A European-backed project has seen success in helping HIV-affected migrant children integrate into society.
The project, which was launched in January 2009 and wrapped up this month, aimed to empower HIV/AIDS and migrant children and their families to effectively participate in local life.
|Photo: VOV |
Run by the Save the Children foundation, the project targeted migrant children in northern Quang Ninh Province, HCM City and southern Ca Mau Province.
Part of the work involved training more than 200 child leaders to participate in policy-making to advocate for the rights of HIV-affected and migrant children.
Nearly 50,000 children took part in information and education activities under the project.
Pham Phuong Dung, 12, living in Quang Ninh Province's Cam Pha District, was one of the project's beneficiaries.
Dung was born HIV-positive and her parents died from AIDS when she was still a child. Her 65-year-old grandmother, Tran Thi Phuong, became Dung's main caretaker.
Being ashamed about their family situation, Dung and Phuong rejected all social activities and help from others. Phuong was worried that if someone knew that Dung had AIDS, her life would be ruined forever.
It wasn't until Dung and her grandmother joined the project in 2009, that they received much-needed support.
The project not only provided Dung with essential nutrition such as rice, oil and milk, as well as a bicycle to go to school, but also opportunities for playing, networking with people who are in the same situation, and taking part in various events that promote children's rights.
Pham Van Nghia, 28, a volunteer worker for the project, said he changed his understanding of the challenges faced by children living with HIV.
"There should be more and bigger forums, with more children and adults attending," said Nghia.
Deputy director of the Quang Ninh Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Dang Thi Thanh Thuy said she hoped to receive more support to revise the project's model and apply it on a larger scale. Foreign relations at local level reviewed
By May 2012, fifty-six different localities across Vietnam had made 340 cooperative agreements with over 200 counterparts from 30 countries around the world.
One fifth of the agreements was reached under inter-provincial cooperation within governmental agreements or multi-partner cooperation framework while the remainder were signed bilaterally at provincial level, according to the Foreign Ministry’s report that was revealed in Ho Chi Minh City on June 18.
Thirty-five Vietnamese localities established relationships with their Lao counterparts and 16 others with those in Cambodia.
Thirty-eight French localities also penned agreements with 18 Vietnamese provinces and cities, focusing mainly on infrastructure and health care.
HCM City took the lead in international relations as it has been linked with 36 other cities around the world.
However, 70 percent of the agreements are only framework agreements and have either yet to come to fruition or have been simply exchanges of delegations or culturally based.
The Foreign Ministry underlined the need to make foreign relations more practical for everyone’s benefit and encourages the private sector, businesses and non-governmental organizations to become involved. Da Nang plant converts garbage into fuel
One man’s junk is turning into another man’s oil, coal, and unburned brick at a central Vietnamese waste treatment facility.
As the first of its kind in Vietnam, the plant in Da Nang City can produce 17 tons of synthetic oil a day, at a rate of one ton for every three tons of plastic waste, according to investor Vietnam Environment Joint Stock Company. The site also will convert organic and construction waste into biological coal and unburned brick.
“Our ultimate goal is not to earn a profit, but to cooperate with all potential partners nationwide to produce useful products from plastic waste that has harmful effects on human health,” project researcher Trinh Hoang Linh said.
In the first phase, the company is investing VND120 billion (US$6 million) into oil production, followed by VND400 billion for the coal and brick.
Every day, Da Nang tosses roughly 650 tons of garbage into the Khanh Son dump. Eight percent of that, or 50 tons, is plastic waste.
The two new fuels would be produced through rust and oxidation, as well as a heating process that excludes oxygen. Dr Mai Ngoc Tam, vice rector of the Vietnam Construction Material Institute, said the new fuels could replace ordinary diesel and other fuel oils when necessary.
He said he helped begin the plastic-to-oil project four years ago as a collaboration between the institute and Vietnam Environment.
Most of the plant’s machinery and equipment was manufactured domestically, he added.
Vietnamese engineers developed the technology used at the plant, according to Nguyen Van Tuan, the company’s general director.
On June 5, World Environment Day, the Vietnam Record Book Center recognized seven environmental record-holders, touting the plant as the first to convert plastic to fuel. Can Tho gets $90mil for urban upgrade
Can Tho City in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta has received more than US$90 million to upgrade its urban areas. Of the total, $69.9 million was sourced from the World Bank and the remainder from the Vietnamese Government.
