Thanks to the support of MCNV, the Dien Bien Support Center for the Development of Inclusive Education recently assisted six local primary schools and kindergarten in establishing the Learning Corner for students with disabilities. The activity was conducted on December 27th& 28th, under the piloting collaboration mechanism between the Support Center and satellite schools which will be officially implemented from 2022 onward.
Since 2014, MCNV has started to support Dien Bien with a project of community-based rehabilitation for people with disabilities. In 2016, MCNV and Dien Bien Provincial Department of Education and Training (DoET) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a mutual collaboration in setting up a Support Center for the Development of Inclusive education for children with disabilities in Dien Bien (Support Center) and fund raising for construction of this Support Center.
In October 2019, Dien Bien Support Center officially started its operation. With financial and tecnical support from MCNV’s project, staff of Dien Bien Support Center were enabled to join some basic capacity building activities.
In the academic year 2020-2021, 50 students received education and intervention from the Support Center. Out of the,10 have been transited to mainstream schools or relocated with their families while the other 40 continue their second year at the Support Center. Together with the 50 new admitted children, in the school year 2021-2022, the total number of students of the Support Center therefore will be 90, including children with intellectual disabilities, speech impairment, hearing impairment, autism and DOWN syndrome.
For the academic year 2021-2022, the Support Center will continue to offer three education programs, which are pre-primary school (using Vietnam’s official primary program with adaptation), early intervention (using Vietnam’s official preschool programs with adaptation) and life skills for children with severe disabilities./.
November fills the commune of Huong Phung (Quang Tri province) with the hustle and bustle of the prime coffee harvesting season.
“The cherries are ready to be picked! When will the company from Hoi An come to buy them?” Ho Van So, head of Xa Ry Village coffee group says in excitement while looking at the ripe coffee cherries glowing in the autumn sun. Xa Ry is one of seven coffee groups in Huong Phung commune (Huong Hoa district, Quang Tri province) participating in contract farming as suppliers for Hoi An Roastery and a local household coffee processing unit.
The partnership was established with the support from the Medical Committee Netherlands – Vietnam (MCNV) and has been growing robustly over the years, fueling the confidence in a bright prospect of a sustainable coffee supply chain.
However, amidst the complication of COVID-19, for nearly two years, this promising model has been struggling with the risk of being shattered. The challenge forces businesses to formulate an adapting strategy and look for new resources for development. In order to facilitate the coffee supply chain access to the Dutch Fund for Climate and Development, MCNV has initiated a project titled: “Agroforestry coffee production of Hoi An Roastery & Arabica Coffee Smallholders in Quang Tri province, Vietnam.”
The project aims at promoting contract farming and certified coffee production to enhance the supply chain, contributing to the sustainable development of coffee production in Quang Tri.
In 2021, the project marks a significant milestone by participating in the Rainforest Alliance (RA) certification program period 2021-2025 with a vision toward 2030. If the program is fully implemented, it will help increase farmers’ income, enterprises’ profit margins and contribute solution to tackle various social, environmental concerns as well as crop quality and productivity-related issues.
Before the project is implemented, most of the coffee was sold to middlemen. According to Ho Thi Nuong, a female member of Xa Ry coffee farming group, bargaining was impossible as they could not reach out to any other buyer. The farmers therefore had no choice but scramble to sell their coffee. Limited market access and low level of market penetration has led to uncontrolled harvesting, lowing down the quality of processed coffee beans and threaten to reduce yields of the next harvesting season.
Farmers, at the same time, were trapped in a circle of numerous concerns including unstable coffee price, crop yields, fertilizer purchase and inadequate cultivation techniques. Most of them acquire fertilizer on credit and can only settle the payment once they receive cash from coffee buyers. This leads to complete reliance on middlemens, who play the role of both fertilizer supplier and coffee buyer.
“Thanks to the project, we are now harvesting coffee cherries following the RA standard. The quality is improved and the price is increased. All participating groups are enabled to bargain with the buyers before signing a contract. Payment for coffee sale is made in due time, facilitating farmers to pay for the fertilizer they bought on credit. Things are getting better!”, Nuong says.
Sharing the views of Nuong, Ho Van So adds: “In 2020, I began to remove old low-yield coffee trees to plant around 2,000 trees per hectare. Quality is more important than quantity. Less trees also means less fertilizer. At the same time, we are growing other kinds of trees such as peppers to generate more income and provide shade for coffee trees.”
In October 2021, a series of workshops was organized by MCNV to give farmers an overview of the RA certification, in particular the criteria that must be met. “At the beginning, it was so hard to get used to activities like writing farm diary and doing garden monitoring,” says Vo Chanh Thi (Dai Do village).
“Nonetheless, step by step, we have found out that this practice is highly beneficial. In addition to improving coffee quality and quantity, this model helps farmers feel confident since it ensures a stable and favorable price. Not only can they sell coffee at a higher price, they also get an extra income in accordance with a so-called “Sustainability Differential’’ policy when participating in the RA certification.
