On October 19 2017, the Vietnam Film Institute (VFI) and stakeholders organized the official ceremony to receive historic documentary films and materials from MCNV and the European Foundation Joris Ivens (EFJI). The ceremony took place in a formal and moving atmosphere, with the representation of Mr. Vuong Duy Bien, Deputy Minister of the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture, Sports and Toursim, Ms. Nienke Trooster, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Vietnam, Mr. Guus Paardekooper, General Director of MCNV, Mr. Vu Nguyen Hung, President of VFI, Mr. Adrian Spijkers, representative of the European Foundation Joris Ivens, and a good number of distinguished guests.
On September 8 2017, MCNV cooperated with the Department of Education and Training – Quang Tri province to organize the workshop on “Survey results of mental health conditions of high school students in Quang Tri”. The workshop gathered representatives from different agencies and organizations, including the Quang Tri Department of Education and Training, and teachers from 31 high schools across the province.
Between September 25 and October 12 2017, MCNV and the Athena Research Institute, Vrije Amsterdam University, the Netherlands, conducted a retrospective study on the status of nutrition in children age under 5 in four villages, Ky Du, Phu Son, Xi Thoai, and Ha Rai of Xuan Quang 2 and Xuan Lanh communes, Dong Xuan district, Phu Yen province. The goal of this study was to gather experience and discover the real status of nutrition-sensitive interventions and nutrition-specific interventions at these mountainous communes; hence possible solutions to improve food security and reduce the malnutrition of children could be made.
Everyone agrees that inclusion is hard, that reaching the poorest and most marginalised is difficult. The layers and reinforcing cycles of exclusion defy the conventional development project approach. Something else, something qualitatively different is needed.
On morning of September 9 2017 in Dien Bien Phu city, the Medical Committee Netherlands-Vietnam (MCNV) cooperated with the Department of Education and Training (DOET) of Dien Bien province organized a workshop to introduce the new book “Education in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for high school students”. The workshop gathered representatives who were teachers and officials of 31 high schools in Dien Bien.
With the aim of helping high school teachers to educate their students about SRHR, the book provided teachers with important, practical, and useful knowledge about gender and sexuality; friendship, love among teenagers; contraceptive methods and possible ways to prevent unwanted pregnancies; prevention of sexually transmitted diseases; the problem of sexual abuse among teenagers; personal hygiene; child marriage and early marriage…
Mr. Anh Quoc Nguyen, MCNV’s Coordinator was giving a prize at the workshop
The book was one activity in the project “Enhancing communication in SRHR education for high school students in the mountainous area of Dien Bien”, which was supported by MCNV. The book compiling and production were made in one and a half year, with the contribution of five high school teachers in Dien Bien, two staff members of MCNV; and a doctor from the Hanoi National University of Education. The ultimate goal of the project was to improve teachers’ awareness on SRHS, help them understand more correctly about the issue and then can teach their students better, especially ethnic minority school girls.
According to Dr. Thanh Xuan Nguyen, deputy director of the Ministry of Education and Training, Dien Bien province, the book was a pioneer in the SRHR field, which contained much good knowledge on SRHR for high school students at ages 15 to 18.
The document also had its scientific value, which could be used as a source of reference for researchers, educators, and teachers who care about SRHR. On this special occasion, more than 400 copies of the book were given to high school teachers in Dien Bien.
In three years, from 2015 to 2017, the project has also developed many activities, including building capacity in SRHR for high school teachers, improve students’ kowledge about SRHR, and running the club “Our Ages” which is a platform for students to share their stories and experience of SRHR.
