News

“Speech and Language Therapy Education Development in Vietnam” Project concluded: All Goals Achieved

September 27th, 2022 – After five years of implementation, the Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) Education Development in Vietnam project was concluded with all goals achieved, including the graduation of Vietnam’s first ever 14 Master and 20 Bachelor degree holders of SALT (MSALT and BSALT).

Following the first ever Master of SALT, the first Bachelor of SALT (graduating from Da Nang University of Medical Technology and Pharmacy) was another significant outcome generated by SALT Education project – a component of DISTICNT project by VietHealth, funded by USAID in a five-year period (October 1st , 2017 – September 30th, 2022).

Dr.Le Thi Thuy – In-charge Vice Rector of Da Nang University of Medical Technology and Pharmacy (DUMTP) speaks at the graduation ceremony.

The project was implemented by MCNV with technical support from Trinh Foundation Australia (TFA), aiming tolay a solid foundation for the development of an official education system for the SALT profession in Vietnam. The Project was concluded with a closing meeting held on September 27th to review the implementation of the Project as well as drawing lessons learned.

Ms. Ritu Tariyal – Director of the Reconciliation and Inclusive Development Office, USAID.

Earlier, on September 26th, a hybrid Thematic Workshop on SALT was held by MCNV and partners, bringing together around 120 in-person and online participants from Vietnam and abroad. The MSALT graduates, BSALT students and international academics from different universities in Australia presented their research in SALT.

MSc.MD.Pham Dung (left) and TFA Director Ms.Bronwyn Coop at the Thematic Workshop.

In over the past five years, SALT project has successfully achieved its key goals, with the completion of Vietnam’s first Masters and Bachelors of SALT, conducted in coordination with HCM University of Medicine and Pharmacy (UMP HCM) and Da Nang University of Medical Technology and Pharmacy (DUMPT) respectively.

The two MSALT and BSALT courses cover all the SALT scopes following international education in SALT, including assessment, diagnosis, habilitation, rehabilitation, counseling, and prevention services for individuals from birth through old age who have some type of speech, voice, language, fluency, cognitive-communicative, or swallowing problems due to delayed development or as a result of an injury, cancer, stroke or progressive neurological disease. The MSALT was for 2 years and the BSALT was for 4 years. Due to the shortage of qualified Vietnamese SALT trainers, most of the trainers are from overseas (Australia, the UK, US, New Zealand).

With the completion of the MSALT and BSALT courses, the Project has supported four Medical Universities which are UMP HCMC, DUMPT, Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy (Hue UMP) and Hai Duong Medical Technical University (HMTU) on capacity building for SALT trainers and BSALT, MSALT curriculum development.

A/Prof.Ngo Quoc Dat – Vice Rector of HCMC University of Medicine and Pharmacy (UMP) gives his speech at the event.

As a part of the Project, a network of national and international SALT academics, practitioners and clinical sites were established to support the development of SALT in Vietnam in terms of education and services.

Concurrently, the awareness of SALT among rehabilitation professionals and the public has been vastly improved, thanks to the frequent maintenance and updates of a SALT website (http://speechtherapyvn.net/) and a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ngonngutrilieu.mcnv).

Participants at the BSALT Graduation ceremony and SALT Education Project Closing Workshop

Overall, despite half of the journey was covered with COVID-19 pandemic challenges, SALT project celebrated its conclusion with the accomplishment of all goals. This achievement could not have been made without the strong commitments by MCNV and the unwavering support from the project sponsor – USAID, related governmental authorities, national and international academics and clinical educators, service providers in rehabilitation in HCMC, Da Nang, and Hai Duong, and many others./.

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*More photos:

The first Batch of BSATL receive congratulatory bouquets from MCNV, USAID and TFA
The first Batch of BSATL receive congratulatory bouquets from MCNV, USAID and TFA
In-person participant of the Thematic Workshop
Ms. Bronwyn Coop (Director of TFA) (left), Ms.Sarah Day (center) and Ms.Megan Nevel (TFA)
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Changes in MCNV Supervisory Board

This summer a changing of the guard took place in the Supervisory Board of MCNV. Chairman Marijke Postma earlier announced that she was going to reduce her workload and therefore decided not to serve out her second term. Marijke, chairman since 2016, has led MCNV through the change of management, attended the celebration of the 50th anniversary of MCNV in Laos and contributed to two multi-year strategy plans (2017-2021 and 2021-2025). Under her chairmanship, MCNV has been able to strengthen its position as a reliable organization with a recognizable profile.

