Vietnam Time

9/14/2018 10:43:55 AM

Vietnam's Friendship Order presented to East Meets West Foundation

(VNF) - A U.S. non-governmental organisation, East Meets West Foundation (EMWF) has been presented with the Friendship Order of the Vietnamese President in recognition of its contribution to Vietnam’s socio-economic progress over the past three decades.

Don Tuan Phong awards Friendship Order, a noble distinction of the Vietnamese State, to the East Meets West Foundation’s representatives.

On behalf of the State President, Vice President in-charge and General Secretary of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) Don Tuan Phong presented the decoration to the EMWF at a ceremony in Hanoi on September 13.

Phong highly valued efforts and contribution of the EMWF and its operation in Vietnam in the past three decades, and expressed his hope that the organisation will run more activities to help the country improve local wellbeing and living standards, alleviate poverty, and boost socio-economic development.

East Meets West Foundation was born of one woman's dream to heal the wounds of war between Vietnam and the United States. She wanted the former enemies to lay down their weapons and work together to improve health care, education, and other services for poor and disabled people in Vietnam.

So, in 1988, Le Ly Hayslip, whose life story was chronicled in two books she wrote and in Oliver Stone's movie, "Heaven and Earth," went back to her village of Ky La in Central Vietnam to plant the seeds of peace and start the process of healing.

During its 30-year operation in Vietnam, with the help of hundreds of volunteers and many private donations, as well as a grant from the U.S. government's Aid for International Development agency, the foundation is providing quality programs for enhancing the education and health of children, building and renovating vital institutions (schools, hospitals, medical clinics), as well as providing clean and safe water systems for home and agricultural use.

EMWF Chief Executive Officer Lynn Foden speaks at the ceremony.

EMWF Chief Executive Officer Lynn Foden said it is an honour of the organisation to receive the order and thanked the assistance and cooperation from Vietnamese ministries, agencies and partners, including the VUFO, for their assistance for EMWF projects in the country.

She unveiled that based on previous outcomes, the EMWF will continue designing and implementing projects in education, health, and community development, as well as natural disaster and poverty alleviation.

The EMWF was founded in 1988 by Vietnamese American Ly Le Hayslip, and is based in Oakland, California, the U.S. It aims at the improvement of wellbeing and social welfare for disadvantaged communities in Asia through sustainable solutions to clean water, environmental sanitation, personal hygiene, health and education.   

Currently, the NGO has been licensed to establish a representative office in Hanoi and a project office in Da Nang. During 30 years operating in Vietnam, it has to date channelled more than USD 113 million into projects on building hospitals, schools, and charity houses; improving sanitation in society; organising educational and career guide programmes, summer camps and IT courses; granting scholarships; and carrying out free health check-ups and heart surgeries.

The EMWF has also run a number of small but effective projects on anti-human trafficking, natural disasters aid, and climate change adaptation, among others./.

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