Seven groups of farmers (over 50 members) have taken part in the contract farming model of 2021, of which nearly 40% are people of ethnic minority. According to the farming contract, coffee cherries are sold to enterprises at significantly higher-than-market price.
MCNV plays a facilitating role in this coffee supply chain by providing support, consultation and monitor to the entire process, including the establishment and capacity development of farmer groups, contract negotiations and signing, coffee supply and processing, bookkeeping, quality control, and development of a monitoring and evaluation system. In addition, MCNV has connected the beneficiaries with a local bank to open individual bank accounts, ensuring the transparency and timeliness of payment. Based on the current progress, the year 2021 is expected to be a great stepping stone for the journey toward RA certification./.
On November 3rd & 5th, 14 students of the Master program in Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) successful completed the thesis defense at the HCMC University of Medicine and Pharmacy (UMP). MCNV Country Director Pham Dung attended the event.
The SALT Master program is conducted as part of the project “Development of Speech and Language Therapy Education in Vietnam” under the DISTINCT project by VietHealth, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). MCNV is in charge of project implementation and also contributes part of the funding. The Trinh Foundation Australia (TFA) participates in this project as a technical consulting partner.
The completion of the Master thesis defense is a significant milestone in developing SALT, achieved amidst the most complicated period of COVID-19 outbreak in HCMC. Despite the inevitable challenge brought about by the pandemic, MCNV and partners managed to come up with a set of adaptation solutions to minimize the negative impacts.
Since COVID-19 hits Vietnam, most of the training activities had been shifted from direct to virtual training method. The curriculum was revised, adapted while new teaching materials were developed. A professional Zoom account was maintained to facilitate online learning. Along with that, memberships of Simucase, a credible clinical simulation platform were purchased for all students and supervisors, enabling the users to assess, diagnose, make recommendations, and provide intervention for virtual patients.
For their thesis research, students received continuous support from experienced supervisors of HCMC UMP and universities in Australia.
This achievement would have never been accomplished without MCNV’s precious partners and friends, TFA, HCMC UMP, SALT specialists, lecturers and mentors. Based on this initial success, we look forward to our continual fruitful cooperation, to further contribute to the development of SALT and Rehabilitation in Vietnam in general./.
MCNV is a Dutch-based NGO, with an international network working in the fields of health development, social inclusion, livelihood development in responding to climate change, and value chain. Currently MCNV has been running 12 projects in 16 provinces of Vietnam.
During the last 20 years, support to People with Disabilities (PWDs) has became a main Program of MCNV in Vietnam in high priority. MCNV has a plan of a project focusing on Rehabilitation for PWDs in several provinces.
We are looking for several positions for the project as following:
Program Officer: 02
Administration and Procurement Assistant: 01
Application deadline:17h00 ,25th October 2021
For more details of task of each position please refer to Job Description documents attached below:
In response to the shortage of equipment in COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment, the Philips Foundation, Philips Vietnam and the Medical Committee Netherlands – Vietnam (MCNV) have donated 50 patient monitors to 13 hospitals and healthcare centers in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Dong Nai, and Binh Duong.
The first five patient monitors were handed over to the hospital of the HCMC University of Medicine and Pharmacy by representatives of the donors and the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee in HCMC on September 28th.
In healthcare, patient monitor is a valuable tool that helps provide information on vital signs including heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, oxygen saturation, which will be used by medical and nursing staff to triage and monitor patients’ conditions during Covid-19 treatment.
Vietnam is confronted with a 4th wave of COVID-19 since the end of April 2021, with an increasing infection rate in more than 60 cities and provinces that cause patient overload and serious medical equipment shortage, especially in designated COVID-19 hospitals in the South of Vietnam. To ensure there are sufficient beds to treat the rapidly increasing number of COVID-19 patients, many temporary field hospitals are being newly built to share the patient load with current healthcare facilities – often requiring new medical equipment.
“We believe that when technological innovation and collaboration are combined, we can support the medical force at critical times while meeting future needs for the long run,” said Ms. Margot Cooijmans, Director of Philips Foundation. “We hope that the installation of critical patient monitors will be of great benefit in managing the influx of COVID-19 patients for the hospitals in Vietnam,” she emphasized.
“I am happy that we can contribute, with support from the Philips Foundation and in collaboration with MNCV and Fatherland Front of Vietnam, to the local departments of health with this donation. Our support intends to partly mitigate the shortage of medical equipment in the designated COVID-19 hospitals in Vietnam managing the high volume of seriously ill patients,” said Mr. Hugo Luik, Country Manager of Philips Vietnam.
“Amidst the complicated ongoing development of COVID-19 outbreak in Ho Chi Minh City and the neighboring localities, via the donation of patient monitors, Philips Foundation has provided vital support to healthcare facilities in the treatment of COVID-19. MCNV is honored to join the Philips Foundation in delivering essential supplies to those facilities. We hope that the COVID-19 will soon be controlled and life will soon return to normal for everyone,” said Mr. Pham Dung, MCNV Country Director./.