The Dien Bien Support Center for the Development of Inclusive Education (Support Center) held its official school opening ceremony on September 5th, 2021, with the enrollment of 50 new students. Despite no case of COVID-19 infection was recorded in the province for the last 17 days, protective measures were still strictly adopted. The ceremony was held on a smaller scale with all participants wearing masks.
In the first half of August 2021, the Support Center conducted a series of screening and counselling session for over 90 children with disabilities and symptoms of developmental disorders. The children were residents of Dien Bien Phu city and five neighboring districts of Dien Bien province. The activity was organized under the support of the provincial Department of Education and Training (DoETs), in close coordination with local primary schools and kindergartens. The screening and evaluation were conducted using the Denver Developmental Screening Test (DENVER) II and the Psychoeducation Profile – Revised (PEP-R), followed by basic counselling provided to parents on the education that best suits the needs of their children, aiming to help them achieve full potential.
Recently, the admission results were approved by the provincial DoETs, with 50 children with disabilities get admitted. In the academic year 2020-2021, 50 students received education and intervention from the Support Center. Out of the 10 which 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 newly 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.
In 2021, MCNV will continue the assist the Support Center and the province on inclusive education via providing capacity-building on early detection, early intervention and early education to local education managers and teachers, establishing collaboration mechanism for inclusive education support between the Support Center and satellite schools, providing information on early detection, early intervention and education for children with disabilities is transfered to all 10 districts/cities in Dien Bien./.
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 (DoETs) 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 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. The Center’s staff has initially formed their capacity to care for and educate children with disabilities.
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.
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’.
The Micro Credit and Saving project in Binh Dai district was launched by MCNV and sponsors in 2009.
In 2020, the project has been expanded to 11 communes and townships, including Binh Dai township, thanks to the funding of Microcredit for Mothers (MfM) foundation.
The project has been expanded to 11 communes and townships, providing financial services and facilitate socio-economic inclusion for over 5,000 disadvantaged and poor women, supporting household economy development, response to saltwater intrusion and new rural development.
Nowadays, the project has become financially self-sustained, and is being conducted with the permission of the State Bank of Vietnam, Ben Tre provincial branch.
What’s is the ultimate goal of INNOVATION and CREATIVITY, if not for the betterment of people’s lives?
Regardless of what your profession is, as long as you have the passion for invention, the aspiration to support independence and participation of persons with disabilities.
Homemade with Heart contest is for YOU !!!
The contest aims to stimulate the sharing of simple ideas and inventions that support the autonomy of persons with disabilities (PwDs) during their daily life activities. With two categories (Professional & Non-Professional), Homemade with Heart will help open a world of possibilities for PwDs and at the same time unlock your potential for creativity.