VNAH to Organize Free Concert in Danang for People with Disabilities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact VNAH/HealthEd
703-847-9582 or E-Mail: vnah1@aol.com

VNAH to Organize FREE Concert in DaNang for People with Disabilities
Concert will Commemorate U.N. International Day of Disabled Persons


McLean, VA, November 14 – On November 30, Vietnam Assistance for the Handicapped (VNAH) will sponsor a concert in Danang, Vietnam to celebrate the United Nations International Day of Disabled Persons, which takes place on December 3. The concert will feature the well-known Vietnamese singers Ho Ngoc Ha, Phuong Vy and Cao Thai Son, the musical group AC&M from Ho Chi Minh City, two groups of performers from Vietnamese Army Command in Hanoi and the vision-impaired musical group from Nguyen Dinh Chieu School in Danang city.

The concert is the first event of its kind in Vietnam, and it has been officially scheduled for 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on November 30 at the Trung Nu Vuong Theater in Danang city. With this event, VNAH hopes to raise awareness about disability issues in Vietnam and about the many new humanitarian programs for people with disabilities (PWDs) in and around Danang, including the American Rehabilitation Clinic at Binh Dan General Hospital. 

As a result of generous contributions from the Danang city government, the concert will be free for PWDs. VNAH will provide transportation, accommodations and meals for approximately 150 PWDs from 14 provinces around the country, who will join another 400 local PWDs from the Danang area. Local school children, the general public, government officials, local non-governmental organizations and members of the media will also be invited to attend. A total of 1,200 people are expected at the concert, and thousands more will watch the event live on television channel DRT/Danang or rebroadcast on VTV-4 at a later date.

Along with the efforts of VNAH, major support for the event will be provided by C.A.T.I. Media & Event Company and the Departments of Foreign Affairs, Culture and Information of Danang city. 

Vietnam Assistance for the Handicapped (VNAH) is a non-profit, non-political organization dedicated to meeting priority humanitarian and development needs in Vietnam. VNAH's projects focus on helping people with disabilities lead rewarding and productive lives that include the ability to fully participate in their nation's and their community's social and economic affairs.

USAID/ASHA provide first grant to Vietnam

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Ca Van Tran, President
Viet-Nam Assistance for the Handicapped
Tel. 703-847-9582; catran@vnah-hev.org 

Viet-Nam Assistance for the Handicapped Secures Funding
from American Schools and Hospitals Abroad for Rehabilitation Clinic
Clinic is First ASHA-funded Humanitarian Project in Vietnam


McLean, VA, Oct. 20, 2006 - Viet-Nam Assistance for the Handicapped (VNAH) announced today that it has secured funding from American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA) to fund construction of a rehabilitation clinic in Danang, Vietnam's third largest city. ASHA is a congressionally mandated USAID program that funds projects abroad to effectively provide foreign nationals the benefits of American ideas and practices in education and medicine. This clinic will be the first ASHA-funded humanitarian project in Vietnam.(www.usaid/asha.gov)

ASHA awarded a grant to VNAH to construct a two-story rehabilitation clinic as part of the 100-bed Danang Binh Dan General Hospital, Vietnam's first private hospital. The new clinic will address the tremendous shortage of quality rehabilitation services for the urban population of Danang city as well as the ethnic minority populations in rural areas. Currently, many men, women and children in the region suffer from mobility and other problems-often caused by landmines or war injuries-that can be treated and, in some cases, cured if quality care is made available to them. 

The new non-profit rehabilitation clinic, which will be constructed next year, will provide charitable care to patients, as well as serve Danang City as a demonstration and training center for physical therapists, physicians and nurses in a U.S.-based model of diagnostic and therapeutic care. Regional Rehab at Georgetown Hospital in Washington, D.C., will help VNAH introduce American rehabilitation care standards and protocols.

"We're very grateful for ASHA's generous support of this project," said Ca Van Tran, president of VNAH. "Because the rehabilitation clinic will serve as a training center for professionals in the field of rehabilitation medicine, it will not only help patients with immediate needs, but it will help future generations as well."

