Friday, December 16, 2016

Child-centred disaster risk reduction (DRR)

Earthquakes, droughts, wild fires, epidemics, floods - we can't prevent natural hazards but if we are unprepared they can turn into disasters right before our eyes. At UNICEF we are working with children and their families as well as schools, communities and government to ensure children and their families are prepared.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Inclusive Education Resource Centre Helps Preparing Children with Disabilities to Integrate Regular School

Ninh Thuan, 3 December 2016 - Three-years-old Ha Phuc Nguyen was diagnosed with having generalized disorder two years ago. Nguyen then received treatment in a Paediatric hospital in Ho Chi Minh City which is about 1,000km from his home town. However, he could only stay in treatment only for few months because his family could not afford staying in the big city. Trying to find a way to help him at home, his mother joined a Facebook group in which members shared ideas about how to help children with autism. Via this group, she knew about a newly established centre in the neighbouring town where Nguyen could receive professional assistance. It takes her about one hour and a half by bus to the centre and she brings Nguyen there twice a week. Besides receiving support at the centre, Nguyen’s mother is also guided on how to work with him at home. Nguyen shows great progress after only few months. “He can communicate with me through his eyes, express his feeling and point finger to things that he wants, imitate simple gestures and play with some toys. These seem to be easy for other kids but for my son, it’s a great achievement”, his mother indicates.

UNICEF Viet Nam Representative Youssouf Abdel-Jelil interacted with Thang during his visit to Ninh Thuan Inclusive Education Centre in April 2016

Thursday, August 11, 2016

UPSHIFT Vietnam: Impact through Incubation

Members of the four final teams with their mentors and the UPSHIFT team, including Mr. Jesper Moller, Deputy Representative at UNICEF Vietnam UPSHIFT Demo Day © UNICEF/Innovations Lab Ho Chi Minh/ UPSHIFT Demo Day/ Tran Thanh Son/ May 2016
Members of the four final teams with their mentors and the UPSHIFT team, including Mr. Jesper Moller, Deputy Representative at UNICEF Vietnam
UPSHIFT Demo Day © UNICEF/Innovations Lab Ho Chi Minh/UPSHIFT Demo Day/ Tran Thanh Son/ May 2016
In our last update, we had selected 5 teams to join the UPSHIFT Incubator for 3 months. During incubation teams participated in additional training sessions, received a small seed fund to kick start their project, and ongoing mentorship. They also had the benefit of access to a network of supporters and periodic events through Viet Youth Entrepreneurs (VYE). All these factors combined to support these teams take their concept to reality.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Young Makers in Vietnam work to change the lives of Children with Disabilities

From June 3rd to 5th 2016, 7 teams consisting of over 70 young people including designers, engineers, artisans, medical professionals and children with disabilities gathered on the campus of the Vietnam-German University (VGU) in Binh Duong, Vietnam to contribute to a better world. For 72 hours these youth participated in the inaugural T.O.M:Vietnam Makeathon ( to apply their skills to design and prototype open source solutions for children with disabilities.

UNICEF Viet Nam\2016\Truong Viet Hung

Friday, April 29, 2016

Getting feedback from citizen to improve birth registration services in Viet Nam

Giang Seo Lu is living in a remote village in Si Ma Cai district of Lao Cai province, located in the Northern mountainous area of Viet Nam. Lu has never gone to school. His daughter was born in 2011. Like most of the H’mong ethnic minority children in the area, she was delivered at home. Lu had not thought of having her birth registered because there were so many requirements to get the job done. Firstly, he had to walk two hours down the mountain to the commune centre. Then, they would ask for many papers which he did not have such as his marriage certificate or the confirmation paper of the birth of his daughter. Besides, filling in the application forms would be challenging job for him as he was illiterate.

Photo: UNICEF Viet Nam\2016\Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

UNICEF promotes quality social work in Viet Nam

Little Pham Ngoc Lan[*] jumped on and off the plastic chairs while picking up the toy animals in between the jumps. She then moved to play with the gym ball and the colorful plastic circles. Although she seemed to be tired, she enjoyed the games very much. This was not a normal children’s playground. She was in the Psychotherapy Ward for Children with Mental Disorder and those toys and games were parts of the therapy.

Lan lives with her family in Quang Ninh - a Northern Province of Viet Nam. Although she was born physically healthy, she appeared to be more “immature” than her peers in development. She could only speak a few words. She was slow to master simple things like dressing, tooth brushing, hand washing and feeding herself. She hardly responded to any word and gesture of anyone, including her parents.

