Dream comes true

A special collective wedding for 46 underprivileged couples and living with disabilities from across northern provinces took place in Hanoi on December 6.

UN Women's representative sharing about building an equal and respectful marriage.

Many people can only dream of putting on a white dress and practice our wedding rituals. December 6 was when it came true for 46 couples of disabilities and disadvantages from across northern provinces, as they gathered at the third joint wedding to bring the dream to life, burst into tears and laughter of happiness.

Participants are brides and bridegrooms aged 18-55 who are people with disabilities, have already registered their marriage and have children, or wish to get married but are unable to organize a wedding ceremony.

The event proceeded with full traditional rituals in the presence of not only relatives and friends of the brides and grooms but also many individuals and organizations with a loving heart.

Bride Trinh Thi Phuoc shared emotionally, “My husband and I have decided to tie the knot because of empathy. My husband has poor eyesight, my legs are weak. We are always together everywhere we go. We have already had the marriage certificate but until now have the opportunity to hold this wedding ceremony. My husband and I are very happy. I thank the sponsors for making my dream come true.”

Before the official wedding day, UN Women Vietnam supported the couples and their families to connect with experts and influential women with disabilities, from whom they learned about building relationships with respect and equality.

The meeting equipped them with essential knowledge for a happy future without domestic violence.

It also provided and introduced participants to support services and interventions when women and children need help.

Everyone spoke their commitment of building a respectful and equal marriage, saying no to any form of violence against women and children.

Pouring wine on behalf of all the couples. 

Representatives handing presents to the couples.

The event is in celebration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities December 3 and the National Action Month Vietnam 2020, organized by Center for Women and Development in cooperation with Hanoi Women's Development Support Center.

Many of the couples face difficult economic conditions and were unable to afford a wedding otherwise, despite having lived together for years and some even with children.

Together with a free wedding party, costumes, make-up and photos, the couples were presented with wedding rings and presents.

Duong Thi Ngoc Linh, Director of the Centre for Women and Development, said organisers have stepped up efforts to make participants’ dream come true despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The wedding ceremony is a gift that the organisers would like to present to wonderful couples today, expecting you, people with disabilities and especially difficult circumstances, to have the chance to live a happy life and successfully integrate into society," Linh said.

This year’s “Dream comes true” is a deeply humane social activity aimed at promoting full and equal participation of people with disabilities in all aspects of society. Organisers hope that the program spreads respect for differences, and a spirit of equality, sharing and love so that no one will be left behind.

Translated by Pham Mai