Discurso Margrit Schlosser, delegada de Tierra de hombres Vietnam


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Discurso Margrit Schlosser, delegada de Tierra de hombres (Terre des hommes) Vietnam

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Discurso Margrit Schlosser, delegada de Tierra de hombres Vietnam

  1. 1. 1 Terre des hommes “Hen gap lai” – Party Speech of Margrit Schlosser, Country Representative HCMC, Saturday 18 December 2010Distinguished Guests,Ladies and Gentlemen,Dear Friends of all ages, embracing the children & youth who are here with us todayThis year, our organisation celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Terre des hommes, the movementthat Edmond Kaiser established in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1960.The Delegation of Terre des hommes - Lausanne in Vietnam looks back on almost 20 years ofpartnership and fruitful cooperation with local state agencies and non-state associations.And, if I may add a personal note, it will soon be 30 years since I came to Vietnam for the firsttime and fell in love with this country and its people.Today, we have a lot to celebrate and a lot to be proud of.We believe that we have introduced innovative approaches for the care and protection of streetchildren: open houses, shelters, outreach work. And, together with our partners, we havedeveloped models for the social and professional integration of adolescents such as grouphomes and counselling & referral desks.We might have a lot to celebrate and to be proud of. But, are we really, at Terre des hommes –Lausanne, the ones who should be proud of what has been achieved?Tim Bond, the first delegate of Terre des hommes – Lausanne in Vietnam, recalls HCMC in1992, when Terre des hommes conducted its first study on street children, as “a very differentplace to what it is today. Bicycles outnumbered motorcycles by at least 2 to 1. By 9 in theevening, the streets were mostly deserted in downtown Saigon… Today’s popular tourist areaof Pham Ngu Lao Street and its alleyways was nothing more... than a typical Vietnameseneighbourhood of small shops and houses.”When I worked with the ICRC in Hanoi between 1989 and 1991, communication by telephonewas extremely difficult even within the city and almost impossible with provinces and districts.Today, most people in the cities and many people in the countryside have mobile phones;farmers use the internet to check the market price for their crops; Vietnam has its own satellite;and the country communicates with the whole world.1 « Hen gap lai » means « Meet you again » in Vietnamese 1/2
  2. 2. Representatives of international donor agencies like to point out that Vietnam has madeconsiderable progress in poverty reduction over the last two decades. And in a recent reportreleased by the British Overseas Development Institute, Vietnam was ranked among the “highachievers” with regard to the Millennium Development Goals.Let me quote from that report: “Vietnam made unprecedented progress in improving the livesof the poor. It featured in the top ten of several indicators, including halving the proportion ofunderweight children, and reducing the proportion of people living on less than $1 a day fromnearly two-thirds to one-fifth in just 14 years.”The fact that Vietnam is likely to reach most of the Millennium Development Goals by the year2015 is indeed an achievement Vietnam can truly be proud of.But there are always two sides to a coin.The children and young people who are here with us today could tell us another story:What it is like to grow up without the loving care of mother and father…What it is like when your parents cannot pay the school fees…What it is like to drop out of school and not to be able to learn…What it is like to be in the streets and sell lottery tickets, shine shoes or collect recyclablerubbish…What it is like to live far from home, to make a living on your own or because you have tosupport your family…What it is like to labour in a small manufactory, hidden away from the public eye…The number of street children may have decreased in recent years, but according to UNICEF“there is still a large group of children who are deprived of adequate standard of living”, in otherwords, children who do not benefit from basic children’s rights.So, you might be wondering: Is it the right time for a foreign NGO; is it the right time for Terredes hommes – Lausanne to leave Vietnam?We believe it is.• Generally speaking, we observe a rising public awareness of the importance and need of child protection.• At a national level, social policies, programmes and action plans in particular with regard to children in need of special protection are elaborated by MoLISA and put in place.• As more and more capable local associations and community based organisations are established, we think that foreign organisations should leave them space to grow.• As far as Terre des hommes – Lausanne is concerned, we strongly believe that our partners can take over. They have and will continue to manage and implement the different projects with competent and professional human resources.As the intervention of Terre des hommes – Lausanne in Vietnam comes to its end, we areextremely pleased to share with you the good news that practically all the activities willcontinue, an achievement our partners and the project teams should be truly proud of.Congratulations to them, our best wishes for the future, and “hen gap lai”. 2/2