Vietnam Assistance for the Handicapped (VNAH) is a non-profit, non-political organization dedicated to meeting priority humanitarian and development needs in Vietnam. VNAH's projects focus on helping people with disabilities lead rewarding and productive lives that include the ability to fully participate in their nation's and their community's social and economic affairs. For more information about VNAH, visit our website: www.vnah-hev.org

VNAH Stages First International Concert for People with Disabilities

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Contact VNAH/HealthEd
703-847-9582 or E-Mail: vnah1@aol.com

VNAH Stages First International Concert for People with Disabilities
Historic Concert Series to Celebrate Contributions of the Disabled in Laos and Vietnam


McLean, VA, Oct. 15 -- This December, VNAH will be part of an historic international event when it partners with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and governments to present Asia's first-ever disAbility Concert Series. The two-day event will bring together disabled performers and celebrities from Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and the United States to present evening concerts in Vientiane, Laos and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. In addition, the event will include two days of festivals and exhibitions featuring arts, crafts and other products created by people with disabilities. 

The event is designed to raise awareness about the abilities of disabled people and emphasize their independence and contributions as productive members of society. It will also promote employment opportunities for the disabled across the continent. In fact, the event itself will create hundreds of jobs for the disabled community. 

The event will be held in Laos on Saturday, Nov. 25 and Sunday, Nov. 26 and in Vietnam on Saturday, Dec. 2 and Sunday Dec. 3-the United Nations' International Day of Disabled Persons. Adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 1982, the International Day of Disabled Persons "aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life."

In Vientiane, VNAH is supporting the Foundation for Assistance to the Poor and the Department of Fine Arts of the Lao Government to organize this special event, which will feature performances by Gypsy Queen, a rock band; a drum band called the Taiko Federation from Japan; two blind pianists/singers from Thailand; a group of wheelchair dancers from Cambodia; and a team of disabled performers from Vietnam and Laos.

In Ho Chi Minh City, VNAH is working with the Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (DOLISA) to organize a "Day of Festival" for people with disabilities, which will include free admission to a local amusement park, as well as live performances by groups of performers with disabilities. VNAH is working with DOLISA of Ho Chi Minh City, surrounding provinces and other groups-including international NGOs, local NGOs and the private sector-to provide logistics, hotel, food and other support. Five thousand to 8,000 people with disabilities are expected to participate. 

The evening performances will be covered on live television in both Vietnam and Laos in an effort to maximize the audience and heighten awareness about issues related to disabilities.

Disaster Relief

Over the past three years, the Central region of Viet Nam has suffered the worst floods in a century.  Hundreds of lives were lost.  Hundreds of thousands of people lost their homes and millions of acres of crops were destroyed.   In responses to these disasters, VNAH and its sister organization, Health and Education Volunteers (HealthEd)  reached out to the Vietnamese-American community to help.  Our community responded and supported this effort very generously. 

With the funds collected VNAH and HealthEd delivered more than 60 tons of rice and a 40-foot container of relief and medical supplies to the hardest hit victims in Hue, Da Nang and Quang Nam Provinces.  In addition, in the areas suffering the greatest damage we have built two elementary schools.

Rural Development

Helping Ethnic Minorities in the Central Highlands

VNAH and HealthEd recognize that the ethnic minority population concentrated in the Central Highlands are among the poorest and most in need of assistance of any group in Viet-Nam. They often lack adequate schools, health clinics, or means to earn a living wage. Few outside donors or international non-governmental organizations operate in these areas. These are the reasons VNAH and HealthEd have decided to work closely with the local provincial departments of labor, invalids and social affairs to provide assistance to the ethnic minority populations.  Direct contributions have been the principal source permitting VNAH and HealthEd to address these concerns.  With the assistance and cooperation of the local authorities, VNAH and HealthEd have recently provided 10 computers to the boarding high school, completed a midwife training program, a new kindergarten, and several water wells.

Midwife Training

The midwife training course is a joint project of HealthEd and the Medical School of the Kon Tum Province Department of Health. The course provides thirty ethnic minority village healthcare workers in the Province with basic knowledge of health care, hygiene, pre and post-natal care, delivery procedures, and nutrition.

The village healthcare workers who participated in the training course were from remote mountainous villages where health care facilities, medical skills, and medicine are scarce.  The indigenous women depend on midwives at the time of birth.  There is a high infant mortality rate in the region since few, if any, of the traditional midwives have had any formal medical training.  The issue is further complicated by a lack of health care facilities, medical skills, and medicines.

During a brief completion ceremony last October, HealthEd provided each trainee a first-aid kit of medical supplies consisting of a scale, stethoscope, scissors, bandages and other basic sterile instruments.

