A donation of 300 000 euro helps disabled children in Vietnam

The eight-year old girl Tran Gia Bao plays with her teacher in a UNICEF-supported school for children with disabilities in Da Nang, Vietnam. (image: © UNICEF / UNI141957 / Macksey)

The Hartwall, Ahlstrom and Paulig families hope to inspire others to donate to underprivileged children of the world. The August Ludwig Hartwall Foundation, Eva Ahlstrom Foundation and the Paulig family have agreed to support a UNICEF project with 315 000 euros. The means are aimed for a three-year project that supports the education of  children with disabilities in Vietnam. The rights of  disabled children for an education is not implemented in Vietnam. Approximately half of the country’s 1,3 million disabled children do not have the possibility to attend school at all.
– We want to show a global responsibility. The situation of the disabled children in the Vietnamese society is very difficult. They are discriminated and often excluded from the society, says Maria Bondestam, chair of the Eva Ahlstrom Foundation.
– Together we want to give the disabled children an opportunity to grow and to develop and become valued and equal citizens. No children should be discredited or treated as a burden, continues Pia Alsi from the August Ludvig Hartwalls Foundation.


Representatives of the Foundations and UNICEF signs the agreement of donation (image UNICEF Finland, Numminen)


A significant donation

Within the framework of this project UNICEF supports an early diagnosis of disabled children, in order to recognise their specific needs. This supports the development of these children at an early stage.
The aim of the project is to increase the number of disabled children that are included and covered by the educational system. The work will be performed at both an national and local level. Teachers will be educated, attitudes will be challenged and the participation of the disabled children will be increased.
– If the disabilities of these children are not noticed in time, there is a growing risk that difficulties will accumulate. According to Marja-Riitta Ketola of UNICEF Finland, the effects of severe poverty and marginalization can have life-long consequences. The donation is of great importance, and it gives a long-term support in particular to the children who are at a high risk.
– The present initiative of the families to unite their efforts is truly valuable. The cooperation shows a strong will of the families to improve the conditions the disabled children are living in, presently and in the future, continues Ketola.
The Hartwall, Ahlström and Paulig families hope they will set an example and inspire others in Finland to charitable work.
– We sincerely encourage other families, organizations and individuals to unite their efforts and work for a better world, said Mikael Doktar, representative of the Paulig family.

Link to UNICEF Finlands Vietnam-project.