According to the USAid report, the Vietnamese Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affair estimates that approximately five million men and women, currently, have disabilities. Not only do many lack an adequate education, but they are also still struggling in a wide range of areas, including healthcare, income equity, access to basic necessities, social integration, and marginalization. As Nelson Mandela once said, “When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.” This need not be the case for individuals with disabilities.

Although Vietnam has taken steps to improve opportunities and lifestyle for Vietnamese people with disabilities, the need for more a stronger support from the outside communities persists. Due to the lack of exposure, many Vietnamese youths are unaware of the challenges faced by the people with disabilities in their community. This lack of awareness is alarming because the future of the country’s policies surrounding disabilities rest in the hands of these young leaders. To effectively garner more societal support for the disabled community, we need to first fill in the youth’s knowledge gap about their lives and challenges.

To raise awareness to the presence of disabilities in Vietnam, our 15-day project attempts to attract more attention toward the issue from the community, especially from the younger Vietnamese generation, since they will be the ones who can continue and sustain the actions of bringing the larger community to care for the disabled. To bring the community closer to the disabled community, this project will focus mainly on three processes: 1) Using community-based art as a platform for people with disabilities to find their voice as well as a space for disabled community and larger community interaction. 2) Improving leadership skills for Vietnamese youth through workshops involving a mentor-mentee model. 3) Working closely with local partners to foster youth’s action on disabilities in the future.

However, we can’t do this alone. Our project is estimated to cost around $8,000 for our entire team. We have pledged to raise money toward transportation, our meals, materials for required for workshops and activities  and especially the youth with disabilities. So I ask you: please help support this project with a financial contribution. So I ask you: please help support this project with a financial contribution. Any amount is appreciated – even $5 is a big help – and your contributions are tax-deductible under U.S. law.

This project would not be possible without the continued encouragement and support from you! Thank you so much!