Care for Poor Pupils, Foreign Students

On the threshold of the traditional lunar New Year, special attention was paid to poor pupils and foreign students

A leader of HCM City Power Corporation presents Tet gifts to Lao and Cambodian students on the occasion of Tet. Photo: VNA

A few days before arrival of Tet, the traditional New Year holiday which many take as an occasion for family reunion, considerable attention was paid to international students and disadvantaged pupils.

Ho Chi Minh City Power Corporation presented Tet gifts to Lao and Cambodian students in the southern city. It has also hosted various cultural exchange and friendly sport events between local students and their peers from Laos and Cambodia.

In Quang Tri, a hundred primary and secondary schoolchildren from disadvantaged families in the districts of Vinh Linh, Gio Linh, Cam Lo and Huong Hoa also have received brand new bicycles from Project RENEW, a cooperative programme between Quang Tri and foreign NGOs, thanks to funding of Veterans For Peace (VFP) Chapter 160 members and other donors.

David Clark, VFP 160 Secretary-Treasurer who launched the VFP bike program, was joined by Chuck Searcy, President of VFP Chapter 160 and International Advisor to RENEW, and other members of VFP Chapter 160 to distribute bikes to disadvantaged children in rural districts on Jan. 20 and 21.

The VFP representatives joined with RENEW staff to travel to the communes of Cam Thanh, Thuan, Gio Son, and Vinh Thai to meet the scores of children in need and give them bright and shiny new bicycles.

At a ceremony at primary schoolchildren of Cam Thanh Commune. Source: Project RENEW

Sixth-grader Nguyen Thi Thuy Trang was one of the beneficiary students at Gio Son Commune, Gio Linh District who received their bikes. Trang’s mother is a single parent living in Vinh Tan Village of Linh Hai Commune. Their family has three children of school age.

“I am so happy and grateful to have received this new bicycle from the donors,” said Trang. “This gift encourages me to study better.”

On behalf of students, principal of Thuan Primary and Secondary School appreciated the year-end gift from RENEW and VFP.

48 Van Kieu ethnic minority students will directly benefit from the new bikes. “These new bicycles will provide reliable transportation for the students to and from school, and will give them more confidence in their studies for a brighter future,” he said.

“We hope these new bicycles will offer the students a lot of fun and adventure,” said Searcy. ”But more importantly, we hope the bikes will encourage them to attend school and study every day, making the trip from home to school every day much easier. The children’s learning and knowledge,” Searcy added, “will contribute to their families and to the future of Vietnam.”

Launched as a response to the consequences of historic floods that occurred in late 2020, the ‘Bicycles For Education’ program funded by VFP Chapter 160 has helped RENEW to reach out to hundreds of schoolchildren living in disadvantaged circumstances in Quang Tri.

Founded in 1985, VFP has veteran and associate members in every US state and several countries. There are more than 120 chapters, including international chapters in Vietnam, the UK, Japan, and Ireland.

It organizes many activities each year, including those to help alleviate the losses and pain suffered by Vietnamese people at the hands of US forces.

In 2019, the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations (VUFO) had presented the “For Peace and Friendship among Nations” insignia to Paul Cox, a founder of VFP Chapter 69 and Hoa Binh (Vietnam) Chapter 160.