East Meets West Foundation’s Support Network for People with Disabilities (SN-PWD) creates channels of medical, educational and job training services for people with disabilities in Vietnam.
SN-PWD was originally launched in Quang Ngai Province with a grant from the Ford Foundation and has now expanded to Thai Binh and Da Nang with various grants from international donors such as USAID and IrishAid. All three areas have a large population living with disabilities, with a high percentage suspected to relate to dioxin exposure.
The SN-PWD program recognizes that every disabled person is an individual, facing a unique set of challenges. Disabled people may confront any combination of medical problems, economic hardship, mobility and access challenges, learning difficulties or social isolation. SN-PWD starts with individual medical and social screening to determine the needs of each disabled individual. Depending on those needs, the program provides: corrective surgeries, including surgery for children with congenital heart defects; educational assistance through a multi-year scholarship program; physical therapy and rehabilitation, either home based or in locally accessible neighborhood centers; vocational training and job placement assistance; assistive equipment, such as wheelchairs and prosthetic devices.
The SN-PWD program works to increase the availability of services for people with disabilities, including expanding the capacity of health care facilities to provide rehabilitation, improving the skills of local health care providers, and facilitating the creation of employment opportunities. Capacity building activities include: establishing community based rehabilitation centers; providing technical support and physical therapy/rehabilitation devices to the se centers; strengthening the strategic planning and implementation capacity of EMW’s local strategic partners; and, improving the skills of medical personnel treating people with disabilities.
Through all these channels, SN-PWD aims to assists people with disabilities to access locally available, effective support so they can live healthier, longer, more prosperous lives, enriched by greater option.