COUNTRY DIRECTOR (CD) LAO PDR
MCNV is a Dutch INGO with the mission to support sustainable development in S.E. Asia. We are working as an international network organisation working on health, social inclusion, livelihoods & climate change and entrepreneurship & value chains. MCNV works from offices in Vietnam, Lao PDR and The Netherlands. All activities of MCNV aim at sustainable improvement of the situation of disadvantaged groups in society. In Lao PDR, we undertake integrated rural development activities with a focus on nutrition and mother and child healthcare. At a national level MCNV supports health research activities in collaboration with Lao Public Health institutes via the EU-funded LEARN Program. MCNV Laos has currently 2 offices and about 10 employees. MCNV aims to grow its activities in Lao PDR in the coming years. The CD reports to the General Director MCNV and is based in Vientiane Capital.
The CD is responsible and accountable for implementing MCNV’s strategy in Lao PDR to create positive and inclusive change in Lao PDR’s society. The CD is responsible for coaching and co-working with the colleagues and partners, ensuring that the programs are adequately resourced and deliver successful outcomes. He or she has representational and influencing skills, and can engage effectively with a diverse range of stakeholders (program beneficiaries, government officials, institutional and private donors, business leaders and other NGO’s). The CD creates new leads for funding and co-develops proposals.
- Management of the staff and offices in Lao PDR;
- Take final responsibility (for the delegation of responsibilities to staff) in the areas of policy, finance, HRM, communication, fundraising, reporting and quality;
- Responsible for a timely and accurate reporting cycle of the programs, which run in Lao PDR and for overall MCNV Lao PDR quarterly reporting;
- Ensure that the programs are implemented effectively and efficiently, in accordance with policies and procedures of donors and MCNV;
- Support and contribute to generating financial resources for MCNV;
- Contribute to MCNV’s strategic development;
- Ensure and promote the visibility and good name of MCNV;
- Liaise with key stakeholders to support and position MCNV well and to develop MCNV’s network;
- Represent MCNV at (high-level) meetings or seminars;
- Contribute to activities of the organisation as a whole, ensuring smooth functioning.
- Affinity with the aims and culture of MCNV;
- At minimum, a Master’s degree in a relevant field, such as public health plus 7 years’ experience in a senior management position, preferably working with an (I)NGO;
- Demonstrated experience and skills in leadership, staff management, organisational development, program development and management, strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation;
- Demonstrated ability to generate program funding including donor cultivation and grant writing;
- A motivating and coaching style of working with natural leadership;
- Committed to teambuilding and able to develop and support other team members;
- Excellent problem solving skills and ability to resolve ambiguity and conflict;
- Flexible, and able to manage multiple tasks and conflicting priorities within tight deadlines;
- Able to communicate well in multicultural settings and at different levels;
- Strong working knowledge of English (spoken and written);
- Experience working within Lao PDR is preferred; within SE Asia development context is a plus.
Further details can be found at our website mcnv.org. Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter and resume in English to firstname.lastname@example.org noting the job title in the subject line. The closing date for applications is October 5th, 2017. The first round of interviews will be held in week of October 16th, 2017. MCNV is an equal opportunities employer. The salary package is in line with the goals and non-profit status of the foundation. The position is initially offered for one year, with the intention of extension.
On September 12, representatives from 7 MCNV funded community development funds in Phu Yen province together with MCNV staff visited and worked with the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) team in Ho Chi Minh city. This meeting was the first step in which MCNV seek PwC’s expertise on financial management and legal consultation to help MCNV funded microfinance funds in Ben Tre, Quang Tri and Phu Yen province improve their technical and legal capacity to be self-sustained in development.
MCNV has been supporting social inclusion and health programs in these provinces for a long time and in each program, the microfinance component has been a glue and catalyst to connect target groups to participate and commit more to program objectives and at the same time, improve financial inclusion. MCNC’s target in the near future is to make these microfinance components to be independent funds to sustain themselves and continue to support the poor with minimum support from MCNV.
PwC is a renowned company in legal and financial consulting field. PwC had supported MCNV with CSR (corporate social responsibility) grants to improve education for children with disability. This time, PwC is interested to support this microfinance sector to make use of their in-depth expertise and also create opportunities for PwC staff to develop their capacity in a more challenging community microfinance environment.
MCNV and PwC will organize more discussions on cooperation in the coming time.
