21 November 2003
The Disability Forum, People with Disabilities (PWD) groups and the Unied Nations Volunteers in Viet Nam linked up to organize a joint celebration of World AIDS Day, International Day of Disabled Persons and International Volunteer Day (IVD).
Titled ‘Voice of Our Own’, the joint celebration is aimed at merging the objectives of these global events to increase public’s awareness of disability issues such as independence and social exclusion; to promote the public’s acceptance of people living with HIV/AIDS; and to highlight the role of volunteerism as a means to support social inclusion.
On 30 November, a fair in Cong Vien Thong Nhat, also known as the the Reunification or Lenin Park, in Hanoi. UN Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative Jordan Ryan delivered the opening remarks. The fair showcased live performances featuring the groups Khat vong anh sang and Giai dieu thoi gian. Live music from the famous Irreflexible and Red River Band further stirred-up celebrations. Minh jazz performed followed by the Hanoi Deaf Club’s pantomime.
Beginning on IVD, Nguyen Van Dung, a young Vietnamese, cycled across Vietnam for 40 days to distribute the MDG booklet, ‘Thang’s Journey -- to the MDGs and beyond’. At the fair, Dung delivered a speech about his plans; he then received a safety helmet by the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation, an organization aimed at helping decrease the number road-related fatalities in South East Asia.
People infected with HIV/AIDS virus and other volunteers shared their personal experiences and stories on the challenges and successes they have lived through. Participating organizations have set-up information booths to provide information on volunteering to the public. Awards were later presented to the organization with the best information booth.