Marcela De Campos (Vietnam)

Marcela is a graduate of the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy with specializations in international development and international security and economic policy. She earned a bachelor's degree of economics from the University of Maryland. Since 2014, she has gained well-rounded development and policy experience in both the public and private sectors working with the World Bank, Chemonics International, Grameen Foundation's Bankers without Borders, The Office of U.S. Representative Ann McLane Kuster, and Development Transformations. Influenced by her formative experiences with indigenous communities in South Dakota, U.S. and Madre de Dios, Peru and her fieldwork in the Valmiki Tiger Reserve, Bihar, India, she is passionate about empowering rights-holders from marginalized or vulnerable populations by fostering sustainable gender equity and social inclusion.

Xin Chao from Vietnam!

06 Jul

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.

Cheers, Marcela

Posted By Marcela De Campos (Vietnam)

Posted Jul 6th, 2018


  • Corinne Cummings

    July 13, 2018


    Hi Marcela, thank you for the detailed overview. This information is excellent. It seems to me you are working with a solid team! I am looking forward to keeping up with you virtually through your blog posts and pictures. I am eager to hear more about Mr. Thin, his wife, and their two sons. I think this blog post is a fantastic segue into what’s next to come–your first visit out in the field. Your last blog introducing Mr. Thin and his family was a good glimpse into their lives along with the hard conditions that they face given their limited resources. Keep up the solid work, Marcela. Best, Corinne

  • Ali

    July 16, 2018


    Hey Marcela, I am so excited to follow you on this exciting journey! Thank you for providing this useful information about AEPD and its members – this definitely helps me better understand the way your fellowship will operate and also allows me to be familiar with the people you are directly working with! I wish you all the best!

  • Princia Vas

    July 16, 2018


    Hey Marcela! Thank you for this wonderful introduction to the start of your journey in Vietnam and the wonderful team from AEPD and its outreach workers 🙂
    I look forward to reading more about your work in Dong Hoi. Good Luck!

  • Sam Givens

    July 17, 2018


    Hi Marcela! What a great post, thanks for sharing this introductory. I’m so excited to learn more about what AEPD does and your journey along with them. I hope to hear more about Mr.Thin and his family, have you had a chance to meet them yet? Keep it up, we at the officer are here for you!

Enter your Comment


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *