Historic Concert Series to Celebrate Contributions of the Disabled in Laos and Vietnam
Later this year, VNAH will be part of an historic international event when it partners with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and governments to present Asia's first-ever disAbility Concert Series. The two-day event will bring together disabled performers and celebrities from Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and the United States to present evening concerts in Vientiane, Laos and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. In addition, the event will include two days of festivals and exhibitions featuring arts, crafts and other products created by people with disabilities. The event is funded in part by the Nippon Foundation.
The event is designed to raise awareness about the abilities of disabled people and emphasize their independence and contributions as productive members of society. It will also promote employment opportunities for the disabled across the continent. In fact, the event itself will create hundreds of jobs for the disabled community.
The event will be held in Laos on Saturday, Nov. 25 and Sunday, Nov. 26 and in Vietnam on Saturday, Dec. 2 and Sunday, Dec. 3 the United Nations' International Day of Disabled Persons. Adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 1982, the International Day of Disabled Persons "aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life."
In Vientiane, VNAH is supporting the Foundation for Assistance to the Poor and the Department of Fine Arts of the Laos Government to organize this special event, which will feature performances by Gypsy Queen, a rock band; a drum band called the Taiko Federation from Japan; two blind pianists/singers from Thailand; a group of wheelchair dancers from Cambodia; and a team of disabled performers from Vietnam and Laos.
In Ho Chi Minh City, VNAH is working with the Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (DOLISA) to organize a "Day in the Park" festival for people with disabilities, which will include free admission to a local amusement park, as well as live performances by groups of performers with disabilities. VNAH is working with DOLISA of Ho Chi Minh City, surrounding provinces and other groups -- including international NGOs, local NGOs and the private sector -- to provide logistics, hotel, food and other support. Five thousand to 8,000 people with disabilities are expected participate.
The evening performances will be covered on live television in both Vietnam and Laos in an effort to maximize the audience and heighten awareness about issues related to disabilities.