It is part of a larger, US$392 million scheme to upgrade six cites in the Mekong Delta - My Tho, Ca Mau, Cao Lanh (Dong Thap Province), Rach Gia (Kien Giang Province), and Tra Vinh (Tra Vinh Province).
The smaller Can Tho project will upgrade infrastructure in low-income residential areas, and improve electricity, and drainage systems.
Pipes to supply clean water will be laid in some residential areas, five main roads in Cai Rang District's Le Binh Ward will be upgraded, Bun Xang Reservoir will be improved, and more clinics, schools, and markets built.
The project, which will benefit 45,000 people and improve the lives of half a million more, will be implemented in two phases, from 2012-14 and from 2015-17.
However, when the larger project is completed in 2018, it will help improve living conditions for 150,000 poor people and indirectly benefit more than 1.8 million
On May 14 this year, the Vietnamese Government and the World Bank signed an agreement worth over US$392 million to fund the whole project. Kien Giang bids to cut heart disease deaths
The General Hospital of southern Kien Giang Province yesterday, June 18, introduced heart disease intervention techniques under a total of VND30 billion (US$1.4 million) of invested funds.
This is the result of a technological transfer after the hospital sent two groups of doctors to HCM City - based Cho Ray Hospital for training in 2005.
Modern medical machines and equipment, new beds and rooms have also been introduced to facilitate treatment.
The technological transfer is expected to help reduce the mortality rate of patients as those with emergency heart conditions sometimes need to be moved to HCM City for treatment, which is 250km from Kien Giang. Forum debates sustainable citrus farming
Restructuring farming practices and ensuring stable outlets for citrus fruits are among measures required to sustainably develop citrus production, a forum heard in Tien Giang Province last Saturday.
Le Thanh Tung of the Cultivation Department said the south, which enjoyed climatic and soil advantages, had large areas under fruits and was the country's premier fruit-growing area.
In recent years the region's fruit production had grown significantly in terms of area, varieties, and output, with citrus fruits accounting for a significant share.
But the downside was that fruit production and consumption in the region still faced many problems.
The small scale and scattered nature of farming, huge post-harvest losses, inconsistent quality, unreliable outlets, diseases, and lack of tie-ups between businesses and farmers threatened sustainable development.
The small scale of production precluded mechanisation, and since farmers grew many kinds of fruits in the same orchard, they were unable to supply large volumes with consistency in size, colour, and quality.
The region grew many varieties of citrus fruits like the green-skin pomelo, king orange, and seedless lemon that were in high demand in the world market, but did not have areas specialising in one or the other.
There was a lack of quality packaging plants in the region.
There was no planning in growing fruits and farmers decided what to grow based on factors like a recent bumper crop, causing prices to be volatile.
To sustainably develop citrus farming in the south, each province should restructure production and develop co-ordination between production and consumption, Tung said.
Hoang Quoc Tuan, director of the Agriculture Planning and Design Institute, said farmers should increase application of good agricultural practice standards to raise the value of their fruits.
Authorities should think of consumption markets and set up packaging and processing factories when make zoning plans for citrus fruit development, he said.
They should work with supermarkets and other distributors to reduce intermediary costs involved in consumption, he added.
Nguyen Minh Chau, director of the Southern Fruit Research Institute, said localities should develop systems that can supply clean, high-quality citrus seedlings. Proper planting techniques should be adopted to control diseases, he said. Vietnam volunteer information resource centre opens in central region
The third office of the Vietnam Volunteer Information Resource Centre (VVIRC) opened in the central city of Da Nang on June 18.
The establishment of a VVIRC office in the central region aims at narrowing the gap between volunteers and organisations of volunteers.
It also provides knowledge and training courses to improve voluntary activities implemented by individuals, organisations and volunteer clubs in 19 cities and provinces in the region.
The office, together with two other VVIRC offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, operates to maintain and develop volunteer activities broadly and effectively.
Via VVIRC and its regional offices, those who are interested in volunteer activities will be provided with the latest information relating to volunteer activities, organisations and policies, training courses and volunteer networks nationwide and worldwide.
Established since 2010, VVIRC is the first national institution for the promotion and support of volunteerism for development in Vietnam. VNN/VOV/VNS/Tuoi Tre