1st Prize – Deaf Community of Ho Chi Minh City

Project:  Training and Support to Prevent Violence against Deaf Women
Organization: DCOH (Deaf Community of Ho Chi Minh City)
What is this project about?

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Photo: training participants are eager for their turn to speak

1st Prize – Deaf Community of Ho Chi Minh City received 84 votes during the LIN Community Event and the grant of nearly VND 140 mln. The organization’s Dream is a world where no women, including women with hearing impairment, have to face domestic violence! With the help of their grant, over 9 months the DCOH has been training 105 deaf women in identifying risks and preventing or repelling sexually abusive/violent behaviors.

Beyond focusing on this important topic, DCOH also trained participants in legal rights and responsibilities, life skills, and sign language analysis skills which further enhances their ability to understand their rights under Vietnamese law and to integrate more into the larger society. This approach—with an emphasis on education and the individual—is based on the fact that hearing impaired women lack suitable channels to interact with and sense their surrounding environments, making it easy for them to feel psychologically isolated and vulnerable. Without being able to hear and/or sense their surroundings, deaf women are more vulnerable to and are at higher risk of being abused or violated due to their special circumstances.

Apart from helping its female members to gain personal development, the DCOH through this project aims to raise awareness among the larger public about disability and domestic violence issues.

What has the project achieved?

By now, DCOH has organized 28 training sessions each attracting on average over 70 participants. By the end of the project, DCOH plans to have organized 36 training sessions. Since this project is still under way, we would like to provide you a quick snapshot from one of its activities. Once the project is complete, LIN will publish the final results.

On the morning of 28th July, 2013, LIN conducted a site visit to the project site at Trần Văn Ơn High School in District 1 where DCOH organizes the weekly trainings for members of the deaf community. Since starting the project in January 2013, the total number of participants has ranged from 70 to 100 for each session and women make up 2/3 of all in attendance. On this particular day, DCOH trainers were discussing Sexual Abuse Prevention with over 70 deaf women and men of varying ages.

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Photo: Training participants sharing the results of their small group discussions

The training began with an exercise in identifying “sensitive areas on the body” and continued on to the group discussion on why sexual abuse happens. Participants were divided into six small groups to discuss the question and later listed their ideas on the blackboard in a friendly competition amongst the groups. This exercise and the use of participatory training methods generated excitement and energy within the crowded and hot classroom that morning. One can easily observe their desire to learn even though many things considered basic knowledge to speaking communities may be hard to understand for the deaf community participants.

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These trainings have been going on for the last seven months and will continue until the end of September. At the end of this project, DCOH would have conducted 36 training sessions for the deaf community. With financial support from donors to the LIN Community Grant, DCOH also created a safe and supporting environment for deaf women and men. They are able to share life experiences in order to learn and support one another as a community. Once the project completes, these participants will be better equipped to handle life’s many difficulties and bring public awareness and attention to violence and abuse against deaf women.

Stories and people behind the project

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Elizabeth Pham, LIN

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