The Australian Charity for the Children of Vietnam

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Company: The Australian Charity for the Children of Vietnam, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Company Description: ACCV was established in 2007. It has been born from a basic desire to offer assistance in improving the lifestyle and educational opportunities for blind and disadvantaged children living in poverty in Vietnam. We believe that education is integral in the fight against poverty. Our major priority is to finance vocational educational training to break the vicious cycle of poverty.
Nomination Category: Individual Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Women Helping Women – Government or Non-Profit

Nomination Title: A Brighter Tomorrow

Describe for the judges the nominated individual's activities and accomplishments that provided support and assistance to other women since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):

Alison Vidotto and The Australian Charity for the Children of Vietnam have already supported over 230 disadvantaged families in Vietnam. A considerable number of beneficiaries are women; in a male centred culture we have found that very often women lack opportunities to grow personally and professionally. Alison has always been very passionate about educating and empowering women, therefore ACCV’s vision and mission has always been especially inclusive of females who need support to break the cycle of poverty they are trapped in.

An important focus of Alison’s work is to actually empower women rather than simply support them through the toughest times. To this end Alison determines the means by which these women can go on to provide for themselves and their families in the future. The following cases came to ACCV in dire need of support. Once that support was given, a long term strategy was established for them to build the lives they deserve. Both cases illustrate the way Alison’s work transforms the lives of these women and those associated with them.

1) Sau was a young mother who was begging in the streets for money to provide food and medicine for her terminally ill child, Nhi. After being diagnosed with Retinal Cancer and a malignant brain tumour Nhi had both eyes removed.

Abandoned by her husband, Sau was left with no resources and nowhere to turn. Alison raised the funds needed for their living expenses and Nhi’s medical treatment. As Nhi recovered and Sau rebuilt their lives, Alison spoke to her of her future plans. ACCV provided Sau with sewing lessons and the equipment necessary for Sau to start her own business. This past year Sau has slowly established her own small business as ACCV support has slowly been reduced.

2) Hong lost her sight after a bicycle accident and lack of medical care due to poverty when she was 14. After spending six years at home isolated she became a student in the first Braille and massage course launched by ACCV. Hong has shown great initiative and appreciation for opportunities to build a better life for herself and others in the blind community. Alison brought Hong to Australia to receive Mobility, Advanced Braille and IT training. She is now an accomplished young woman who still works hard to increase her skills and to change the lives of blind people in Vietnam. With ACCV’s support, Hong began attending university in September 2015 to study social work to equip her with the skills necessary to lead the way for other blind people to take their rightful place in the wider community. In July 2016 Hong was notified that she had topped her academic class with a score of 9.3 out of a possible 10.

There are many similar cases of female empowerment as a result of Alison’s work with ACCV. The vast majority of recipients are female, many of them are single mothers. Education is the key tool used to provide these women with the opportunity to take control of their lives. They are made abundantly clear that the goal of ACCV is to offer ‘a hand up rather than a hand out.’

Provide a brief biography of the nominated individual (up to 125 words):

Alison has been the driving force behind ACCV from its inception in 2006. Since her return to Australia after a family holiday in Vietnam Alison has worked tirelessly to establish an organization that will provide opportunities to a better life for those in need.

Alison’s passionate belief is that everyone should be given the opportunity to reach their potential. This includes vital medical care, nutrition and education. As a mother of six healthy children herself, Alison empathises with mothers she has met in Vietnam who are devoted to their children but are unable to meet their basic needs because they are trapped in poverty.

In Australia Alison runs her own successful business which includes training and empowering women through business and leadership skills.