Xin chao (hello)! My name is Marcela and I’m the Advocacy Project (AP) Peace Fellow working with the Association for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (AEPD) on the Agent Orange Campaign for the next six months.
Welcome to my corner of the Advocacy Project’s website. I arrived in Dong Hoi, Vietnam on June 26th and, in keeping pace with my host organization, hit the ground running. I’m excited to introduce you to AEPD’s brilliant work with persons with disabilities in the Quang Binh Province.
The AEPD team is comprised of Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh Hong (chairperson), Ms. Nguyen Thi Phuong Hao (program manager), Ms. Nguyen Thi Thao (chief accountant), and Ms. Le Thi Mai Ngoc (the project officer). They are pictured below from left to right.
In addition to the office team, AEPD employs outreach workers—persons with disabilities that act as liaisons who connect other persons with disabilities and their caregivers to AEPD’s programs and general support. AEPD is a highly effective and impactful organization due to its support and relationship with the outreach workers. This community-based approach is one of the things I admire most about AEPD.
The outreach workers from left to right: Mr. Nguyen Van Thuan, Mr. Truong Minh Hoc, and Mr. Hoang Van Luu. AEPD serves persons with disabilities in 8 districts in Quang Binh. Each outreach worker is responsible for at least one entire district. Mr. Hoc serves one of the farthest districts from Dong Hoi City; he travels nearly 3 hours on motorbike to get there. If you are curious to learn more about each outreach worker, I suggest checking out 2016 Peace Fellow Ai Hoang’s posts on Mr. Thuan, Mr. Hoc, and Mr. Luu!
AEPD manages a broad range of programs such as self-help groups for landmine survivors, a youth development program that trains persons with disabilities in mechanics and other vocational programs, projects for women with disabilities, microfinance endeavors, and, lastly, the AP-AEPD Agent Orange Campaign.
A brief graphic on how the Agent Orange Campaign works. The model depends on the collaboration between AEPD, AEPD outreach workers, AP, and AP Peace Fellows; it hinges on the beneficiary family’s participation and input. The Campaign is unique from other programs in that it offers the caregivers of Agent Orange-affected individuals an opportunity to determine the best and most sustainable income-generating activity for themselves. AP and AEPD facilitate the process.
As a Peace Fellow, I serve as the liaison between AP and AEPD regarding the Agent Orange Campaign. The campaign has collaborated with and successfully funded nine Agent Orange-affected families. Their profiles can be found here.
I am thrilled to support the tenth Agent-Orange affected family, Mr. Thin’s family, this summer!
I look forward to sharing more of my work, goals, and expectations to come. Keep an eye out for an upcoming post on my impressions after my first visit to the field this week.
A sincere thank you for joining me in this journey.
Posted By Marcela De Campos (Vietnam)
Posted Jul 6th, 2018