Duong Vu, Vietnam Program Manager for Alive and Thrive (A&T)
My work in nutrition
I am Duong Vu. I work at Alive & Thrive Southeast Asia. As a core member of SUN CSN Vietnam, I supported the strategy development and policy advocacy. There are two recent policy wins that we all are very proud of. The first one is the $200m government investment in nutrition for more than 13 million ethnic minority people. The second is the government decree on a compulsory workplace lactation area at companies with more than 1000 female workers. With this decree, almost 2.5 million female workers in Viet Nam will benefit from workplace lactation areas at companies.
My curiosity about healthy eating emerged when I gave birth to my first son. Exclusively breastfeeding my sons gave me personal evidence of how breast milk builds up children’s immune systems. It later led me to research about the processing industry, biodynamic agriculture and sustainable ecology. “We are what we eat”, the more we pay for mothers’ breastfeeding and organic farmers, the less we pay for medicine.
I find that nutrition is a daily issue that offers a great enlightening moment for mothers to care about Mother Earth and transform towards sustainable lifestyle. If every mother in the world shares viewpoints and concerns about nutrition, half of the world is scaling up nutrition. It will make a big shift to the food industry and agriculture in any country.
The role of women
I am proud to be a woman. The challenges of being a breastfeeding and working woman gives me lessons about transforming relationship towards love, happiness, kindness and tolerance.
I believe that more women in leadership shall build a just world of love and kindness. Empowering women with a strong social security network of maternity protection, childcare and healthcare policies shall help women to invest time in career development.