A workshop on forging affiliation between the Vietnam Blind Association (VBA) and foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs) was held in Hanoi on June 16.

According to the People's Aid Coordinating Committee (PACCOM), 213 international organisation-funded projects worth more than 11.4 million USD were implemented nationwide to support Vietnamese with disabilities in 2014. However, only 20 of them mentioned the blind as their beneficiaries.

Cao Van Thanh, VBA Chairman, shared disadvantages facing his members, especially those living in rural and mountainous areas.

They have no sources of income and entirely rely on their families, Thanh said adding that the association has yet established its chapter in some remote parts of the country while a number of existing chapters have shown weak performance.

He called for greater assistance from the humanitarian communities domestically and internationally.

Phan Thanh My from the PACCOM’s coordination board pointed to livelihood diversity, manpower training and improved health services as remedies for the issue.

According to My, the Government should enable the blind to access different types of jobs besides traditional crafts while the VBA’s personnel need to be trained in organisation and fund-raising skills.

Dinh Thi Tuyet from the Catholic Relief Services suggested that the VBA increase the application of IT in their work and strengthen connection within their network.

Dawn Gatherrun from the Later Day Saint Charities considered the workshop as an opportunity for his organisation to learn about and launch joint projects with the VBA, which can help the Vietnamese association boost management capacity and create jobs for their disabled members.

Le Tuyet Nhung from the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs spoke highly of NGOs’ support towards the disabled in Vietnam and noted that the Government always create favourable conditions for those organisations to implement their meaningful works in the country.-VNA