Great steps forward
The Centre for Promotion of Quality of Life (LIFE Centre) is a Vietnamese non-profit social organization with a mission to enhance the quality of life of vulnerable people and communities through conducting research, training and implementing cost-effective, sustainable and high impact programs. LIFE Centre is registered under Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA) on August 1, 2007. LIFE Centre implements programs in the areas of community resilience building, health care, HIV/AIDS prevention, and workers’ well-being improvement.
Committed to its mission, LIFE Centre always listens to the needs and voices of the community to design programs that bring about high efficiency, strong impact and sustainability. Vietnam has become a developed country with the rapid increase of both international and domestic resources invested in all fields, particularly economic, education and health care development. In response to that development, LIFE Centre proactively designs diversified programs that support disadvantaged and vulnerable communities who have little access to information, health care and disease prevention services. In these programs, LIFE applies information technology to the implementation, monitoring and promotion of its activities to swiftly spread needed information in the community and collecting results and evidence to constantly control and improve the quality of its activities and services.
Besides the development of society, multi-media means of communication have also greatly developed. However, there are still many parts of the populations that have not been able to access, receive, or have not yet felt the need to acquire information and technologies related to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. LIFE’s Community Health and Resilience Program has provided HIV prevention, HIV rapid testing, and support to refer to diagnostic and treatment services for more than 150,000 people with high risk behaviors for HIV infection and transmission, e.g. men who have sex with men, transgender women (in the LGBTI–Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender-Intersex communities) male and female sex workers, male and female who inject drugs, and those who are living with HIV. In addition, the network of community-based organizations (CBOs) coordinated by LIFE has referred almost 5,000 people with HIV to HIV treatment and support their anti-retroviral treatment adherence since 2011. The number of newly-diagnosed HIV detected by LIFE’s program contribute to 40% to 60% of the total of number of HIV cases found every year in the provinces where LIFE works.
In rural areas, LIFE’s community capacity building projects have provided knowledge of natural disaster versus climate change, assessment of disaster risks and climate change impacts, training on action/solution plan development skills and promoting and facilitating climate resilient livelihood development initiatives for more than 5,000 women in the Mekong Delta provinces. As a result, their families can proactively develop their livelihood activities and adopt appropriate health care practices in response to climate change impacts.
With tremendous efforts, Vietnam has achieved significant results in its global integration process. The export market has dramatically expanded with the blossoming of industrial parks and zones throughout the country. The LIFE’s Worker Support Program has brought positive impacts on the lives of thousands of workers (more than two-thirds being migrant workers) in the garment, footwear, furniture and electrical industries. Through LIFE’s programs, international brand companies have been advised and provided with technical assistance by LIFE to improve onsite health care and health education policies at the workplace, thereby being able to fulfill their social responsibilities contributing to sustainable development of their business in Vietnam. Since 2008, LIFE Centre has conducted various worker’s needs assessment, job satisfaction, based on that, designing and implementing thousands of training on reproductive health and health care. sex, workers’ rights and responsibilities, communication skills and labor related negotiation. As of March, 2019, LIFE Centre’s Worker Support Program has provided knowledge and skills in the above areas to more than 200,000 workers in nearly 100 factories across the country.
This is one of LIFE’s program implementation strategies. We believe that for sustainable development, vulnerable communities are supported by projects, and organizations that represent their voices and rights must be strengthened in governance, organization development, program design and management, transparent financial management to be able to work with LIFE in providing HIV preventive, care and support services to protect the communities’ health. LIFE, in collaboration with many experts, trained the team to reach out to the community with up-to-date information and new HIV prevention technologies e.g. HIV rapid testing (to detect HIV in the early phase), taking HIV pre-or post-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP and PEP). Thanks to these, LIFE and the CBOs have increasingly demonstrated their capability and dynamics in partnership with the public health sector in HIV/AIDS epidemic control towards ending the epidemic by 2030.
Since 2011, LIFE has conducted capacity building for 31 CBOs so they can be self-reliant and operate effectively in providing HIV related prevention and support services to vulnerable communities. Over years, many of these organizations have grown strong and therefore, LIFE focused on strengthening their ability to mobilize diversified resources and funding to maintain their HIV related service provision and expanding the scope of work. Since mid-2016, in addition to providing direct support with funded resources to the CBOs, LIFE has gradually shifted to providing technical assistance, organizational development advice, building ‘community master trainers’ (as resource persons) and especially creating an ecosystem of community-based organizations with built synergies for reaching farther and deeper and creating greater impacts on the HIV prevention services for all vulnerable groups and communities.
Collaborating with government agencies to jointly improve the quality of life for vulnerable populations also plays an important role in bringing the programs implemented by LIFE and community organizations. Therefore, LIFE usually works with international organizations and experts to train health workers and counselors in public and private health care facilities on sex, gender and diversity to facilitate their attitudinal change and provide non-discriminatory and gender-sensitive services to vulnerable groups that LIFE supports.
In the Worker Support Program, LIFE trains supervisory skills for low and middle-level factory managers and training 30 resource trainers (‘in-house capacity’ for the factories) on workers’ rights and responsibilities, providing general and reproductive health care information and practices for more than 2,000 peer workers-collaborators from factory workers. In particular, LIFE provides technical advices to the partner factories to develop/update their human development strategies and policies, health care policies and services to harmonize the workers’ well-being improvement and sustainable business development.
With more than ten years devotedly working with the mission of promoting and improving the quality of life of vulnerable people and communities, LIFE Centre feels very proud of building an ecosystem of capable community organizations and generate their collective commitment to provide community-based health care services, reducing HIV transmission, improving the well-being for vulnerable communities and workers, contributing to developing a healthy and dynamic Vietnam.
LIFE appreciates and is proud of the great contributions from the communities, sponsors and mass organizations, who have worked closely with LIFE to achieve meaningful impacts.
Budget for community services
CBO participates in Community Health projects
Factories participate in the Worker Support projects
During our mission, LIFE has captured memorable moments. Indeed, these are very special journeys, about people with different stories who participate and accompany the mission for a greater good of the communities and society.