Photo: UNICEF Viet Nam\2016\Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong

Friday, April 1, 2016

The Revised Child Law: the Opportunity for Viet Nam to consolidate its pioneering stand on child rights

A child is any person under 18 years of age. This is the definition given by the International Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and it’s also the definition agreed by all but a handful of States in the world. Viet Nam is a pioneer globally in upholding child rights as it was the first country in Asia to ratify the Convention in 1990, and the second country in the world. The global leadership role on child rights has been reaffirmed with Directive No. 20 issued by the Politburo of the Central Committee in 2012 aiming at strengthening care, education, and protection of children.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Bilingual education is a gateway to Sustainable Development

The Ministry of Education and Training in Viet Nam has successfully implemented the initiative supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) that promotes mother tongue-based bilingual education (MTBBE) in Lao Cai, Gia Lai and Tra Vinh provinces since 2008. The findings from the final evaluation showed that MTBBE is relevant for quality and inclusive education in the Viet Nam’s context. As the result, An Giang province is expanding MTBBE namely with Khmer language. This video is showing how a child is experiencing the benefits of the MTBBE in the school and in the family life. The use of mother tongue during first years in school boosts up learning among children from ethnic minority group, allowing them to stay longer in school and to become proficient in the national or international language in the later years. Teachers, children and parents recognize the value of learning in the children’s mother-tongue. The MTBBE programme helps empower ethnic minority children, their family and community to integrate socially and to fulfil their citizenship. Bilingual education is therefore a gateway to Sustainable Development.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

UPSHIFT:Viet Nam -The Journey Continues

Continuing from our previous update, 10 teams with a total of 31 participants were identified through a judging process from a pool of 93 applications. Out of the 31 participants, 49% of which were youths with disabilities: 10 visually impaired, 4 deaf, and 1 disabled people; 19% came from disadvantaged backgrounds and living in different social protection centers in Ho Chi Minh City; 29% were students majoring in social works, and we even had a high school student as a team leader!

These 10 teams continued on with their UPSHIFT journey through 3-day intensive bootcamp at the end of November 2015. In this phase, teams were exposed to the skill-sets they need to design, build, and test their products as well as how to execute and manage their projects. If this sounds like a lot of things to learn over 3 days, you are right. Going into the bootcamp our team was worried that the participants wouldn’t be able to keep up, or that the lessons wouldn’t be adapted into the projects. Through the extensive preparation and the outstanding commitment of the participants, mentors, and speakers our fears were unfounded.

Mentors, supporter and UPSHIFT Organizer
UPSHIFT Workshop © UNICEF/Innovations Lab Ho Chi Minh/
UPSHIFT Workshop/ Truong Viet Hung/November 2015

UPSHIFT Viet Nam: Tuấn Nguyễn and team aim to build a job-seeking website to help bridge the gap between blind people, their abilities, and employers

UPSHIFT has brought new opportunities to Vietnamese youth, specifically those from marginalized communities, to learn skills that they might need to bring about their own social impact projects. To think that the participants are the only ones that have benefited from the program is not entirely true. Those of us at Viet Youth Entrepreneurs (VYE), as organizers of UPSHIFT, have a lot to learn from them as well. In our first profile we will bring you the story of Tuấn Nguyễn. His story is one of overcoming difficulties and giving back to his community. Though Tuan appears to be happy these days, it wasn’t always this way.

From left to right: Dao Van Thom, Nguyen Minh Tuan, Nguyen Minh Hai are in blue T-shirts (participants), Nguyen Nha Quyen (mentor) and Bui Nguyen Nhat Minh (supporter)
 UPSHIFT Workshop © UNICEF/Innovations Lab Ho Chi Minh/
UPSHIFT Workshop/ Truong Viet Hung/ November 2015

UPSHIFT Viet Nam: Kim Van is fulfilling her dream of helping people with disabilities overcome challenges in daily transportation

I still remember our first encounter with Kim Van, head of the “Assist People with Disabilities on Public Transportation" project, when we organized our first UPSHIFT outreach session at the Center for Disability Research & Capacity Development (DRD) in Viet Nam. Van has weak leg muscles and is reliant on a wheelchair to move around but there is nothing weak about her when she talks about her dreams. Her strong will and clear motivation makes her the ideal UPSHIFT participant - young, focused, and determined to make the most of the opportunity.

