That’s it. My time with AEPD in Dong Hoi has come to an end. Time flew in the last weeks. Yesterday I left this beautiful city and its even more beautiful people with a heavy heart. Looking back, it was an extremely rich experience for me, both culturally and professionally. I have met and closely worked with many out-standing and dedicated individuals and by getting to know them better every day I learned about their impressive stories. And friendships were knotted.
I would like to thank Dung, Hong and Nga, the three women who are running our office, for having me introduced into their new (old) organization and provided me with all the support I needed, at the same time letting me enough free space to work independently. My deepest gratitude goes also to the 7 AEPD outreach workers, the lifeblood of the organization, and especially to Luu and Hoai who took the time to share their personal story with me. They accompanied me on our field trips to their beneficiaries and were a constant source of great knowledge and in-sight. We had many good laughs and discussions together. What they do for the disabled people in the region is simply amazing. They love their job and, themselves “disabled”, they are among the most cap-able people I have met in a long time.
Finally, I wish AEPD good luck for their future as a local NGO. They are doing a great job to support persons with disabilities living in poor conditions, and provide solutions tailored to the needs of every individual. We can see the results. In numbers it is more than 2500 persons with disabilities assisted in the past 7 years. But at the end of the day this is not what counts. It is the look in the eyes of people like Hue or Son when they talk passionately and enthusiastically about the support AEPD provides them, and how it changed their lives. Towards a better, brighter future.
With some pictures from AEPD’s first congress, which was held 12th of August in Dong Hoi, and a short video (unfortunately only in Vietnamese), I would like to say goodbye to you, too. Thanks for having followed my blog, and for all your supporting comments and feedbacks. I heard it many times in Dong Hoi – the polite standard English sentence when you leave somewhere, – now I finally have to say it myself: “Goodbye, and see you again”.
Please watch also the Video on AEPD’s first congress, only in Vietnamese version. It is produced by Quang Binh Provincial TV. And finally, have a look at AEPD’s new homepage (still work in progress though):
Posted By Simon Kläntschi
Posted Sep 2nd, 2010