Hanoi, 16 December 2009 – The President of SOS-Kinderdorf International, Helmut Kutin is opening the 13th Vietnamese SOS-Kinderdorf in the historic city of Dien Bien Phu in the mountainous North-West of the country on 17 December 2009. The construction of the village, which in a first stage will be offering accommodation to 50 children in 7 family homes, was largely made possible through donations from Austrians during a special Christmas campaign.
During his visit to Vietnam, President Kutin will also be celebrating the 20th anniversaries of the opening and reopening of the first Vietnamese Children's Villages in Hanoi, in Go Vap near Ho Chi Minh City, and in Da Lat, and he will also be awarding prizes to several Vietnamese Kinderdorf mothers for their lifelong commitment. Kutin himself received the Medal for Freedom and Friendship of the Vietnamese Union of Friendship Organizations. To celebrate these occasions, a gala concert was organized in the Residence of the Austrian Ambassador in Vietnam, Dr. Georg Heindl, which was attended by prominent Vietnamese personalities known for their engagement in the Kinderdorf movement.
During the event, Ambassador Heindl stated the following: “The SOS Kinderdorf movement, which initially started in Austria, represents a bridge of humaneness between Austria and Vietnam. Vietnam has 13 Children’s Villages, 9 youth facilities, 10 Hermann Gmeiner schools, 12 SOS nursery schools, 3 vocational education centres, and a social programme for strengthening existing natural families, making it one of those countries in which the SOS Kinderdorf idea has been implemented with impressive success. Thousands of Vietnamese children have found protection, security, and a perspective for their future in the Children’s Villages. This constitutes an enormous humanitarian and social contribution“
Austrian Embassy Hanoi
Tel.: (+84/4) 3943 3050-3
Fax: (+84/4) 3943 3055