Vietnam woman with diability honored for social work

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Nguyen Thi Lan Anh (in wheelchair), founder and director of the Action to the Community Development Center.

Nguyen Thi Lan Anh, founder of a Hanoi-based NGO that works with people with disabilities, has claimed this year's Female Vision Award from the Hanoi International Women's Club.

Giving away the award to Anh September 13, Paulina Pineda, the club's president said: "It takes imagination, will, courage, as well as believing in yourself to make your dreams come true. Lan Anh certainly represents all of these qualities.

"Personally, she has helped me realize that many barriers are mental more than physical. Her example makes you ponder what our role and contribution in this world are."

Anh, founder and director of the Action to the Community Development Center, was born with brittle bones and has been confined to a wheelchair all her life.

Despite her early dream of becoming an English teacher, at university she realized that her calling was to help people with disabilities live in a barrier-free society. 

She set up ACDC in 2011 to assist other people with disabilities, and has since undertaken several projects and touched many lives. 

Her NGO currently provides free legal advice to people with disabilities, works to empower young people with disabilities, and runs a program called Cactus Blooming which focuses on reproductive and sexual healthcare and training for women with disabilities throughout northern Vietnam.

At the ceremony to receive the award, Anh said:  "I was very moved when the HIWC informed me about this award.

"I simply did not think that one day the contributions and sacrifices of my friends, colleagues, beneficiaries ... and myself would be recognized."

The HIWC Female Vision Award is given annually to a woman who, through her own efforts, takes an idea and turns it into reality. It recognizes one woman each year for having the willpower and drive to achieve their dream despite challenges and difficulties. 

The club is a non-profit group whose membership is open to all expatriate women living in Vietnam.

Its objectives are to promote the development of social, charitable, and cultural activities, and provide a forum for expatriate women to identify and discuss issues of common interest regarding their personal and professional lives in Vietnam.

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