• WHAT WE DO
    WHAT WE DO

    Trinh Foundation Australia works to assist the Vietnamese people to establish Speech Therapy as a profession in their country. We collaborate with our Vietnamese partners to create ...

  • VOLUNTEER
    VOLUNTEER

    You can volunteer for Trinh Foundation in a number of ways – and you don’t have to leave the country, if you don’t want to. We are always looking for volunteers, to travel to Vietnam ...

  • CURRENT WORK
    CURRENT WORK

    TFA works in partnership with a number of educational and clinical institutions throughout Vietnam to deliver on our mission of bringing speech therapy to Vietnam ...

Finding Speech Therapy by Chance

After completing the 2016-17 Paediatric Speech Therapy course it was by chance that Doan Lan Oanh discovered a new passion and moved back to her home town Tam Ky City, Quang Nam Province to begin her speech therapy clinic. She had realised children in remote areas had great difficulty accessing these services. She reports:

“I am Doan Lan Oanh, a student of the Paediatric Speech Therapy course 2016-17 at Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine, under the patronage of TFA. I am a pharmacist, but with this course I learned great things, not only professional knowledge but also professional practice models, sharing with colleagues and especially patient-centred and family-centred approaches. These were learned from the professors and top clinicians from Australia and experienced teachers of PNTU. Another good thing was that my course was guided and supported by the senior students, which is the spirit that TFA built for us during the course. It is to collaborate to build ST as a recognized profession in Vietnam.
Graduating in July of 2017, I left for the countryside after meeting Sarah Day, the course coordinator. This meeting was a mentoring session, where she suggested and shared many materials with me and assisted me in organising a speech therapy clinic in my hometown, Quang Nam. This idea came from my second clinical term at OGCDC Hue, which left me a deep understanding how children in remote areas had difficulties accessing ST services. With the encouragement of my colleagues, I decided to leave Saigon after 13 years, opening an ST clinic in Tam Ky City, Quang Nam Province.
In those first days, it was a little difficult but always full of joy and excitement. Experience gained from 2 clinical terms has helped quite a lot. Also having the resources to operate a speech therapy clinic helped me to do this. Both the hands-on experience and the careful supervision of the Australian and Vietnamese supervisors provided future practice experience. It was only when I was working alone, I understood fully the implication of this supervision.
Now, after a year and two months here I have always tried to achieve my goals. Thanks to the support and cooperation of the Children’s Hospital of Quang Nam, the referrals of colleagues in Danang that many children here have access to services. I also have met with preschool teachers, both to introduce speech therapy, and to work with them to provide therapy. Thanks to the sharing of their experiences by parents and families of children who involved in therapy, the community knows more about the profession, as well as the difficulties these children face and how to understand them more. As Tam Ky is a small city of about 130,000 people neighbouring districts like Tien Phuoc, Nui Thanh and Thang Binh also know about the service and access consultation and therapy. I was also very happy for my children and the children in the neighbourhood where I work when they could participate in the Mid-Autumn Festival in 2017. They were very excited to do this. So, I have completed the first step for one of my goals in my PDP after graduation.
Currently, I am providing individual intervention for 10 children, including children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Developmental Language Disorder, Cleft Lip and Palate, hearing aids and speech sound disorders. There are 3 children in the waiting list, so I plan to find a partner to share the work. I believe this will help many children access to professional speech therapy.
As one of the young STs who is fortunate to continue to receive help from TFA through the Beyond Borders Skype Mentoring Program which was provided to me for free. We have been well supported with our interpreter has been beneficial by enabling all the knowledge and experience to be translated for me. I have learned a lot from Jodie May, my mentor who is a top clinician with over 20 years of experience. She shares the way she operates her clinic, the understanding about the difficulties and the needs of children and parents for family-centred practice. But the thing that impressed me most was her enthusiasm for sharing. Having benefited from this enthusiasm, I hope to pass this on to others.
The road ahead in my hometown is long and challenging. I believe through my persistence and through the colleagues of the ST team in Vietnam with TFA support we can continue to achieve results. The biggest motivation for me was the carefree smile of the children, the perseverance of the young parents during the times they happily showed off their child’s progress. And I believe, go and I will achieve, knock and the door will be open.”

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Graduate Stories

How Vietnam’s first 33 graduate speech therapists are helping the people who need them.

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    Finding Speech Therapy by Chance
    After completing the 2016-17 Paediatric Speech Therapy course it was by chance that Doan Lan Oanh di...
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