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The World We Want: Listening to the views of poor and marginalized people 1

Consultations were held in Danang and Hanoi in January by a joint UN group led by UN-Habitat to understand some of the challenges, opportunities and dreams of the urban poor in Vietnam today. The group worked with the officials of the People's Committees and Women's Unions in Hoa Hiep Bac Ward (Lien Chieu District, Danang), Thanh Khe Tay (Thanh Khe District, Danang) and Phuc Tan ward (Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi) to find out more about the poverty status of each ward and their pro-poor activities. In addition, through group discussions and in-depth interviews, key problems facing the urban poor emerged and possible solutions become clearer.

The UN mission was part of series of consultations conducted by the UN in Viet Nam to ask people about the world they want and what they think the priorities for a new development framework for 2015 and beyond should be. The urban poor are one of the eight target groups being consulted in Viet Nam: ethnic minorities, the urban and rural poor, people with disabilities, people living with HIV, young people, the elderly and the private sector.

[Photo 1] Habitat Programme Manager, Dr Nguyen Quang introduces the aims of the consultation with the urban poor in Hoa Hiep Bac Ward, Lien Chieu District, Danang. "We came here to listen to you, to understand what you want, what you need and how we can help to make the lives of urban poor better, and we can attain sustainable urban development" Quang said.

[Photo 2] UN staff interviewing an official from Thanh Khe Tay Women's Union about their pro-poor activities. "I want capacity building classes for the Women's Union in the ward to improve our pro-poor knowledge and methodologies. We are sometimes limited in our capacities to help because of the problems facing the poor are so diverse," said Nguyen Thi Le Na, chairwoman of Thanh Khe Tay Women's Union

[Photo 3] Group discussion in Danang: Facilitator is encouraging people to share their life stories.

[Photo 4] Migrant women in Phuc Tan ward painting their dreams

[Photo 5] Group discussion results – The dreams of the urban poor are not impossible, they are based on simple needs such as jobs for themselves and their family members, adequate housing, official tenancy rights, access to basic services and financial resources, micro-capital to run their own business, education for their children, and a health insurance.

[Photo 6] "I want a proper house so the six people in my family don't have to sleep in a 9 square meter room," said 34 year old Vu Thi Thanh Hoa in Phuc Tan Ward.

[Photo 7] "I want to continue my uncompleted studies,'' 20 year old Vu Thi Phuong, who migrated from Hung Yen province to live in Phuc Tan Ward said.

[Photo 8] "I want to escape poverty, but I don't dare borrow money because I'm not able to repay it. I just want to have six pigs, 20 chickens and 10 ducks to breed. If I had work, I could invest in my daughter's studies, and she'll have a job. I don't want my daughter to follow my path", 48 year old Huynh Thi Loi in Hoa Hiep Bac said.

[Photo 9] "I want the government to erase my old debts then I could borrow money to buy more goods for me and my wife to expand the shop at home," said Pham Dung from Hoa Hiep Bac Ward.

[Photo 10] "I wish I was able to celebrate the weddings for my five children," 48 year old Pham Dung in Hoa Hiep Bac Ward said.

[Photo 11] "I want to buy a computer for my children to help in their studies. And I want my husband to have a stable job," said 35 year old Nguyen Ut Hong in Thanh Khe Tay ward.

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