Nedspice joins MCNV to provide school meals to 190 kids

MCNV’s Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture (NSA) on January 9th received a donation worth US$ 5,000 from Nedspice Processing Vietnam.

The donation will be used to fund 50% the cost for school meals for 190 kids living in remote areas throughout the semester of Jan-May 2021. The beneficiaries are students of six kindergartens in the upland district of Dong Xuan, Phu Yen province (Southern Central Vietnam). Each meal costs VND 12,000, of which a half is contributed by the sponsor Nedspice and the rest is paid by the parents.

A school meal in Phu Yen province, supported by NSA.

The school lunches are prepared by the local micro-food sellers in accordance with the nutrients menu for nursery school kids that is regulated by the education sector. The school meal is one of three components of the Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture (NSA) project that has been funded by MCNV since 2017 in Dong Xuan district.

Thanks to this model, so far 425 kids have got access to nutritious school meals in 15 schools in the district.

MCNV and local parents are filling the gap in addressing persistent problems of malnutrition in upland communities./.

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Ms.Nguyen Thi Ket, Giong Bong hamlet, Thoi Lai commune, Binh Dai district, Ben Tre province. Photo: Hieu Le Tran                                      

9 years ago, while heading to work on her bicycle, Ms.Nguyen Thi Ket was hit by a truck, and fell into a coma with multiple serious injuries on her spine, lungs and livers . After spending months in the hospital, she fortunately survived with one paralyzed hand. She can barely lift the arm up and down, however,due to the motionless hand and fingers, the right hand neither can support any of her daily activities.

Since then, from a healthy and full of energy woman, Ms.Ket began to adapt to the physical change, which initially causes various discomfort and distress. Nevertheless, losing one arm doesn’t mean losing her optimism. Instead of ‘crying over the spilled milk’, Ms.Ket was determined to stand up again and overcome the difficulty on her own. Step by step, she learns to do everything with her left hand, not only to live independently, but also take care of her sick mother (who just passed away some months back) while earning their living by raising rabbits, chickens, growing vegetables and especially making coconut jelly for sale.

Thanks to her tenacity, patience and diligence, Ms.Ket has proven that ‘Nothing is impossible’. It’s difficult to imagine, everyday, this lady does everything with one hand, including cooking, watering vegetables, feeding rabbits, and even cracking coconut fruits, peeling off coconut skin or making rabbit cages.

Ms.Ket has been rearing meat rabbits for 4 years. On average, she raises around 100 rabbits one time, and sells around 30 rabbits every three month. The food for rabbits are dried vegetables from her home garden. The cages of rabbits are cleaned up regularly to keep the rabbit healthy.

Ms.Ket can do everything using only one hand, including cracking a coconut. Photo: Hieu Le Tran

As a beneficiary of the Microcredit project in her hometown – Binh Dai district, in the year 2020, Ms.Ket has made a loan worth VND 5 million to invest in rabbit cage building (purchasing materials like wood and steel). “The cage is of great importance, that it ensures the health and safety of the animals”, she said.

Raising rabbits is a dedicated work, requiring a high level of attention and meticulousness. It would make a long list to tell all the tasks Ms.Ket does on a daily basis. It’s beyond keeping the rabbit’s stomach full or their cage clean, but can vary from getting a ‘wanderer’ back home, rescuing a newborn one that just falls off the cage or waking up at midnight to work as a rabbit’s midwife .

Despite her busy schedule, Ms.Ket never appears to be tired. Her shining smile never fails to brighten anyone’s day, and amazes every visitor with distinguished skills like cracking a coconut using only one hand, or you may call it using the ‘POWER of POSITIVITY’.

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Hundreds tonnes of wastes turned into bio compost

Thanks to the project ‘Community-based eco-green solution to solid waste treatment’, 74% of the wastes generated by 1150 households in Ben Tre province, has been effectively converted into bio compost in the year 2020.

Ms.Vo Ai Hoa, Vice President of Ben Tre provincial Women Union speaks at the conference.

The result was officially announced in a project review conference held in December 2020 in Ben Tre city, Ben Tre province. The event was attended by representatives of Ben Tre provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment, the People’s Committee of Ben Tre city and Chau Thanh district and local environmental action groups.

