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. We decided to keep the current projects in the coming months for people with mental illness, for teenage girls and for food safety, but after that we cannot keep the programs and the field office running without additional support. On a sweltering hot afternoon I talk with MCNV- program manager Tung in Dong Ha at a historic place for MCNV: the former Holland Hospital was built here in 1975. Now there is a medical school here, a museum and the purpose of my trip, MCNV office in Central Vietnam. Tung talks enthusiastically about his work in Quang Tri, but he has worries too. Can we go on with our work, will we manage to find sufficient funds? Tung and his colleagues have begun to look for companies and funds in Vietnam with which they can work together, but that takes a lot of time. In the meantime, the projects have to be kept running.
Tung says: “We made a successful start with a group of teenage girls of ethnic origin in the border area between Quang Tri and Savannakhet province in Laos. Girls usually marry at a very young age there, they get pregnant and then immediately have to leave school . They have no chance to complete their education and find a job. It is not easy to break the established patterns of ethnic minorities, but we managed to give the girls a different perspective. We help the schools to create good awareness programs so that girls know more about sexual matters and are less likely to become pregnant early. We also help their parents, who are often illiterate, mainly by singing and shadow play. Would it not be great if we could also help the other groups in that area towards an independent future, with opportunities for a good life. ”
“Another very important group that we work with are people with mental illness,” says Tung. “In Vinh Linh district, we started to set up self-help groups for them and their family. These are aimedfor them to be involved in the community in a normal way. These self-help groups are very successful! People feel empowered in dealing with everyday problems and slowly but surely they get their confidence back. On top of that, we provide proper training for professionals who guide these groups and we lobby for equal opportunities at local and provincial governments. Working with these groups takes time and money and it would be very disappointing if we can not continue. “The MCNV Dong Ha executives provide technical assistance to Disabled People Organizations (DPOs).” The DPOs started creating employment opportunities for people with disabilities. With a small loan from the DPO someone can start a business or small shop. One of the members, a man with serious injuries to his leg from a work-related accident, started a chicken farm. After a while his chickens were in great demand, so he could expand his business and repay the loan completely. DPOs have been working largely independently, but still use our advice, “says Tung.
Our question to you
Tung and colleagues from Central Vietnam MCNV ask for your help to continue to support the people in Quang Tri. this year they need a budget of € 16.000 for working with teenage girls , for assistance to people with mental illness they need € 12.000 and for the food security project € 6.000. These people cannot do without your donations. Thank you very much for your support and commitment to the important work of MCNV Central Vietnam!
MCNV- program manager
Nguyen Thanh Tung
Your (extra) contribution is very welcome!