Chi Vu

Chi Vu (Survivor Corps in Vietnam - LSN-V): Chi spent two years of her childhood in refugee camps in Malaysia and the Philippines, where she received an exceptional education in NGO schools. In the years since, she has worked on several community initiatives, which include teaching Vietnamese language to kids in Little Saigon. She graduated from Yale in 2005 with a BA in English and certification to teach English at the secondary level. At the time of her AP fellowship, Chi was pursuing a Master’s degree in international educational development at Teachers College, Columbia University. After her fellowship, Chi wrote: "This Fellowship has deepened my understanding of the kind of cooperation and teamwork that is needed to effectively operate a grassroots organization, to successfully work for a cause that not too many people are familiar with. LSN-V is special in that it works closely with individuals at all community levels, from survivors to government officials. From these close working relationships, I had to opportunity to learn about how LSN-V works on an operational level while forming interpersonal relationships at the same time."

A documentary on rights for persons with disabilities, and meetings

14 Jul

Many things to report this week, which I’ll do over several posts.

The Film
First, I’ve completed a short, rough draft of a movie on disability rights in Vietnam. The draft includes the objectives of the film and its effects, along with which scenes or interviews will need to be filmed in order to convey those ideas.

This movie is one of my big projects with LSN-V this summer (script only, no filming!) in helping them with advocacy work for rights for people with disabilities (PWD) within the country, and the draft is only the first step in a rather long process. The end result, hopefully, will be a film that targets major stakeholders in the country, promoting awareness of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and concurrently promoting rights-based assistance for individuals with disabilities.

I don’t quite know how the logistics of filming will be handled, but since LSN-V plans to collaborate with the National Coordinating Committee on Disability of Vietnam (composed of government and non-governmental agencies and organizations), I think the process will be more streamlined than disjointed.

Aside from working on the movie, I attended meetings for various organizations and working groups, including

  • A quarterly meeting of NGOs in Quang Binh province
  • A workshop hosted by LSN-V to develop a national action plan to promote the rights of PWD
  • A quarterly meeting of the Landmine Working Group, which consists of many of the NGOs working with landmine and UXO issues in Vietnam.

I’ll report on the latter two events in my next entry; below are the details of the quarterly NGO meeting. I went with Kim Hoa, my officemate at LSN-V (and who is conveniently one of my closest friends here in Dong Hoi).

Photo credit: Chi Vu
Going up to the Annamite Mountains, Quang Ninh district, Quang Binh province

This quarter’s meeting was hosted by the Rural Development and Poverty Reduction Fund (RDPR), and was held in a commune of the Van Kieu ethnic minority people in the Annamite Mountains close to the Laos-Vietnam border.

Photo credit: Chi Vu
Truong Son commune

RDPR works to improve the capacity of poor and disadvantaged people, mostly women or ethnic minorities, to meet their needs in a sustainable way, so to report on the progress of some of their activities, RDPR reps brought everyone to observe a pig farm and a small banana field, two projects where they had successfully provided training and microcredit loans to help the farmers get going.

title=”A Van Kieu woman and her daughter stand next to their family’s fledgling banana field” width=”225″ height=”277″ align=”left”
hspace=”10″ vspace=”10″/>Next, we had a meeting of all the NGO representatives and some officials in government agencies, most notably the Department of Foreign Affairs. NGO representatives came from such organizations as Counterpart International, Flora & Fauna International, Mine Action Group, Plan International, and LSN-V.

Again, the refrain throughout the meeting was an emphasis on sustainable aid for those who most need it and the promotion of self-sufficiency, a philosophy to which all of the NGOs subscribe. Another theme of the meeting was the need for more collaboration between the agencies and government offices in the province, so that activities can be better managed and therefore more affective.

Photo credit: Chi Vu
An afternoon of presentations

It was a long afternoon of conversations and presentations in really oppressive heat. You must know that the temperature in the mountains is even hotter and drier than in Dong Hoi (which already averages 98 degrees Fahrenheit). So at the end of the day, we unwound with a dinner of local dishes, and of course, karaoke. What meeting would be truly complete without karaoke?
Photo credit: Chi Vu
Kim Hoa and Mr. Thuc from DoFA sing to a captive audience.

Posted By Chi Vu

Posted Jul 14th, 2008

1 Comment

  • An Vu

    July 29, 2008


    Hi Chi Chi
    You look to be having a fantastical time singing and/or listening to karaoke and attending meetings. Those are some nice photos. Keep posting because I love reading your blog.

    I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship

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