Speech and Language Therapy – a huge but unmet need

Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) is a profession recognised around the world for supporting people who have difficulties in communication and swallowing. Speech and language therapists diagnose and treat communication disorders in children and adults. Treatment includes speech, language, voice and fluency therapy and nonverbal, multi-modal communication supports (e.g. picture systems, sign languages, alternative and augmentative communication), swallowing, eating and drinking.

From November 2017 to end of January 2018, MCNV and Trinh Foundation Australia collaborated to carry out an assessment of the speech and language therapy training needs in Vietnam. The key findings from the assessment were that there was a large, documented need for speech and language therapy services for all types of communication and swallowing disorders across all age groups but the need was not met, and that demand for human resources for speech and language therapy was increasing rapidly across regions and societies.

The assessment was conducted in eight provinces, including: Hanoi, Quang Nam, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Hue, Dong Nai, Binh Phuoc and Hai Duong.

On April 4 2018, MCNV and its project partners organized a workshop to share the results of the assessment.

Mr Pham Dung, MCNV’s Vietnam Country Director was signing the MOU with project partners.

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Enhancing the Voice of Neglected Groups in Lao PDR

On March 29, 2018, the partners of the LICM project (Learning about the use of Innovative Communication Methods ) came together in Vientiane for a final review of successes and lessons learnt after a year of joint activities. Coordinated by MCNV, this collaborative effort sought to empower vulnerable youth groups in Laos, providing them with skills and means to advocate more effectively for their specific needs.  Each implementing partner represented a vulnerable youth group with a particular constituency: Proud to Be Us (representing LGBTQI) , the Lao Disabled People’s Association (disabled youth) and Vientiane Youth Centre (minority youth groups).

One of the problems highlighted by this project is that in Laos, the majority of the population (about 60%) is under 25 years old, yet young people rarely have the opportunity to contribute to decisions that are taken about their lives. Practices and policies that could be better informed from more youth participation include those related to the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of young people, especially young vulnerable people. To obtain more knowledge about specific SRHR issues of different groups of vulnerable youth in Laos and enable vulnerable youth to learn about and advocate for better SRHR, MCNV in partnership with three Lao organizations decided to implement LICM as an action-research project. This allowed LICM to explore the potential of diverse Innovative Communication Methods such as songs, dance, theatre and participatory video for peer-learning, behavior change and advocacy.

Training on Photo Voice carried out by LPDA staff members.

LICM has demonstrated that it is possible to enable the vulnerable youth of Lao PDR to influence SRHR practices and policies in their immediate communities and beyond. Activities focused on improving communications: advocacy workshops, learning  exchanges, photo exhibitions, training in innovative communications methods, advocacy events with peers and policy makers. One of the most creative outputs produced by the LICM project were shadow dramas, which bring to light complex problems of social interaction in an appealing format: (Forbidden Love) (Life of Kham) (Kam Phaeng Huk) (Phouthai)

This project was funded by Voice, an innovative grant facility that supports the most marginalised and discriminated people in ten low- and lower-middle income countries in Africa and Asia. Aiming to amplify and connect thus far unheard voices in efforts to leave no one behind, this initiative is financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. LICM also served as co-financing for the MCNV led LEARN Programme (Lao Equity through Policy Analysis and Research Networks) a five year effort to enhance the capabilities of public health institutes in Laos, bringing together a range of partners working in education and health policy for this purpose.

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MCNV and Quang Tri: 50 years of companionship and development

The People’s Committee of Quang Tri Province in cooperation with MCNV held a meeting to celebrate the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relationship between the Netherlands and Vietnam (1973-2018) and 50th anniversary of MCNV (1968-2018).

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Vacancy: Fundraiser & Acquisition Coordinator

To realize our future objectives we are looking for a
Fundraiser & Acquisition coordinator, for 22 – 30 hours a week.

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Special Mission to develop the Dragon Fruit Value Chain in Vietnam

Between March 12 and 20, 2018, Mr. Guus Paardekooper, MCNV’s General Director, visited Vietnam for networking and resource-mobilization purposes regarding the dragon fruit value chain project.

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Communication on school violence prevention

On March 19 2018, MCNV cooperated with the Youth Union of the Vinh Linh High School, Quang Tri, to organize a communication session about mental health care, focusing on “Building a good friendship – Saying “no” to school violence”. This was one of the significant activities in the school year 2017 – 2018 in which MCNV, the Department of Education and Training in Quang Tri and Vinh Linh High School committed to implement to raise high school students’ awareness on mental health care in general and school violence prevention in particular.

The communication session was organized in the Monday Talk at Vinh Linh High School with the participation of more than 600 high school students from sixteen classes grades 10 and 12.

Through drama performances and interactive activities, the communication session helped students realize the causes of school violence, including behavioral and emotional disorders. The it brought out possible solutions to limit and stop school violence.

Drama performance played by students of Vinh Linh high school


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First Lao MPH Students Arrive in Hanoi

On March 5, 2018, Hanoi University of Public Health (HUPH) hosted a welcome event for 10 Master of Public Health students newly arrived from the University of Health Sciences in Laos (UHS). The group is the first batch to participate in the dual-degree, two-year MPH programme shared by the two universities, which encompasses studies in both Laos and Vietnam.

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MCNV’s first documentary on VTV4

Tireless efforts of MCNV and the Centre for Rehabilitation and Social Inclusion for Children with Disabilities in Cao Bang province was presented in the moving and heart-touching 30 minute documentary film “We can go to school”, which was broadcast at the Life Portrait Program, VTV4 Channel.

For full program, please click here.

For program trailer, please click here.

Program with English subtitle, please click here.

After being broadcast, a large number of friends and colleagues called to congratulate MCNV for this meaningful film. Efforts in a decade to support children with disabilities in Cao Bang were finally recorded and presented to the whole public. These are true honour and also responsibility of MCNV’s staff to continue striving for the community-based rehabilitation work in Vietnam.

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Volunteers needed!

Seeking Volunteers in Occupational Therapy 

Location: Hai Duong city and Hochiminh city

Duration of assignment: 6-12 months (start from April, 2018)

Are you passionate about function of the patient? Bring your skills to Vietnam to support the education of occupational therapy (OT) and the patients who need occupational technique. We are currently seeking to appoint a suitable experienced Occupational Therapy Volunteers to join our OT education program in Hai Duong Medical Technical University (HMTU) and University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Hochiminh city.

The demand for Occupational Therapy in Vietnam is huge, however in Vietnam, specialized OT training is not yet available at all levels. There is currently only one module in physiotherapy training.

With grants from USAID through Handicap International (HI), the Medical Committee Netherlands- Vietnam (MCNV) has supported the 5 year-project (2015-2020) on Development of OT education at HMTU and UMP with aims to create enabling conditions to establish education of OT professionals in Vietnam, including provision of OT educators, and development of a standard competency-based curriculum that can be recognized in the region, as well as training materials and strengthened Government policy on OT.

The first ever Bachelor on Occupational Therapy programs has been starting alongside at UMP since March 2017 and at HMTU in November 2017 with technical support from Manipal University, India.

Objectives of assignment:

The OT volunteers are expected to support and provide a comprehensive clinical placement programme for OT students who are enrolling the BOT program at HMTU and mentor them on how to effectively engage with patients and families in the community. The volunteer will share her/his knowledge of OT and how it can help people, young and old, who have disabilities, injuries and disorders that affect Activity Daily Living (ADL) and movement  functions.

By the end of this assignment, the volunteer will help providing:

Objective 1: Provide guidance to students undertaking OT subjects including:

  • Provide supervision and guidance to OT students during clinical placement at the hospitals.
  • Provide support to BOT students in OT practice hours during the OT courses.
  • Participate in field visits to support and mentor OT students.
  • Share professional knowledge which appropriate for occupational students
  • Increase awareness and capacity of OT students working in team setting.

Objective 2: Increase capacity of staff in OT knowledge, proficiency and practice

  • Support faculties from Manipal University (India) to effectively delivery OT courses in UMP.
  • Provide appropriate education and advice to rehab staff incline to OT.
  • Develop and/or maintain partnerships with local, regional and international organisations, professional and peer networks.


  • Bachelor of Occupational therapy
  • Has at least 2-3 years in clinical experience
  • Have the ability to share knowledge
  • Commitment to team work, coaching, and mentoring others
  • Awareness and sensitivity of cross-cultural settings
  • Patience, tolerance and flexibility
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Ability to develop working relationships quickly and effectively
  • Ability to cope with cultural isolation and a different standard of living
  • A preparedness to work with limited resources within a challenging environment
  • Committed to gender equality, children protection and disability inclusion

What MCNV provides:

  • Return airfare to country of assignment
  • Visa expenses
  • Living and accommodation allowance
  • In-country Orientation on arrival


Deadline: Feb 02, 2018


For more information about the assignment, please contact to Ms. Trang, Quynh Tran at

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Vacancy: member of MCNV’s supervisory board

MCNV is looking for a new member of the Supervisory Board to expand the representation of our partners in Vietnam and Laos.

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