On August 28 2017, MCNV cooperated with the Quang Tri Department of Health held the workshop” Enhancing mental health care in community” with the participation of more than 30 representatives from the Department of Public Health, Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs and nine districts, six hamlet health executives of Vinh Son commune and Vinh Tu commune of Vinh Linh District.
The workshop was organized in order to share the knowledge and experience of metal health care platforms based on the communities on Quang Tri province.
Representatives attending the workshop shared information and discussed vital matters such as: (i) how to support mental patients in the local are; (ii) Policies and support regime for mental patients over the time; (iii) The effect and experience from the platform of mental health care in community that MCNV conducted and deployed at A Xing commune, Thanh commune in Huong Hoa district and Vinh Son commune, Vinh Tu commune in Vinh Linh district in 2013 – 2016; (iv) Discuss about the combine ability between related groups in expanding the platform of mental health care based on the mental patients’ families at the groundwork.
Workshop members highly appreciated the group of families model and hoped that the Department of Health and the Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs could seek support to duplicate the model in the coming time in order to improve knowledge and skills in patient support, help improve the confidence of patients and their families so they their social rehabilitation could take place more easily.
*Photo: Dr. Mai Nam – vice president of the Health Public Department of Quang Tri utterance.
On August 29th 2017, MCNV collaborated with the Village Health Workers’ Association of Quang Tri Province and the Youth Union of Huong Hoa District to organize a kickoff workshop for MCNV’s new project “Supporting Ethnic Minority Adolescent Girls”. Participating in the event were representatives of the Provincial Health Department, Provincial Sexual and Reproductive Health Centre, Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs and the authority and relevant parties of the district, including People’s Committee, Health Department, Health Centre, Centre for Population and Family Planning, Department of Training and Education, Department of Labour, Invalid and Social Affairs, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Women’s Union and Youth Union, as well as international non-governmental organisations Plan and World Vision.
An assessment carried out by MCNV in collaboration with the Provincial Sexual and Reproductive Health Centre in the first half of 2017 has shown that ethnic minority adolescent girls in Huong Hoa are facing serious health, education and social problems. To evidence, in 2016 in Huong Hoa there were 301 girls out of totally 483 cases who became pregnant at adolescence (counted for 62.3% of the total number of pregnant adolescent girls in the province), 120 cases of child marriage, and 30% of adolescent girls under 15 years old and 50% under 16 started having sex. The ethnic minority adolescent girls lack knowledge and skills in SRHR, face difficulties in accessing quality health and education services, and are affected by local cultural customs and limited awareness of the community.
In 2017 and 2018, the project will be implemented in 6 communes in the border area Vietnam – Laos, including Huong Lap, Huong Phung, Huong Viet, Lao Bao, Tan Long and Tan Thanh. The project’s general objective is to reduce the rates of unwanted pregnancy and child marriage among adolescent girls. Key interventions will focus on (i) building capacity and creating opportunity for personal development for adolescent girls; (ii) improving the access to health, education and social services for adolescent girls; (iii) raising the local authority’s and people’s awareness about the issues related to adolescent girls. A wide range of activities have been planned, including a social marketing campaign for behaviour change communication, setting up clubs and groups of adolescent girls, checking up and counselling on SRH, providing scholarships and vocational trainings for disadvantaged adolescent girls, and improving SRH knowledge and skills for adolescent girls, thus contributing to ending unwanted pregnancy and child marriage among adolescent girls.
*Photo: Ms. Phan Thi Lien, Chair of the Village Health Association, Quang Tri province, was presenting the image and symbol of the project named Mun Arai.
Perth welcomed us in a very early cold of its mid-winter. Our flights was landed at 2h30 in the morning after a long nearly 13 hour-flight and transferred at Kuala Lumpur airport.