Delegates at the conference.

‘Community-based eco-green solution to solid waste treatment’ project (also know as: Turning domestic waste into fertilizer to develop household gardens for 400 households in 10 wards/communes in Ben Tre province) jointly implemented by MCNV and local Women Union with the sponsorship of UPS company.

Via sponsoring 50% of the cost of equipment purchase (compost bins) and providing guidance on waste treatments, the project has helped 1150 households managed their wastes in a simple, cost-saving yet effective fashion.

Compost bins provided for traditional markets in Ben Tre province.

According to Ben Tre province’s Women Union, in the year 2020, 1150 households generated 458 tonnes wastes (equal to 38.2 tonnes per month). Among these wastes, 339 tonnes were organic wastes, which were converted into bio compost to nurture household gardens .

Primary students in Ben Tre province get access to waste treatment equipment.

Also in the year 2020, the project supported 10 workshops on growing vegetables with bio compost for 350 local women. 750 primary students were trained on waste classification. Waste classification bins were provided to 15 primary schools, kindergarten and 2 markets./.

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Congratulation to 12 new OT Bachelor degree holders

Photo credited to Tran Huu Duc

Recently, 12 Bachelor program students of HCMC University of Medicines and Pharmacy have completed their four-year journey in Occupational Therapy (OT) major.

MCNV Country Director Dr.Pham Dung was present at the Graduation ceremony held on December 24. In this special ocassion, on behalf of MCNV, Dr.Dung Pham handed congratulatory gifts to 12 new Bachelor degree holders.

He congrated them on successfully concluding the course, wishing them all the best in their following paths, whether it be working as Occupational Therapist or higher learning and research.

 Since 2015, a 5 – year project on Development of Occupational Therapy Education in Vietnam has been implemented by MCNV. The project is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through Humanity & Inclusion (HI) to launch the project Development of Occupational Therapy Education in Vietnam. Vietnam’s first Bachelor program in Occupational Therapy. As part of the project, the Bachelor program in OT was piloted in HCMC University of Medicines and Pharmacy and Hai Duong University of Medical Technology.

MCNV has been working to support these two universities in various aspects, including: developing program curricula, providing capacity building for lecturers, post-graduation coaching.

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Light of hope admist losses

Ho Van Cat on his piece of land which is now ready for cultivation.

The historic floods and landslides have massively devastated numerous areas in Quang Tri province, in particular Huong Hoa district. Amidst the loss of livelihood, thousands of people are looking for the light of hope…

After the devastating flooding and landslide in November, Mr. Ho Van Cat, resident of Ma Lai Pun hamlet, Huong Phung commune (Huong Hoa district, Quang Tri province) is embarking on a new challenging journey of post disaster relief.

 “For the last three days, I have been so excited that I cannot sleep!” Ho Van Cat says while rubbing his two hands against each other.

Standing on his 0.35 hectare piece of land, which just has been leveled and divided into five parts, Cat’s face glows with blissfulness. Under the sun, his eyes glistens like a child who has got the gift of his dream from Santa Claus.

Seeing his smile today, it is hard to imagine how frustrated Cat was two weeks back.

“If no one reached out a hand to us, we would not survive!”, he sadly said.

Located by a stream, the paddy field, the only livelihood of Cat’s family was deeply buried under huge layers of soil and rocks carried down by landslides.

The only crop of the family normally starts in December, and they would not be to access to farming land without the support of bulldozer. Nothing to be sowed, nothing to be reaped. The future of the family of eight, including five children, would be haunted by hunger.

Luckily, Cat’s family were not alone as they are one of the first four poor households in the hamlet receiving the support from MCNV and local authorities.

With the financial support of EUR 10,000 from Dutch donors via MCNV, tonnes of earth and rocks have been removed, making 03 hectare of agricultural land accessible to the affected owners.

The light of hope just returns to the community. However, it’s a long way to go.

The post disaster relief work will take time and MCNV is trying our best to make sure that those flood victims are not alone in their new struggle.

  • The damage caused by floods and landslide in October and November occurred on a large scale in Quang Tri province. leaving 58 death and missing.
  • Thousands of cattle and poultry were killed/washed away, thousands hectares of crop were destructed. Hundreds of hectares of rice plantation and 5.8 ha of agricultural land were inundated.

