MCNV is member of the Barefoot Guide Alliance, an alliance of 6 organisations around the world, which are sustaining the Barefoot Guide Connection to spread its message and methods. The Barefoot Guide Connection is a global network of individuals and organisations that value deep reflection on development practices by and for practitioners. A method that has emerged from writing four Barefoot guides is the ‘Writeshopping for Development’ methodology.
Last Friday, May 12, 2017, the new ambassador of Vietnam in the Hague, Mrs Ngo Thi Hoa, visited MCNV office in Amsterdam. Mrs Hoa wants to intensify the relationship between Vietnam and the Netherlands, joining forces in collaboration. To realise this, she made a list of organisations to visit and MCNV was on the top of this list.
A heartfelt cry from MCNV office Central Vietnam – We will not abandon the people in Quang Tri !
From the very beginning the work of MCNV in Quang Tri Province is made possible by contributions from the donors in the Netherlands. Six years ago, we managed to get a generous subsidy which enabled us to fund additional programs and staff. But last year the subsidy period ended and we did not yet succeed in finding new sources.
Improvement on nutrition and food security continues to be MCNV’s work priorities in Laos and especially in the areas where more ethnic minority groups are living. Nutrition and food security are closely interlinked and requires multi-sectoral approach as per the 8th National Social Economic Development Plan by the Government of Lao PDR, which states: “Nutrition is one of the sectors that faces challenges in the implementation since it is associated with several sectors such as food security, food access and food consumption. To counter these, it requires effective collaboration and shared responsibilities among the concerned agencies including sector of health, education, agriculture, environment, industry and commerce, etc.”.
In Lao PDR, MCNV has recently started CANTEEN programe (Collaboration And Networking To Enhance Education and Nutrition). This is a 4.5 year-program (between Jan 2017 – June 2021), which is funded with 75% budget contribution by the EU delegation to strengthen the capacity of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Local Authorities (LAs) to work in partnership towards the achievement of development goals. The programme has two specific objectives as follows:
- To build the capabilities of at least 6 LAs, 1 non-profit association (NPA) and 20 village development committees (VDCs) to work together to deliver nutrition sensitive services that improve food security, nutrition, and overall well-being of more than 6,000 poor ethnic minority people in 20 remote upland villages in Nong District, Savannakhet province.
- To strengthen capacity in policy dialogue and promote participation, transparency and accountability in multi-sector partnerships to encourage the uptake of successful models and to increase involvement of CSOs in development processes.
CANTEEN works closely with CODA (a Lao NPA – non for profit association) and Provincial Health Department of Savannakhet province to promote collective and coordinative working among different local authority organisations and community based organization in Nong district to work together for improvement in nutrition and food security at village and district levels. The experience and lesson learnt from such multisectoral coordination will contribute to and be shared with other stakeholders at provincial and national levels who are working together to improve the situation of nutrition and food security in Lao PDR.
During its 4.5 years implementation, CANTEEN program will support a range of activities in order to achieve the following expected results:
Expected result 1.1: Strengthened capacities of the participating LAs, CSOs and CBOs to deliver relevant, effective nutrition services to marginalised and vulnerable people, in particular women and children: This focuses on strengthening capacities of participating CSO and LA organisations and their staffs and members. The specific paths for capacity-building will be designed based on analysis of current gaps and future needs of each participating organisation. For the 20 participating Village Development Committees (CBOs) the Action will use a small-grant support scheme to help them improve their skills by practicing a full cycle of small experimental projects.
Expected result 1.2: Reduced malnutrition and food insecurity in target villages through adoption of convergent approaches that include key stakeholders in health, agricultural and education sectors: This is designed specifically to demonstrate effectiveness of the convergent approach in reducing the incidences of malnutrition and food insecurity in the selected villages. This emphasises the importance of working together to achieve a common goal. All sectoral interventions (i.e. educational, agricultural or health) are designed for nutrition sensitivity and are aimed at generating evidence on how to contribute to reduction of food insecurity and malnutrition. The proposed interventions under this refer to 14 of the 22 priority actions identified in the recently published National Nutrition Strategy to 2025 and Plan of Action 2016- 2020, designed to reduce malnutrition rapidly and sustainably with an emphasis on gender equality and the rights of women and girls.
Expected result 2.1: Increased effectiveness of institutional environment for CSOs and LA, with stronger networks that have better capacity to advocate for sustainable approaches using evidence arising from the action. This will show the up-scaled and sustainable interventions in Nong District, using evidence-based advocacy to argue for their replication, adaptation and adoption in other areas of Lao PDR. It will strengthen links with civil society networks such as the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN)-Alliance. This adds value to GoL’s plans, as it currently is expanding the rollout of convergent approaches to other provinces, including Savannakhet, and will be seeking evidence and support for effective implementation and expansion.