At her farewell, Marijke emphasized that Vietnam and Laos will always have a special place with her.

“For me, the contact with marginalized groups and the small scale of the projects is essential, even more than the topics. That expertise and the way of working, so very successful over the years in Vietnam, can be of great benefit in Laos in the coming years.”

Mattijs Smits also says goodbye to the Supervisory Board. From his position as a lecturer in the Department of Environmental Policy at Wageningen University and with his personal knowledge of and experience in Southeast Asia, Mattijs has made a valuable, substantive contribution for 7,5 years. A focus on the improvement of living conditions and the consequences of climate change were paramount.

New Members of the Supervisory Board

At the beginning of 2022, we welcomed two new members of the Supervisory Board: Cily Keizer and Nathalie Veenman. Cily Keizer has more than 30 years of experience in international cooperation and has lived in Southeast Asia for a long time. Nathalie Veenman has lived in Laos, worked at policy and program level in international development and is now Director of Communication and Development at the Wildlife Justice Commission.

The Supervisory Board has elected Cily Keizer as chairman as of 15 August 2022. Both Cily and Nathalie introduce themselves to you here.

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Recruitment for short-term consultant

MCNV is looking for a short-term consultant for Disability Program
In general, this position is responsible for the implementation of the Project coaching rehabilitation workers in provinces of Tay Ninh, Binh Phuoc and Dong Nai. The Consultant will be requested to report directly to the Project Manager based in Vietnam.

Location: Ha Noi City. Domestic travel is requested (about 30% of working time).
Duration: from 15 October 2022 to 31 December 2022, with a possible extension

For more information, please refer to the Job Description in this following file: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mV9iPp7gUOmeM69mr-i8XKwClqlwcDB6/view?usp=sharing

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Coming soon! Speech and Language Therapy special event

Following the first ever Masters in Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) graduation ceremony held in April this year at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in HCMC, we are going to celebrate the graduation of the first ever Bachelors in SALT at the Da Nang University of Medical Technology and Pharmacy on September 27th, 2022.
On this special ocassion, MCNV in coordination with fellow partners jointly organize a series of event, including a hybrid Thematic Workshop on SALT.
Time: 13.30 – 17.30 Vietnam time, 26th September, 2022.
Venue: Webinar on Zoom.
Language: Vietnamese and English
Link for registration: https://us06web.zoom.us/…/reg…/WN_bp-hce-gQju_H8iVG40lFg
Kindly register before September 22nd, 2022.
We look forward to seeing you at the event!
*The project ‘Speech and Language Therapy Development’ funded by the USAID through VietHealth is implemented by MCNV with the technical support of Trinh Foundation Australia.

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Education tour: Nurture the love for nature

Planting trees in an area of landslide due to the 2020 historic floods

MCNV in cooperation with the Deutsche Forstservice GmbH (DFS), Forest Science Center for North of Central Vietnam (FSCV), and Dong Ha High School organized an “Eduction on Nature and Environment” tour to MCNV’s project site in Huong Hoa district of Quang Tri province, Vietnam on the 30th of July 2022.

Tour group at Chenh Venh Eco-tourism Village

Thirty nine students of Dong Ha High School, accommpanied with their teachers and parents in Dong Ha city were the targets of the education tour. The program’s aim was to provide deep understanding of the value of nature including ecosystems and forests, evoking awareness of climate change, biodiversity conservation, and sustainable development, and enable the students opportunities to take actions.

