Established in 2006, the Hanoi Disabled People Association works to promote a fulfilling and active lifestyle for 6000 people with disabilities in Vietnam.
It has a strong focus not only on improving the opportunities for individuals, but on legislative and government initiatives.
There are seven focus areas for this non-profit organisation: education, art, sports, youth, women, training and skills development, along with project implementation.
Vice chairman of DP Hanoi, Trinh Xuan Dung, stresses the importance of women with disabilities and the particular issues they face.
“Our main goal is to raise awareness of the rights of people with disabilities, in particular the women, because the achievement of professional goals and skills training is such an issue, ” Mr Trinh told “Vietnam Reporter”.
“We want to raise their life quality and make Hanoi a safe and profitable environment.”
DP Hanoi has set up a total of 23 clubs exclusively for women with disabilities across the country, providing a safe space and social environment in which to interact with one another.
Many women find part- or full-time employment as a result of their membership and participation in the organisation.
Over the course of six years of operation, DP Hanoi counts the high employment rates for people with disabilities as a source of success and inspiration.
“There is no reason people with disabilities cannot work, interact and live side by side with normal people – they are normal people,” said Mr. Trinh.
A shining example of overcoming hardship due to disability is DP Hanoi regional sub-sect chairman Hong Ha.
Despite his physical disability caused by Agent Orange poisoning at birth, he has successfully completed a master’s degree in English and now runs his own business.
He gave “Vietnam Reporter” a tour of his clothing production factory 30 minutes from Hanoi.
Mr Hong says his main focus is to give people with disabilities the opportunity to work for his company and he strives for the best possible living conditions.
“As a disabled [person] myself, my dream is to help others achieve their full potential and their dreams through work and life skills,” says Mr. Hong.
At this point he introduces us to Phung Thi Khuy En, a 24-year-old worker in training at his factory.
Khuy’s name means ‘earrings’ in Vietnamese, which she blushes about as she shows off the crystals in her own ears.
She cannot speak English, but readily shakes hands, smiles and giggles.
“This is the first time Khuy has been able to work, and she can now also read and write [as a result of DP Hanoi training],” Mr Hong says.
“She was very shy before coming here but now her confidence is up.”
December 2 marks the Vietnamese celebration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
There will be an art competition open to both disabled and non-disabled children to be judged by the crowd followed by city-wide celebrations.