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Vietnam project report presented to president

By Sharon Gray | Jan. 1, 2008

Dr. Lan Gien, School of Nursing, and Dr. Sharon Taylor, School of Social Work, presented President Axel Meisen with the final report of a five-year project on building social work capacity in Vietnam on Dec.14. They also presented MUN a copper relief, a present from the University of Labor and Social Affairs, which was the Vietnamese project partner.

In Vietnam, social work is a new profession. With the help of nursing and social work faculty from Memorial University, work was undertaken to establish and accredit a government-approved School of Social Work in Hanoi. The project was funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

Dr. Taylor served as co-director of the project. She explained that the project involved not only setting up a School of Social Work in Vietnam but also upgrading the current social work teachers and rural social work providers, establishing a profession, and identifying how social work can be applied in agencies in Vietnam.

Dr. Gien has extensive experience with nursing development projects in Vietnam and she served as a project director on this one, titled Poverty Reduction by Improving Social Workers and Health. The third Memorial faculty member involved with the project was Dr. Ken Barter, Social Work.

In addition to building community capacity for social work in Vietnam, the project is also identifying Vietnamese students to do graduate work in social work. Because Memorial requires a bachelor of social work before entering a master’s, these students completed the master of social work program at the University of Regina.

Dr. Taylor said the project was a tremendous success and the Vietnamese collaborators were very positive about the results of the project.