Planting trees in an area of landslide due to the 2020 historic floods

“Things in here were quite totally new and strange to me”, Tran Nguyen Phi Uyen – a 17-year-old school girl confessed. “At the time I entered into the forest, I felt anxious and a bit scared of leeches and so [coyly smiling], just like many friends of mine joining in the tour. However, beside the learnt lessons of the nature and environment, I think those were good moments for us to learn to face fears and overcome obstacles.”

Tran Nguyen Phi Uyen on a farm of coffee and passion fruit trees
Introducing indigenous culture and income generation from eco-tourism and non-timber forest products

“I am really impressive of this education tour,” said Hoang Van Minh – Vice Principal of Dong Ha High School. “All the students live in Dong Ha city and hadn’t known about forests and life and culture of indigenous communities. Now they’ve got great experiences. As far as I know, this kind of education tour has first been organized in Quang Tri province, and we expect many more tours of this would serve a greater number of students in the coming time.”

Vice Principal in front of groupwork’s presentation of participating students

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Organisations lend hand for sustainable forestry in Vietnam

Article on the Vietnam Investment Review. Author: Nguyen Dinh Dai, MCNV Chief of Central Vietnam Office

The government has recently approved a project worth $3.55 billion to develop the forestry sector in a sustainable manner in the 2021-2025 period. This legal framework aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the implementation of Vietnam’s net-zero commitments.
To achieve the targets, the forestry sector and local government require strategic implementation and good practices in the field. This will be carried out through partnerships with donors such as the EU, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), WWF Vietnam, and MCNV.

Nguyen Dinh Dai – Central Vietnam chief MCNV Office

The province of Quang Tri has created strategic results in sustainable forestry development thanks to the support from international organisations, and there are already many interesting stories regarding this.

One regards promoting market links on non-timber forest products (NTFPs) between smallholders and enterprises. Nhien Thao is a local enterprise in Quang Tri province that produces natural-based products such as shampoo, floor cleaning liquids, and dishwashing liquid. NTFPs including soap, black locust seeds, and essential oils are key raw materials for the production of the enterprise.

Currently, Nhien Thao is collaborating with about 150 smallholder forest owners in supplying NTFPs with a value of about $75,000 annually. These smallholders are managing hundreds of hectares of natural forest where they can harvest different kinds of NTFP such as soap nuts, black locust seeds, pomelo, and limes. The enterprise is planning to expand its business and network with smallholders.

In April 2022, the enterprise was awarded the prize of best natural business solutions by the New Generation Plantation and WWF Vietnam. This is a win-win business model for the smallholders and enterprises in contributing to sustainable forest management.

Another example is the long-rotation plantation for tung oil production. It is estimated about 1,500 tonnes of dry tung oil seeds are harvested annually with a value of $650,000 in Quang Tri province. Since 2020, the PROSPER project (on promoting sustainable partnerships between civil organisations and enterprises for sustainable forest management in the context of climate change), co-funded by the EU and MCNV, has supported smallholders in planting about 300ha of tung oil plantation mixed with indigenous species in Quang Tri province.

Tung oil plantation has contributed to forest protection and annual income for smallholder forest owners from harvesting tung oil seed.

With the support of the USAID, the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is planning a 5-year strategy for tung oil plantations. This model will contribute directly to annual income for smallholders, increasing forestry cover ratio and carbon capture from the long-rotation of tung oil plantations.

Within the PROSPER project, for the first time in Vietnam, two natural forests of smallholders in Huong Hoa district have earned FSC certification on sustainable forest management, in which three bamboo species are certified FSC. In 2022, the project targets to achieve certification for carbon capture, bio-diversity, and rattan.

By December 2020, about 20,000ha of natural forest had been allocated to smallholders in Quang Tri province, in which around one-third received the Payment of Forest Environment Service for forest protection. The rest of the forests are protected voluntarily by smallholder forest owners. The piloted model on FSC-certified ecosystem services offers potential for smallholder forest owners in accessing payment mechanisms for forest ecosystem services and the high-value market of NTFPs of FSC-certified rattan and bamboo.

This association of smallholder forest certification was established in 2014, supported by WWF Vietnam. The association is a representative for smallholder forest owners in FSC certification for acacia plantations and has been a link between IKEA suppliers and smallholder forest owners in supplying FSC-certified wood.

