It was a coincidence I got a job in the field of disabilities after graduation, but I have been attached to this career for 18 years. At the beginning, I worked directly with the newly disabled as a peer counsellor in a rehabilitation centre and in the community, to help them to accept their disabilities and to live independently. I worked with them with all my heart, my enthusiasm and my own disability experience. Early in my career, I was sometimes quite stressed to have “tough cases” that I couldn’t help because of the lack of sufficient knowledge and skills. So, I have constantly tried to find more opportunities to study further, because I think if I have professional knowledge, I will make further progress and in utilizing proper ways to help more people with disabilities.
Luckily, I got a scholarship from the Ford Foundation to gain a Master of Social Work degree at Washington University in St. Louis, in the USA. When I came back, I continued contributing my efforts to the Centre of Disability Research and Capacity Development. Here, I had more opportunities to engage in the disability movement, including advocacy for the rights of persons with disabilities, especially access to public buildings and public transportation. An important facet was empowerment for women with disabilities.
Currently, as a project leader in NMAV, I have a chance to contribute to promoting rights of education for children with disabilities through a project titled Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities and Climate Change Resilience in Hau Giang. I enjoy working in this area, helping teachers to gain more knowledge to teach children with disabilities with a hope of “no child left behind.” The more children with disabilities gain access to schools, the more they will find that opportunities open for them to develop themselves and integrate into society.