HIWC’s 2016 awardee was Dr. Dr Khuat Thi Hai Oanh
Founder and director of the Centre for Supporting Community Development Initiatives (SCDI), Khuat Thi Hai Oanh has dedicated her professional life to improving access to reproductive healthcare and HIV/Aids awareness among Vietnam’s at-risk groups. She also regularly advises government policy-makers on tackling drug use.
“It’s a big honour to be granted this award from the HIWC, a group that’s special to me because it was the first organization that gave funding to the Bright Future Group – a community organisation of people who live with HIV in Hanoi, said Dr. Oanh.
“With HIWC funding, Bright Future was able to set up Cafe P.P. – a safe place for people living with HIV to meet and interact. This was in 2002, a time when there was no treatment in Vietnam. People living with HIV were severely stigmatized and discriminated against. Being infected with HIV was equal to a painful and shameful death. It was from Cafe P.P. that the movement of people living with HIV in Vietnam was born, nurtured and evolved.”
The President of HIWC, Mrs Gill Lever said, “A talented, intelligent and ambitious woman like Dr Oanh could have chosen any career path. She could have taken the path to wealth or self-advancement. Instead she took a difficult and challenging route by making it her mission to improve the lives of people living at the very edges of society.”
For more information about the work of Supporting Community Development Initiatives.