The HAPPY-project in Vietnam moves forward

The Hartwall, Ahlström and Paulig families join forces to support UNICEFs work

It has been a year and a half since we launched our HAPPY project with UNICEF. More than two years after we first had the idea of doing good together as families, we were able to go on a field trip to Vietnam and see the results of the programme.

HAPPY is a statement from three families and a total of 581 family members and shareholders on building a better, more equal world through sustainable methods. We support the work of UNICEF because we want to see our investment producing permanent results. As a direct partner of governments, UNICEF is able to influence society all the way to legislation and to take us along for the ride. Our hope for the return on capital is a better, more just world.

Officially, there are about 1.3 million children in Vietnam who are somehow disabled. For many reasons, this figure is an underestimate. The lives of disabled children are full of obstacles, starting with the fact that various developmental disorders are not identified sufficiently early and the state does not have functional structures and services in place to help disabled children. Even a mild disability may result in the child being excluded from school and, later, society.

Our project continues but we have already achieved great things. During our programme, the position of a special education teacher has been established, a study module on special education has been introduced as a mandatory part of teachers’ education in universities, and teachers who have already graduated are receiving additional training related to special education. In addition, 14 support centres have been opened for disabled children (the final number will be at least 63, i.e. one per province), a tool for diagnosing various disabilities has been under development and training has been provided for decision-makers in charge of teaching in the provinces.

In early November 2017, the HAPPY project was joined by the new YHDESSÄ project with a goal of inspiring even more families to do good together. More information on the project will follow.

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