Schools Opening in Khe Sanh and Nui Thanh

HealthEd and VNAH provided funding and coordination in the construction of two elementary schools during the past summer.  Both were turnkey projects and provide a place of education for over 800 students from 6 – 13 years of age.

The Tich Tay Elementary School in Nui Thanh district, Quang Nam Province, was delivered to local education authorities in August 2002.  A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place with the participation of local officials and Mr. Nghiem Xuan Tue, Vice Director of the International Relations Department of the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA).

The second school was completed and delivered on October 3, 2002. The Tan Hop Elementary School in Khe Sanh, Quang Tri Province (DMZ) will serve more than 400 children, about 35% of whom are ethnic minorities.  The school has a large playground and a barrier-free access ramp for children with disabilities.   
The U.S. Ambassador to Viet-Nam, Mr. Raymond Burghardt, joined with local officials and the representative from MOLISA, Mr. Nghiem Xuan Tue, Vice Director of the International Relations Department, at the ribbon cutting ceremony. 

Ambassador Burghardt and the American Chamber of Commerce in Ha Noi have contributed $1,500 to VNAH/HealthEd to construct a well on the school’s property to provide clean water for the children. 

Portable Water and Improved Education for Ethnic Minorities

To promote better health and education of ethnic minorities VNAH and HealthEd donated ten computers to Kon Ray Boarding High School, constructed ten village water supply systems and a kindergarten school in the mountainous Kon Tum Province villages of Ngoc Tem and Dak Rve. 

Each new water system includes a well, an electric pump, and a storage tank. The ten wells will benefit over 1,000 people. The wells will provide safe clean drinking water to these communities, thus reducing the threat of waterborne diseases.

In September 2002, VNAH & HealthEd funded a kindergarten, which will serve approximately 50 children from Dak Rve Commune. This school will be supplied with a well water system, teaching aids and toys.

 

Assistive Devices

Viet Nam has one of the highest disability rates in the world.  Over five million Vietnamese (over 6% of the population) have a disability.  Viet Nam is listed as a nation having one of the world’s lowest incomes and highest rates of disability per capita. Some estimates hold that there are from 5 million to ten million disabled in Viet Nam.  To directly address the needs of Vietnam’s disabled citizens, VNAH manufactured and delivered of over 33,000 prosthetic and orthotic devices (limbs and braces). Despite this, the need remains immense with many war victims still unserved and many new cases from accidents and only recently exploded land mines. VNAH conducts regular outreach missions to rural communities to provide wheelchairs and limbs to those amputees too poor to travel to a urban area Clinic. VNAH works with the Prosthetic and Rehabilitation Centers in Can Tho, Danang, Qui Nhon and Ho Chi Minh City to provide training and technical assistance to help improve the overall quality of assistive devices delivered.

USAID and Private Foundations Help Provide Mobility for Individuals with Disabilities

Currently VNAH prosthetics and wheelchair programs (supported by the USAID, the Freeman Foundation and the Nippon Foundation) are being implemented in all 61 provinces of Viet-Nam, with priority given to the needy areas of the Mekong Delta and Central Regions. For the last 10 years VNAH has delivered approximately 48,000 assistive devices to the people in Viet-Nam.   The outreach program has reached the most distant and remote places in the water dominant communes of the Mekong such as Kien Giang and Dong Thap as well as the mountainous villages in the Central Highlands, the Dak Lak, Gia Lai and Kon Tum Provinces.

So far in 2002, VNAH has delivered approximately 6,000 assistive devices including prostheses, orthoses (braces) and wheelchairs to Vietnamese people with disabilities.  VNAH works with regional Prosthetic Centers in Can Tho, Ho Chi Minh City, Qui Nhon, Da-Nang and Thanh Hoa in the prosthetics and rehabilitation program.  We also work with one state-owned and three private wheelchair manufacturers.  The production and delivery is carried out with the strong support and cooperation of the Ministry and local Departments of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, as well as other local agencies and groups of people with disabilities.

VNAH Continues Technical Support for Can Tho Prosthetics and Rehab Center

With funding support from U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), VNAH continues to provide technical support to Can Tho Prosthetics and Rehabilitation Center.  Jean Claude Vesan, a certified prosthetist and orthotist (CPO) was recently hired to head the technical training program.  He trained the Vietnamese technicians at the Can Tho Center and on outreach projects to improve the quality and fitting of the devices and the techniques to fabricate limbs and braces with polypropylene (PP).  The project targets the disabled population of the 11 provinces in the Mekong Delta region.