the staff has been equipped with basic first aid skills, thanks to a course joinly conducted by MCNV and local health centers.

A local staff collecting trashes at the site. Photo by MCNV

According to the management board of Chenh Venh waterfall site, during the recent national public holidays (from April 28th to May 1st), the total proceedings collected from entrance fees (VND 10,000/1 person) and hut renting fees (VND 120,000/hut) was VND 4 million – a relatively large amount to a remote mountainous village like Chenh Venh. Half of the proceeding was paid as wage for the staff, while the rest went toward Chenh Venh village’s Forest Protection Fund.

In the time to come, food and beverage stalls will be set up at the site to provide tourists with the fresh taste of local specialties. At the moment, MCNV is working on preparing the staff with requisite skills in tourism services, such as reception, tour guiding, food hygiene and safety, etc.

The initial outcome of Chenh Venh waterfall site transformation signals a promising future of a bigger project titled “Developing Chenh Venh ecotourism village” jointly implemented by MCNV and Huong Hoa district. The project is implemented based on the advantages possessed by Chenh Venh village in terms of climate, natural landscape, agriculture and geographical position.

Palm leaves are collected to build Van Kieu ethnic minority’s traditional house. Photo: MCNV

Located on the Ho Chi Minh trail which connects Quang Tri with the world-heritage Phong Nha-Ke Bang cave, Chenh Venh village is where the authentic cultural identies of Van Kieu-Pa Co ethicity are well preserved, with tradional occupations like bamboo rattan handicraft, brocade weaving, straw liquor making.

With the sponsorship worths VND 650 million (~EUR 25,000) from MCNV, the project is implemented in the second half of 2021. From July to the end of year, MCNV will work together with local authorities, technical consultants and local residents to complete requisite features of a tourism village, including: rebuilding Bru-Van Kieu ethnic stilt-house, setting up specialties pavillion, constructing clean water system, upgrading vegetables, flowers gardens and livestocks shelters; renovating pavements, roads; etc.

A fish pond is being built as part of the eco tourism village complex. Photo: MCNV

In addition to natural landscapes, Huong Hoa district is famous for numerous tourist attractions including Khe Sanh Victory Monument, Ta Con Airport, Sa Mu pass, etc. In 2019, the number of overseas visitors to Huong Hoa district was estimated at 14,000. Currently, due to the complication of COVID-19, the tourism industry in Vietnam and the world is temporarily ‘frozen’. In the future, when the pandemic is well controled, Chenh Venh ecotourism village is expected to contribute to the recovery of tourism in Central region in particular and Vietnam in general./.

Chenh Venh ecotourism village is under construction. Photo by MCNV

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Extended submission deadline for Homemade with Heart contest

We would love to announce that the deadline of Homemade with Heart contest has been extended to September 30th, 2021 (instead of August 31st).

With this adjustment, we hope that our contestants will have more time to work on their inventions, since we understand that many are having difficulty in the preparation process, especially in purchasing the materials amidst the pandemic restrictions in Vietnam.

Keep calm, try your best and stay tuned for our coming announcements for the new voting deadline and awarding ceremony (scheduled in October 2021)./.

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Homemade with Heart season #2 open for application

After the first successful season in 2020, Homemade with Heart is back this year!!

💁‍♀️💁‍♂️Regardless of what your profession is, as long as you have the passion for invention, the aspiration to support independence and participation of persons with disabilities.

💙 Homemade with Heart contest is for YOU !!!

The contest aims to stimulate the sharing of simple ideas and inventions that support the autonomy of persons with disabilities (PwDs) during their daily life activities. With two categories (Professional & Non-Professional), Homemade with Heart will help open a world of possibilities for PwDs and at the same time unlock your potential for creativity.

🆙👉Check out the contest’s website to know more about the application https://homemadewithheart.vn/

This contest is brought to you by Humanity &Inclusion Vietnam and USAID, in partnership with MCNV, ACDC and JICA

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Sustainable forestry helps poor families earn better incomes

Protect the forest, then the forest protects the village

More than a year ago, a group of farmers in Quang Tri, with the support of MCNV, took the first steps in a sustainable and small-scale forestry project. They started to grow wood and produce furniture oil in a better way, in order to get a better market price and a more stable income. In addition, the farmers work together to manage and protect the forests against illegal logging.

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Magazine 2021-2

For our magazine in Dutch, click here.