 The Five Year National Social Economic Development Plan VIII – 2016 – 2020: part I: 7th NSEDP 2011-2015: achievement and lessons learned. Lao PDR.
14th April 2017, in collaboration with Hai Duong Medical and Technical University (HMTU), MCNV organized a workshop on introduction of Occupational Therapy (OT) Training Program for Bachelor level.
The workshop aims to increase general understanding about OT in contribution to quality of rehabilitation; to present and update progress of the OT education development project; and to introduce the pre-service training course of Bachelor of Rehabilitation specialized in OT at HMTU
80 physiotherapists and professors of rehabilitation profession from Ministry of Health (MOH), general hospitals, rehabilitation centers of Northern provinces, representatives from Ministry of Educational and Training (MOET), USAID and HI and especially lecturers and student of HMTU attended the workshop. All participants expected the BOT training program will be expressed broadly and recruit qualified students. The BOT training program at HMTU will be started this November. The same BOT course was kicked off already at the sister university of Medicine and Pharmacy in HCMC in March 2017.
On April 22nd 2017, Ms. Monique Smiers and Ms. Hoang Phuong Phi, two delegates from Hulza Foundation, Netherlands have visited MCNV’s microfinance project in Binh Dai district, Ben Tre province. They visited Thoi Lai commune, where a new microfinance project was started in December 2016 with the financial support from Hulza Foundation.
Thoi Lai is one of 9 communes in the microfinance project run by MCNV and Women’s Union. After 4 months of implementation, Thoi Lai has been providing microfinance services to 138 poor women from the initial capital of Euro 20,000 funded by Hulza. Among them, 94 households used their micro loans to build high-capacity water containers to retain rain water to meet domestic consumption and livestock needs during dry seasons. 43 others borrowed to invest in their home business. The project also gives 1 loan for production group and 13 loans to buy health insurance.
Ms. Monique and Ms. Phi has visited 8 households and joined a credit group meeting. The poor women in Thoi Lai were very happy to show them new water containers, which was a great help for health of people and livestock in the drought and salinity disaster recently. Members of the project also learned much knowledge on
financial literacy and production skills in the exchange session during monthly group meetings.
After the visit, Ms. Monique shared “Thanks to the effort from MCNV and partners from Women’s Union, Hulza could use their funding in a real microfinance project. I believe that we have made the right choice to support Ben Tre and our funding will create more social and economic benefits to the poor women in a sustainable way”.
In March 2017 a delegation of the Vietnamese Film Institute and the European Foundation Joris Ivens visited the MCNV office in Dong Ha. During the visit MCNV director Guus Paardekooper led the delegation around the MCNV Museum. The organisations plan a partnership in 2018, when MCNV celebrates its 50th anniversary and the Joris Ivens Event will take place. The Dutch Ambassador Nienke Trooster, director Nguyen Dinh Thi of the Hanoi Academy of Theater and Cinema and Nuffic/ NL Universities are enthusiastic about the cultural exchange and like to join the cooperating partners.
The delegation from the Joris Ivens Institute was invited to Vietnam by the Vietnam Film Institute. Both institutes intend to start projects researching the Joris Ivens archive materials, such as films, scripts, photos and film posters. The results of this research could be presented in November 2018 during an international Joris Ivens Event in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Joris Ivens in Vietnam
Film maker Joris Ivens worked in Vietnam between 1964 and 1970 on four movies, that play an important role in raising awareness of the Anti-War movement and their protest campaigns. Ivens arrived secretly in 1964 on invitation of the North-Vietnamese government. Two months later the USA started bombing the country. From the very beginning Ivens was in the unique position eye witnessing with his camera what he described as ‘the biggest colonial war the world ever has seen’. In two films unique excerpts can be seen of Ivens’ meetings in 1965 en 1968 with president Ho Chi Minh.
In the delegation also former MCNV’s Ad Spijkers, who was one of the driving forces behind the support actions to Vietnam, such as ‘Bikes for Vietnam’. He invited Jane Fonda, was involved in the visits of Kim Phuc to the Netherlands through the MCNV and of various Vietnamese professors, for instance the minister of Health Care.
With this visit of the Ivens Foundation to Vietnam a network of reliable stakeholders has been established, with whom the plans for 2018 will be worked out.
Read the full report of the visit of the delegation to the filming locations of Joris Ivens in Vietnam on www.ivens.nl