On July 21, a closing ceremony of “Raising Voices, Creating Opportunities Project (RVCO)” for the period 2018 - 2021, which is sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), was held by Action to the Community Development Institute (ACDC). This is an opportunity for all parties to look back at the results and achievements of the project during its three years of implementation, especially in Quang Nam Province, as well as work on how to maintain and spread the results, and offer recommendations for the future of the project.
The ceremony was virtually attended by Ms. Ritu K. Tariyal, Director of Social Sector Development - USAID Vietnam, Ms. Nguyen Thi Lan Anh, Director of ACDC, and 25 other guests. The event also respectfully welcomes 33 onsite participants from the Provincial People's Committee, Department of Labor - Invalids and Social Affairs, Department of Health, Department of Transportation, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Construction, Legal Aid Center, organizations of persons with disabilities at the provincial and district level, Divisions of Labor - Invalids and Social Affairs, Thang Binh District’s Health Center, and news agencies.
Photo: Mr. Tran Van Tan, Vice Chairman of Quang Nam Provincial People's Committee, presented and evaluated the result of the RVCO Project in Quang Nam.
At the beginning of the ceremony, a documentary video about the journey of the 3-year project in Quang Nam was shown and received a lot of attention from the participants. On behalf of the leaders of Quang Nam Province, Mr. Tran Van Tan, Vice Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee, acknowledged the contribution of the project during the past 3 years. He also expressed hope for more attention of and association with USAID, implementation units of USAID’s partners, ACDC, as well as the support of local agencies at all levels and branches and organizations of persons with disabilities so that the program would be improved, achieve more practical results, and help implement social security policies in the province effectively.
Ms. Tariyal likewise highly appreciated the efforts of ACDC, the involvement of local authorities, and the engagement of departments and agencies during the project time. She affirmed that Quang Nam Province was a key project site where USAID did and would continue to invest and support in the future, and that USAID had been going through necessary formalities in order to soon implement the second phase of the project.
After that, Ms. Luu Thi Bich Ngoc, Deputy Director of Department of Labor - Invalids and Social Affairs and Head of Project Management Unit, presented a report on the implementation of 2018-2021 project activities. Ms. Tariyal, Ms. Lan Anh, and Mr. Hua Quoc Dung also then shared at the ceremony.
Photo: Ms. Lan Anh presented the achievements of the RVCO project in Quang Nam.
Sponsored by USAID, The RVCO project was carried out in three provinces, namely Quang Tri, Thua Thien Hue, and Quang Nam from 2018 to 2021. Its objective was to improve the implementation of policies for persons with disabilities (focusing on physical access and health care). Specifically in Quang Nam, the project was conducted from March 2019 to August 2021 with various activities. It has brought about positive changes in the awareness of parties and persons with disabilities about disability issues, as well as built practical models, particularly the Transition House model and the pilot of an accessible bus route for the visually impaired. The project has also completed 03 accessible ramps at the headquarters of the People's Committees, 01 accessible boardwalk at Tam Thanh beach, and 01 model of accessible bus shelter which is being set up and can be replicated in the future.
Besides, the project has made a beneficial impact on capacity building for persons with disabilities and staff of organizations of persons with disabilities. Training on disability inclusion and monitoring and evaluation, along with training of trainers on prevention of gender-based violence, disability inclusion, independent living, etc., were implemented synchronously and effectively. Reportedly, more than 2,754 persons with disabilities and their families have had access to project activities and there have been noticeable changes. “Had I known about this project earlier, my life would have changed even more. Through the training trip organized by the project, I was trained in life skills for persons with disabilities, which has helped me realize and understand many issues, and look back on my life. Before that, I was so unconfident that I did not dare to go out and had little contact with people around me. Thanks to the project, I have got to know many people. They also confided that they had changed a lot. Many who have not participated also want to go next time.” said Mr. Tra Quang Cung, a disabled person in Dai Loc District.
In 2020, in order to encourage persons with disabilities to overcome their difficulties, via RVCO project, USAID and ACDC handed 700 gifts to persons with disabilities affected by floods in 5 districts, namely: Dai Loc, Duy Xuyen, Thang Binh, Nong Son, and Nam Tra My. The project also provided textbooks, tables, and chairs for 02 elementary schools, including Nam Phuoc 3 Elementary School in Nam Phuoc Town, Duy Xuyen District and Phu Dong Elementary School in Binh Tu Commune, Thang Binh District. In addition, the project helped re-roof 04 houses with disabilities damaged by the storms in Nong Son District and Hoa Binh Village in Quang Nam Province.
Talking about the project's achievements, Ms. Bich Ngoc shared: "The project has stimulated activities in many fields. However, what interests us the most is how we have supported capacity building of persons with disabilities, as well as how access to policies has been integrated and implemented in a synchronous, effective, and timely manner. After a 3-year journey in Quang Nam Province, on behalf of the Project Management Unit and the Department of Labor - Invalids and Social Affairs, we highly appreciate the project being our companion in achieving the proposed goals and objectives. Up to now, I can proudly announce that the prime goals and objectives established at the beginning have been basically attained.”
Photo: The book “Saying Yes to Change” was launched at the closing ceremony of the RVCO project for the period of 2018 - 2021 in Quang Nam.
In the event, the Organizing Committee also presented books entitled "Saying Yes to Change" about the success of the project and souvenirs to the project implementation units. In addition, the Project Management Unit also awarded logos of Quang Nam Province in recognition of funding from USAID and other organizations and individuals that have contributed to the success of the project.