Caritas visit projects

In the second week of April, SRD received a visit from Caritas Australia, one of our major donors. The visit started in Hanoi where Caritas visited SRD’s office and witnessed the progress of SRD’s child protection policy. Caritas now aims to support the implementation of the policy through the set of two workshops to be held in June and July.

On Thursday the 11th Caritas arrived in Hue with the purpose of visiting two projects, one in Thua Thien Hue and one in Quang Tri Province. Caritas visited locals who participated in the project VM031 “Disaster Risk Reduction Management”. Implemented in March 2011 in two coastal communes of Huong Tra town, Thua Thien Hue, the project has made a substantial impact on the local community. The aim of the project was to mitigate risks associated with climate change, and spread awareness on how best to prepare as to minimize damages. The project has been essential to the community as the villages surrounding Hue are extremely prone to seasonal floods. Caritas met the rapid response team of Huong Phong commune; a team put together by the project that has received training in rescue missions, first aid, and disaster risk management. The meeting took place in the village’s community house where the ten members were eager to show SRD and Caritas their work and share their experiences. The members proudly presented their disaster risk management plan written on a whiteboard provided to all households by SRD. The board serves as a reminder on what to do when disaster strikes. When asked how the project has improved the village’s odds the leader of the team Nguyen Duc Minh responded: “Before the training we just did what we thought was best, now we are more skillful, organized and effective.”


Caritas and the rapid response team

Apart from the disaster risk management plans that were distributed to all households in the area, the project also introduced the use of larger notice boards placed strategically in the villages. These boards provide basic information on what to do in case of a flood and are accessible for everyone living in the village.


Disaster Risk Management Information Board in Huong Phong commune

On April 12th,Caritas further visited to Gio Linh district in Quang Tri province, where implemented the project to support people with disabilities. There, Caritas met Mrs. Nguyen Thi Hue, single woman suffering from limping, who received a loan from the livelihood support fund to build a pigsty and invest in pig breeding. All in all she managed to invest 12 million in her pig-raising; she used all of the money from the livelihood fund but also managed to borrow some from her siblings. Today she receives 330k / kilo, or 75 USD per pig.


SRD, Caritas, and Mrs. Nguyen Thi Hue in front of the pigsty she built with support from the livelihood support fun

Apart from visiting recipients of the livelihood support loan and those who participate in vocational training, Caritas also visited children who are being supported by the project. One of them was Tran Hoang Duong, a 10 year old boy with Cerebral Palsy. His family tells us that Duong visits a rehabilitation centre every day, for the whole day. The father takes both him and his brother on his motorbike every morning. The 17 year old brother has received training through a Korean volunteer programme and now works at the rehabilitation centre where he not only takes care of his brother but also other local children with disabilities.  According to the physical therapist who the project finances,and who visits Duong every three month, Duong is now able to speak more clearly than beforeand his body is more flexible. The family also states that he smiles a lot more now than he used to. Duong smiles and laughs almost constantly during the visit and he manages to fill all our hearts with warmth and joy.

image008Duong with his older brother

Caritas also visited a little girl with cerebral palsy who, like Duong, receives home based visits from a physical therapist. The last visit was paid to Mr. Nguyen Truyen who has received a loan to raise ducks.

Caritas was very impressed by SRD’s work on disaster risk management, and hopes that the project could continue to reach out to women and in the future also involve female representatives on the rapid response team. Caritas was happy to see the progress made in project VM041’s first year, and gave suggestions on how the project could become even better in reaching those who needed it the most.

- SRD -

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