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Do Your Best to Benefit Women and Girls

 

 

Nguyen Thuy To Tram
Nguyen Thuy To Tram

Nguyen Thuy To Tram (born in 1988) overcame adversity to win an Australia Awards Scholarship, and is now pursuing her dream of becoming a university lecturer.

Visually impaired since one year old, To Tram wants to raise community awareness about the capabilities and rights of people with disabilities.

For the community of people with disability

Growing up in a disadvantaged family, Tram had a lot of barriers to access education. Her visual impairment meant she had to spend double the time her friends spent on their studies, and had to study late into the night. After graduating from high school, she passed the entrance exams to a Pedagogical College, but was rejected because of a negative perception about the impact of disabilities on teachers . However, Tram did not give up. She successfully applied to Dong Thap University, graduated with a diploma of social work in 2010.

Empathising with peers with disabilities, after graduating university, Tram worked for the "Independent Living" program sponsored by the Japan Human Care Association. Later, she joined Women's Union of Can Tho City as a health care worker, providing psychological counseling for women and children in difficult circumstances who had been trafficked to foreign countries. To Tram was also elected to the Executive Committee of Can Tho City Association of People with Disabilities, in recognition of her hard work for this community.

During her time at the Association, To Tram established the Club of Women with Disabilities and the Club of the Deaf, to raise awareness about disabilities and people with disability in Vietnam. Being elected as Vice President of the Association of People with Disabilities, To Tram took on a number of roles, including human resource management, legal consulting, training students on skills to support people with disabilities and Vietnamese law, and building capacity of leaders with disabilities.

Ms Bui Thi Hong Nga Former Chairwoman of the Can Tho City DPO who inspired To Tram and provided her with education opportunities
Ms. Bui Thi Hong Nga (left) - Former Chairwoman of the Can Tho City Association of People with Disabilities - who inspired To Tram and provided her with education opportunities.

Over her 8 years of working for the Association, To Tram remained committed to serving this community and improving her skills. Despite work pressures and health issues, Tram also learned English so she could pursue her dream of studying social security abroad.

"In 2017, encouraged by Ms. Bui Thi Hong Nga - former President of Can Tho City Association of People with Disabilities, I applied for an Australia Awards Scholarship. I was awarded the Scholarship and felt higher pressure. Within two months, I worked very hard to complete unfinished projects and handed over my work to other colleagues before joining RMIT University to study English. Eventually, I got the IETLS certificate after 9 months and qualified for studies in Australia."

To Tram received the certificate of Australia Awards in 2018
To Tram received the certificate of Australia Awards in 2018

To Tram continued to face difficulties while studying abroad, including struggling with academic English. The COVID-19 pandemic also caused challenges for international students like To Tram.

"I tried hard to build my resilience and the ability to cope with changes and stay optimistic to be able to complete my studies. Supporting other students with disabilities in the same program has helped me learn and apply skills, and create relationships with international friends," shared To Tram.

Do things to be proud of

After more than 8 years of hard work, Tram earned a Master's degree in Australia, where she dreamed of living and studying. Now returned to Vietnam, Tram is focused on developing training materials for NGOs and teaching English for free to children of poor families and children of people with disabilities. She has just been admitted by Can Tho University as lecturer in Sociology - Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities.

To Tram is proud to have realised all her dreams and ambitions. She recalls: "My childhood was really difficult. I saw my siblings quit school for work to support our family. I told myself that I would have to study for your brothers and sisters, and studying was the only way to change my life into a better future. In my previous job, I sometimes had to travel more than 60km to help transport members of the "Independent Living" program to school or work, and even carried them upstairs despite my poor health condition at that time."

To Tram is proud of having done her best to benefit women, girls, and people with disabilities, raising their awareness of their rights and building their capacity to integrate into society.

To Tram is happily married to an IT expert with whom she shares a 3 month old daughter
To Tram is happily married to an IT expert with whom she shares a 3-month-old daughter.

To Tram has a strong desire to promote social work, sociology and promote inclusive education so that no one is left behind, and so that people with disabilities, women and girls with disabilities have equal opportunities in education and employment.

Source: An Khe-phunuvietnam.vn

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