Magazine_2021-2

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Publication of annual report 2020

Please find here after our annual report and annual account 2020, in English. For a download version click here.

MCNV_Annual-report-account-2020

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MCNV joins Quang Tri frontline fighters in the battle against COVID-19

MCNV representative (left) presents aid package to Huong Lap Healthcare Center.

Located amidst steep mountain slopes and winding, treacherous roads, Huong Lap is a poor, impoverished commune in Quang Tri Province, on the border with Laos. After being striken by the historic devastating flashfloods and landslides last October-November, the commune, at the moment, is finding itseft in the middle of the fierce battle against the fourth wave of COVID-19.

During the historic flood sweeping through Vietnam’s central region in October and November 2020, Huong Lap was completely secluded.

Since the start of the pandemic, Vietnam’s widely praised response to contain the virus has depended on three main pillars: (i) strict border controls, (ii) effective isolation of cases and their contacts and (iii) mobilization of public support. For the commune of Huong Lap, this meant maintaining a high vigilance along the porous border with Laos and their small healthcare center had to double as a clinic and quarantine facility.

Border guards had to spend extended periods away from their families, stay in basic border huts and maintain regular patrols along the dense forest tracks used as illegal crossings into Vietnam. For health workers, it meant testing and quarantining people who may have been at risk of infection from COVID-19. Since April 2021, Huong Lap Healthcare Center has quarantined 229 cases returning from localities affected by the pandemic across the country and 9 cases of illegal entry.

The aid package sponsored for Huong Lap Healthcare Center consists of four-layer medical masks, hand sanitizers, infrared thermometers, aneroid monitor for measuring blood pressure and solar-power lightings.

In order to assist Huong Lap commune in the battle against COVID-19, from May 28th to June 4th, 2021, the Medical Committee Netherlands-Vietnam (MCNV) presented aids worth over VND 50 million (~EUR 1790) to Huong Lap Healthcare Center and Border guard station.

The aid package sponsored for Huong Lap Healthcare Center consists of 5 aneroid monitor for measuring blood pressure, 5 digital infrared thermometers, 50 boxes of four-layer antimicrobial masks, 50 bottle of hand sanitizers (500ml/each) and 6 solar-powered lightings. The total value of the aid is VND 19.7 million.

The Huong Lap Healthcare Center has been providing basic healthcare services to local residents, majorly people of Van Kieu ethnic minority. On average, the Center receives 15-20 clients a day. During peak time, for instance, monthly vaccination day, this number can hit 200. At the moment, the Center has been struggling with several challenges caused by limited infrastructures, including power outages. Solar-powered lighting therefore is essential to help the Center maintain operations.

“We are extremely grateful for MCNV’s precious support. Your generosity has not only enabled us to upgrade our clinic and purchase vital equipment but also motivates us to strive harder in the battle against COVID-19.” exclaimed Doctor Nguyen Thi Mui, Head of Huong Lap Healthcare Center.

The solar-powered lightings installed at Huong Lap Heathcare Center

On this occasion, MCNV visited Huong Lap commune Border Guards Station and presented an aid package MCNV consisting of 02 gas stoves, gas tanks, electrical wires, 12 water containers and mini water filters, with total value of VND 31.5 million. The aid aims to help improve the living and working condition of the border guard forces, who have been dedicated vast efforts to control illegal entry in order to help prevent the locality from COVID-19 transmission.

On behalf of Huong Lap commune Border Guard Station, Colonel Nguyen Dinh Phu, expressed his gratitude to the timely and practical supports of MCNV to improve the living conditions of his officers stationed at the Huong Lap border patrol post. “My officers now have more energy, and their morale is high to continue their vital work, thanks to MCNV,” he said.

Colonel Nguyen Dinh Phu (left) installs the water filter.

In the next couple weeks, MCNV will provide electrical wires worth VND 20 million (~EUR 715) to support another Border guard station in Quang Tri in supplying power to new border checkpoints./.


Quang Tri is MCNV’s key beneficiary locality, where the organization started its supports for Vietnam in 1974. For the past 15 years, MCNV has diversified its fields of support for Vietnam by implementing projects in livelihood, response to climate change,social inclusion, etc. In addition to long-term development project, currently MCNV has been coordinating the effort of donors in and out of Vietnam to implement respond-to-crisis activities.

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