Phan Thi Kim Van (participant)
UPSHIFT Workshop © UNICEF/Innovations Lab Ho Chi Minh/UPSHIFT Workshop/ Truong Viet Hung/ November 2015

An UPSHIFT Journey - From Kosovo to Viet Nam

Enter UPSHIFT Social Impact Workshop

In 2014, UNICEF launched the first UPSHIFT program ever in Kosovo. UPSHIFT seeks to create youth-led social impact programs by providing them with the necessary skill training, financial resources and mentorship. The Kosovo program achieved some impressive results: More than 126 youth-led projects have been implemented, more than half of which continue even after their engagement with the Lab comes to a close. From these 126 projects there are approximately 61,056 youth directly involved or directly benefited, and 120,630 youth are indirect beneficiaries of these projects.

All participants, mentors and UPSHIFT Organizers.
UPSHIFT Workshop © UNICEF/Innovations Lab Ho Chi Minh/UPSHIFT Workshop/Truong Viet Hung/ November 2015

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Clipper Race Crew Visit UNICEF Day Care Centre In Da Nang For Children With Disabilities

Clipper Race CEO William Ward along with crew members who are raising money for Official Race Charity UNICEF were invited to The DAVA Centre in the Hoa Vang District of Da Nang this week to see first-hand how UNICEF supports children with disabilities in Vietnam. Opened in May 2011 with the financial support of UNICEF, and managed by the Da Nang Association for Victims of Agent Orange (DAVA) and volunteers, the day care centre receives over 90 children with disabilities every day.

Photo: UNICEF Viet Nam\2016\Truong Viet Hung

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Clipper race crew visit UNICEF supported children's centre

Opened in May 2011 with the financial support of Unicef, and managed by the Da Nang Association for Victims of Agent Orange (DAVA) and volunteers, the day care centre receives over 90 children with disabilities every day.

There are an estimated 1.3 million children with disabilities in Vietnam, making it one of the largest groups of vulnerable children in need of special protection. The city of Da Nang is particularly affected as its population was exposed to Agent Orange during the war with the United States.

Unicef works with the government of Vietnam, and in particular the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Education and Training to improve services offered to children with disabilities and build on the model of Da Nang to scale it up nationwide. 

Clipper Race crew and staff have raised over £166,000 for children in need around the world since Race Start. The aim is to raise £300,000 by Race Finish. Click here to donate and help the Clipper Race’s aim to support children in danger around the world. 

Read more here:

Thursday, January 21, 2016


Three years ago, the leaders of UN humanitarian agencies issued an urgent appeal to those who could end the conflict in Syria. They called for every effort to save the Syrian people. “Enough”, they said, of the suffering and bloodshed.

That was three years ago.

Now, the war is approaching its sixth brutal year. The bloodshed continues. The suffering deepens.
So today, we – leaders of humanitarian organisations and UN agencies - appeal not only to governments but to each of you - citizens around the world – to add your voices in urging an end to the carnage. To urge that all parties reach agreement on a ceasefire and a path to peace.

#SyriaCrisis: 5 years of suffering in 60 seconds.

The #SyriaCrisis has raged for five brutal years. Take 60 seconds to watch, share and show your support to help end the suffering.

Monday, January 18, 2016

What does child-sensitive planning mean for equitable advancement?

Viet Nam has made impressive progress in the realisation of women’s and children’s rights. One of the key guiding principles for its development is the Socio-economic Development Plan (SEDP) that promotes economic growth combined with the implementation of social advance, equality and improvement of life quality. However, there are still millions of Vietnamese children deprived of essential needs including education, health, water and sanitation, shelter, refrained child labour, leisure and social protection. Let’s follow the story of Tao, a Tay ethnic minority girl to see what policy makers could do to change the situations with their socio-economic development planning.

Friday, January 1, 2016

72 hours to make the world better for children with disabilities

TOM (Tikkun Olam Makers) is an international non-profit organization using design and technology to address neglected problems. The TOM event is an intersection between challenges and technical solutions. Participants with different backgrounds and expertise gather together for a 72-hour “makeathon” and build a product to help someone in need. TOM focuses on inclusive designs with a reasonable price for people with disabilities. In Hebrew, Tikkun Olam means changing the world; and this is TOM’s mission. (See more information about TOM at

In 2016, the United States Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City, the Embassy of the State of Israel, UNICEF, Disability Research and Capacity Development (DRD), FABLAB Saigon, and other partners from academia and the private sector will co-organize the TOM event in Ho Chi Minh City. This is a unique opportunity for children with disabilities and families to present their challenges, as well as share ideas of products that would help to reduce their challenges. Based on these ideas, technical teams will develop innovative solutions during a 72-hour “makeathon” to help children have a better life.