In 2020, under the support of PROSPER, for the first time, the association recruited new natural forest owners as members. This achievement brought a new direction in promoting sustainable forest management of smallholders in both plantations but also the natural forest.

Quang Tri province is considered one of the pioneers in sustainable forestry development strategies. The concrete practices in the field are significant to show scaling up in the aspect of implementing the programme on sustainable forestry development until 2025./.

Source: https://vir.com.vn/organisations-lend-hand-for-sustainable-forestry-in-vietnam-95585.html?fbclid=IwAR00os4tgFue4aBlLtiOmVln0BV8nHRFJBNlgkkiB9Mp3j7HFpK0Rfk_t9I

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“Quang Tri, Aspiration of Peace” event

MCNV’s long-standing ties with Quang Tri province were highlighted in the event “Quang Tri, Aspiration of Peace” co-organized by the Vietnam Film Institute, Quang Tri provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Department of Foreign Affairs and several organizations including MCNV.

The exhibition was attended by Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung; Secretary of the Quang Tri Provincial Party Committee Le Quang Tung and a number of former ambassadors, representatives of the Vietnam Film Institute as well as veterans, war correspondents, cinematographers, historical researchers, and film researchers.

About 200 photographs, panels, and artifacts were featured in the exhibition, reflecting the resilience of local people and international solidarity to Quang Tri during the war as well as the humanitarian assistance from the international community to address the war legacy issues and as the development of Quang Tri nowsaday.

The photos, posters and artifacts are categorized into four themes “Quang Tri recollections”, “International Solidarity for Quang Tri”, “Overcoming the challenge of postwar unexploded ordnances in Quang Tri” and “Quang Tri – A Safe and Friendly Destination.”

Various precious photos capturing MCNV’s assistance for Quang Tri, including the donation of medical supplies from the Netherlands to Vietnam during the war, the building of Dong Ha hospital, capacity building for health workers during the postwar period, were displayed under the theme “International Solidarity for Quang Tri”.

According to MCNV Country Director, Mr.Pham Dung, nowadays, MCNV is honored to be able to link up the support of international friends, including the Dutch, the European and American people with the Vietnamese people in the new context of development and affirmed the commitment of MCNV to the cause of sustainable of Vietnam and Quang Tri in particular in the time to come./.

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Healthy food, strong women and equal opportunities

New plans to strengthen our nutrition program

In Nong and Sepone, two municipalities in the province of Savannakhet, Laos, a lot of work has been done in recent years to improve the food situation and food security. With the support of partners and donors, vegetable gardens, chickens and fish ponds, school canteens were created, and information about healthy nutrition for pregnant women and mothers was shared.

school garden

These structural changes have a positive influence on the position of girls and young women. According to the traditional division of roles, the daughters look after the younger children and the women work on the land. Men make almost all decisions, including about food. As a woman, giving your opinion or learning something for your future is often not accepted. As a result, the position of women in this poor, remote area remains vulnerable and they remain dependent on their husbands.

600 women and girls

MCNV has made a plan to give extra support to 600 women and girls from ten villages in Sepone in the field of organization and entrepreneurship. The women learn which crops are suitable, when to plant and harvest and to sell them at the market. They are allowed to participate in decisions about financial matters such as the purchase of manure, seeds and fish feed. It gives the women self-confidence and a place in the community. The men are involved in the program to experience that the family and specifically nutrition is a joint responsibility.

Many girls from the villages in Sepone now do not go to school because they have to take care of their younger brothers and sisters. As a result, they miss the opportunity to learn to read, write and count. We hope with this program to change the situation, so that girls can go to school to learn and develop.

The program will contribute to good nutrition for pregnant women and their children, but aims especially to strengthen young girls and women, who can look forward to a healthy and equal future through education and more knowledge. We want to go there together with you!

Thank you very much for your (extra) contribution!

Sincerely, Sivone Mouanaotou

MCNV Program Manager in Laos

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Magazine 2022-2

For a download of our magazine in Dutch click here.

Magazine_2022-02

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