(Tung Nguyen, MCNV Program Coordinator)

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MCNV fifth time recognized for Contribution to Vietnam

On December 21, MCNV was conferred with the Merit of Recognition for the Contribution to Poverty reduction and Sustainable development by the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations (VUFO).

On December 21 an event to recognize the contributions of NGOs to poverty reduction and sustainable development of Vietnam was held in Hanoi by VUFO.

MCNV was honored to be one of 50 NGOs being conferred this Merit of Certificate 2020; summarized and evaluated the achieved results and proposed directions to cooperate with foreign NGOs in the coming time.

Speaking at the ceremony, VUFO President Nguyen Phuong Nga, foreign NGOs, emphasized the contribution of foreign NGOs in Vietnam. She noted the timely support of NGOs for Vietnam during adversity, especially the battle against COVID-19, response to climate change and post disaster recovery in the Central region.

In 2020, the total value of foreign NGOs aid for Vietnam is estimated at USD 250 million, of which nearly USD 9 million was for post disaster reliefs and USD 6.5 million for COVID-19 prevention and control./.

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I-Thrive: OT Consultant in Hue recruitment

To contribute to filling the gaps of OT workforce and services at both provincial and district levels,  MCNV has been cooperated with Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy (UMP) to provide a  12-month course on Occupational Therapy (OT) in which Hue UMP sent to this training course two participants who are teachers working at Rehabilitation Department (called OT practitioners hereafter).

The training course will end in December 2020. As planned, in the future Hue UMP  will organize Continuing Medical Education (CME) course focusing on OT practice for some  common heath conditions.

MCNV  is hence looking for an international OT consultant to provide 7-month coaching on OT clinical practice for the 2 OT practitioners at Hue UMP Hospital.

For more information, please go to the Terms of Reference below:

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I-Thrive: Recruitment of SALT volunteers

To contribute to filling the gaps of rehabilitation service and system at both provincial and district levels, MCNV has been implementing I-Thrive Project in Thua Thien Hue and Quang Nam Provinces. Within this project, MCNV support Da Nang University of Medical Technology and Pharmacy to provide a 12-month course on Speech and Language Therapy (SALT).

For each province, MCNV is looking for a volunteer to provide coaching on SALT clinical practice for health staffs who finish this training course (called SALT practitioners hereafter) in daily working in the targeted health facilities after completing the SALT training course.

A CV detailing professional experience, relevant qualifications should be provided to by December 25, 2020.

Please refer to the ToR below for more details

Volunteer in Quang Nam:

Volunteer in Thua Thien Hue:

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Vacancy for Occupational Therapy volunteer

To contribute to filling the gaps of rehabilitation services and system at both provincial and district levels, MCNV has been implementing I-Thrive Project in Thua Thien Hue and Quang Nam Provinces.
Within this project, MCNV support Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy (UMP) to provide a 12-month course on Occupational Therapy (OT).

MCNV is looking for a volunteer to provide coaching on Occupational Therapy (OT) clinical practice for health staffs in daily working in their hospitals after completing the 12-month course.

For more information, please find the Terms of Reference (ToRs) below:

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95 freshmen gain insights into Rehabilitation via workshop

An orientation conference for freshmen was held on November 7, 2020 by the Faculty of Nursing and Medical Technology, HCMC University of Medicine and Pharmacy (UMP).

The event aims to facilitate students in making the optimal choice of major for their coming learning journey and career. Currently, the Faculty is offering two majors: Physical Therapy (PT) and Occupational Therapy (OT).

This year, the Faculty welcomes 95 new students who have just got admitted for the Bachelor program period 2020-2024.

The conference has provided the freshmen relevant information and understanding on the role of Rehabilitation in the healthcare system, the scope of works, its clients and career opportunity. The information was brought to the students by experienced lecturers of UMP and specialists in Rehabilitation.

Remarkably, a group representing the first batch of OT Bachelors was invited to the event to share more insight of the OT with the freshmen. The sharing has given the first year students the confidence to make their choice of major, of which many have decided to choose OT.

MCNV and UMP hope that more students will register for OT, a very promising profession but still facing shortage of manpower in Vietnam.

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