Gotten in a cab, four of us (Ms. Cam Hung- Head of Rehab Department, Hai Duong Medical Technical University (HMTU), Ms. Thanh Van – Head of PhysioTherapy Department, University of Medicine and Pharmacy (UMP-HCMC), Dr. Pham Dung – Country Director of MCNV in Vietnam and my self–as Coordinator of OT Education Program) were shivering with sleepy eyes in that small space which operated by electronic and broke through the quiet and velvet night to the hotel.
A bit exciting to head up to the 27th Occupational Therapy Australia Conference in the upcoming days.
Such a privilege to us – a delegation from Vietnam to attend the 27th OT Australia Conference which was held from July 18th-21st in Perth, Western Australia.
The first day in Perth was Education Day and hosted by Curtin University – one of the leading in OT training courses in Australia as well as in the world. Lots of experience and sharing from universities (Curtin University, Swinburne University, James Cook University, University of South Australia, Charles Sturt University, Deakin University, Griffith University, Australia Catholic University, University of Sydney, La Trobe University, University of Queensland, Monash University…) who are providing OT education exchanged openly with different topics such as Contextualizing the cultural competency journey of OT, Innovations in project management practice education for student professional development through high quality, strategic and inter-professional opportunities… The two lecturers from HMTU and UMP-HCMC had excited opportunities to discussed innovations in OT education with colleagues from other universities. These discussed topics were valuable and useful directly for the OT Education Development in Vietnam which is undertaken by HMTU and UMP with support from MCNV and granted by USAID from 2015-2020.
Discussed topics were:
- Innovation in establishing and maintaining partnerships in practice education
- Innovation in preparing and debriefing students
- Innovation in preparing and debriefing supervisors for students practice education
- Innovation in innovation in assessment
- Innovation in international practice education opportunities
- Innovation in sourcing funds for practice education
- Innovation in non-traditional and/or role-emerging practice education
- Innovation in simulation
Vietnam delegation at the Education Day hosted by Curtin University.
Photo credit: MCNV
A strong sense of confidence about what we are doing in Vietnam grows among us!
And the second day in Perth but first day of the OT conference was fulfilled with emotions and pride by very inspired, short and sweet speeches from policy makers, OT practitioner and especially a client who had received OT services after surviving from a bomb suicide in London years ago. More impressive was the rhythm of welcoming to country – traditional custodians of the land sang by an Aboriginal man. So warm and proud.
Opening Session of the 27th OT Australia Conference, Perth city
Photo credit: MCNV
Running from session to session, presentation to presentation, question to answer in such a busiest scientific program from July 19th – 21st, we ran back and forth as shuttles just wanted to learn as much as we can from researchers, practitioners, educators, policy makers, consumers/service-users, managers and students. All is about OT. “The conference was a great opportunity to explore new directions, to learn about enhancements to practice and to participate in discussions about our professional development” Ms. Hung/HMTU said.
Fondly imagined that tea-break times could bring us some air, but meetings and non-stop conversations about OT with colleagues from over the world. That was the times we could visit and view exhibitor areas of practice. Engaged with the exhibition and met with exhibitors and learned about new products and all available assistive devices were exhibited, a pained question hit heart and brain “when Vietnamese people could access to and have these assistive devices in OT services?” We wished could bring them all home. However, ideas for the ADL labs at HMTU and UMP bloomed.
Ms. Cam Hung from HMTU was exchange with a delegate from the USA.
Photo credit: MCNV
A short visit to the department of Occupational Therapy and Social Work, Curtin University brought us an overview about OT training program – simulation-based education and the OT lab at the university.
Images taken from the visit to the Department of OT and Social Work, Curtin University
Photo credit: MCNV
To end this note, as the President of OT Australia, Peter Bothams spoke in his opening “The theme Partnership, Inclusion and Innovation has never been more apt than now. We are a diverse professional community, and this is one of our strengths as we increasingly find ourselves working in changing dynamic environments where our roles evolve and flex to suit emerging needs, with many occupational therapists pioneering paths for the profession.”
YES – WE – MCNV – proudly stand among pioneers for OT profession in Vietnam!
By Tran Quynh Trang – MCNV Program Coordinator