For six years, Truong Ngoc Ly had been living in the South, far away from home, to seclude himself from his family, relatives and friends. After a workplace accident that took away his leg, he refused to contact anyone and retreated into his own world filled with self-pity.
Returning home at a coastal village in northern Thanh Hoa province, he was still bitter about his disability. He was uninterested when being invited to join his community’s public activities.
Now the man can speak out about how people with disabilities can response to disasters. He looks confident and comfortable.
“When a storm comes up, people with disabilities are often in more danger. We used to find it very difficult to move to safe places or call for help from other villagers,” he says. “As a disabled man, I easily can talk with others of the same circumstance about disaster preparedness, and they can follow me.”
Ly has been active at his community since he started participating in activities implemented under World Vision’s Coastal Areas of Thanh Hoa Province Resilient to Natural Disasters (CATREND) grant project in Hoang Hoa and Quang Xuong districts. Through the events, he learnt new knowledge including types of natural disasters, food preparation and house strengthening, and essential survival skills.
Those activities have also given him and others various chances to meet and learn from each other. “I’m happy to be invited to the trainings because such activities for disabled people are not often organised. I can share my ideas as well as learn experiences of disaster reduction from others,” says Nguyen Van Chien, who has a motor disability and participates in the same group as Ly.
“I’m happy to be invited to the trainings. I can share my ideas as well as learn experiences of disaster reduction from others,” says Nguyen Van Chien, who has a motor disability and participates in the same group as Ly.
With the knowledge and skills, people like these two men have raised their voice and played an important part in building disaster risk reduction plans.
“People with disabilities used to rely on others’ help during disasters, but now, they are active in drafting the preparedness plans at household and community levels,” says Nguyen Thi Tuyet, a member of the project management board in Ly’s community.
The community has more than 500 people with disabilities, of which, the majority are those with physical disabilities. Of the total, 80 have been trained on climate change and disaster risk reduction, and approximate 150 have contributed their ideas to household and community disaster risk reduction plans since 2014.
People like the two men have raised their voice and played an important part in building disaster risk reduction plan on what to do before, during and after a disaster at their families as well as their communities.
Content contributed by: Vo Thi Thu.