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Centre for Independent Living of Hanoi People with Disablilities

Have you heard about the Movement of Independent Living ?
“Independent Living” does not mean you should do everything by yourself or should live alone. In fact, independent living means that the PWD can by themselves make decision on and control all of assistance from the others, including using the basic equipment for their daily living activities; In addition, the PWD can share equally the rights with the non-PWD to access chances of house, transport, medicine, education – training, employment, welfare and other social services.

The first Centre for Independent Living (CIL) in the world was established in Berkeley, America in 1972 by Ed Robert, a man with serious mobility disability who should use a ventilator. Since then, CIL has been expanded and developed strongly in North America and Europe. Within 8 years (1999 – 2007), three global Summits on CILs were organized. The latest Summit was organized in September 2007 in Seoul, Korea, presenting a resolution on setting up a network of CILs in every continent.

Independent living right of the PWD and necessity of providing assistance services to the PWD for an independent life have been detailed in Article 19, Convention on rights of the PWD, which has just been made effective in early May 2008.

In Asia, the first CIL of Japan (Human Care Association - HCA) was established in 1986, whose chairman was Mr. Shoji Nakanishi, a seriously PWD with an injured spine. In 1988, HCA organized the first program of in-depth training in skill of providing peer consultancy in Japan.  30 people with disablilities of Japan took part in this program and created a big influence.  In 1991, the Council of Japan Independent Living Centres (JIL) was established, including 130 member organizations and Mr. Shoji Nakanishi was appointed as the Chairman. The activities of self-propagandization and services of this network for the PWD have made a big effect on the Japanese Government. In 1996, one of the important services of CIL which was "providing peer consultancy" became one of 5 largest projects of Japanese Government to assist the PWD. Thus, the Centre for Independent Living and Peer Consultancy has been nationally recognized.

From 2000 to 2007, the movement of independent living was popularized from Japan to other countries in Asia such as Korea, Thailand, the Philippines,Malaysia, Pakistan. It is CIL that makes a special effect on victims of the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan and rescuers here. Having proved the necessity, CIL inPakistan has been currently assisted by the Government of Pakistan. Since 2010, the PA srvice in Thailand will be provided by the Thai Government.  

In 2008, the DPI A/P popularized the Concepts and Principles of Independent Living to the Group for Bright Future of the PWD (BF). Within three coming years, (2009 – 2011), upon the finances from Japanese Fund (Nippon Foundation) and Hanoi Association of the PWD, DPI A/P will assist the BF Group to establish the first CIL in Hanoi. During the initial period, the seriously PWD, such as persons with cerebral palsy who have difficulties in moving and communicating, or persons with injured spine or the paralysed persons who should use wheelchairs will be the first ones to use Centre’s services.    

What is the Centre for Independent Living?

The Centre for Independent Living is not a place where the PWD live.  

This is a private, non-profit and community-based organization. Here, the PWD will popularize and provide consultancies to the other PWD on independent living, encourage them to select an appropriate independent life and integrate with the community; at the same time, provide active assistance to persons with all kind of disabilities. Its goal is to assist every PWD to fully bring into play their hidden potentialities during their time at their family and in the community.

The Centre for Independent Living is also the mobilizer and organizer of independent living movement, who represents for a strong voice in order to bring the PWD the same chances of house, employment, transportation, communication, entertainment, medical and social services as the non-PWD ones.

Working principles of the Centre for Independent Living are as follows:

1) The key leaders of the Centre for Independent Living should be seriously people with disablilities.

2) More than 51% of members of the Management Board of the Centre should be people with disablilities.  

3) Provide peer consultancy, develop programs on training in independently living skills for the PWD, provide personal assistants and information on social welfares, way of house repairing to ensure accessibility.  

4) The Centre for Independent Living also provides assistance to people with many kinds of disabilities.

Activities of the Centre for Independent Living

1. Providing peer consultancy

2.      One of the important activities of the Centre for Independent Living is to Provide peer counselling, performed by the PWD. The fact that a PWD becomes a consultant and at the same time this person is provided with counseling by another PWD is called "peer counselling”. The goal of peer counselling is to restore self-confidence of the PWD, re-build man - man relationship and make better the society.

3.      Activities of peer counselling include sharing of experiences on independent living, information on houses, skills of personal assistant use, knowledge of way of using social resources, references to appropriate jobs and methods of self-propagandization.

4.      Peer counselling will boost up the awareness of independently living in the community via equally mutual listening.

5. 2. Personal assistants

6.                 An equally important activity which helps maintain the independent life of seriously PWD  in the community is to provide personal home-based assistants. This is the unique activity of the non-PWD at the Centre for Independent Living. Unlike volunteers, personal assistants will be paid. Building and maintaining well the relationship between the PWD who use the services and the personal assistants is also a good way to restore the man - man relationship which the seriously PWD who have lived isolated for a long time at the sponsoring centres or in the families have forgotten or have never had a chance to enjoy.

Organizational diagram of Hanoi Centre for Independent Living:

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