"Our festive day"

“I will never forget the festive atmosphere, the cheerfulness and happiness that I enjoy today. For me, this event is not just a competition. I felttouched, motivated and integrated into my community thanks to the support from the local authorities and the project staff who organized the event for us”, said a member of the club of people with disabilities of Gio Hai commune at a event which took place on April 17 to celebrate the Vietnamese Day for People with Disabilities (PwD)(April 18). The event, named “People with Disabilities in Gio Linh heading towards autonomy and solidarity”, aimed to provide both member and non-members of 3 PwD clubs in 3 project communes a space for sharing and getting involved in a wide range of activities such as singing, skits, etc. The event was held in the framework of the project "Supporting Persons with Disabilities" implemented by the Center forSustainable Rural Development (SRD) in collaboration with the People’s Committee of Gio Linh district, Quang Tri province with funding from Caritas Australia .
The event was attended by more than 150 participant who are the members of 3 PwD clubs of the communes of Gio My, Gio Hai and Gio Linh town. The representatives of the Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs of Gio Linh Commune and the People’s Committee of the three project communes also participated in the event.

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Following the introduction, as 3 teams entered into atrivia quiz and the communication competition, the atmosphere of the event quickly got exciting. The trivia quiz tested participants’ understanding of the project’s activities which have been focusing on 3 main themes, namely disability inclusion in disaster risk reduction, rights for PwD, livelihoods, enhancing living conditions, vocational training for PwD. After that, the communications competition took center stage, as the participants performed small skits which conveyed messages related to the importance of the above themes. Although the messages and genres of the skits differed considerably among teams, they are all related to the lessons that the participants have learned since taking part in the project.

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The joyfulness and optimism were what the three teams brought to themselves and to all participants at the event. Not only the contestants but also the audience had chances to get involved in the trivia quiz and received gifts when they had the right answers for crossword puzzles. The audience also enthusiastically cheered the team of their commune and assisted the team in the quiz by dropping them hints, which created the connection between the teams and the audience.
The event is one of activities that the project has been implemented in order to support the PwD at the project site. In the near future, the project plans to cooperate with local authorities at different levels in Quang Tri province to advocate for the establishment of associations of PwD at different levels (from provincial to communal).

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