FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Vietnamese American Non-Governmental Organizations Network (VA NGO Network) is honored to host the Reception for the 7th Congress of Pediatrics of Central Vietnam.

Hue, Vietnam, February 13, 2007 – Project Vietnam (AAP-PV), Children of Peace International (COPI), and the Vietnamese American Non-Governmental Organizations Network (VA NGO Network) will host the Reception for the 7th Congress of Pediatrics of Central Vietnam at the Hotel Saigon Morin in Hue on March 4th, 2007. Co-sponsors for this event include East Meets West Foundation, Kids Without Borders, International Children Assistant Network (ICAN), Our 1 World, Pacific Links Foundation and VNHELP.

The purpose of the Pediatrics Congress is to share best practices and knowledge on children health among professionals. This Congress is expected to draw up to 400 attendants of pediatric professionals and representatives of Vietnam health institutions. The Congress is organized by the Vietnamese Pediatric Association, a national organization for Vietnam pediatricians and advocates for the healthcare needs of children in Vietnam. Professor Nguyễn Tấn Viên, PhD, President of the Pediatric Association of Central Vietnam is the Chief of the Organizing Committee of this Congress.

The Network’s mission is to strengthen its member’s abilities to have a broad impact in humanitarian and development work in Vietnam, by building a united voice on issues of common interest, delivering practical benefits and building capacity for member organizations.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: November 17, 2005

Vietnamese Americans Working Together to Help Vietnam

More than 120 participants from 36 Vietnamese American Non-Governmental Organizations (VA NGOs) throughout the US will be convening at the Second VANGO Conference from November 18-20, 2005 in Sonoma, California. The theme for this year’s conference is Collaboration and Community Advocacy.

VA NGOs are groups based in the Vietnamese American community that work in Vietnam in areas such a humanitarian relief, community development and assistance for the poor and disadvantaged. Many of the organizations are also active in the U.S., providing services and help to the Vietnamese American community.

Since the First Conference in May 2004, more than fifteen collaborative efforts have been formed among VA NGOs in areas such as relief work (including aid to tsunami and Katrina’s victims), scholarships, health care, school construction, teacher training and IT instruction.

We are pleased to see such rapid progress, said Anh Tran, President of Pacific Links Foundation, the non-profit spearheading the effort to bring Vietnamese American groups together. Organizations are being very creative in combining resources, from sharing local staff and office to jointly sponsoring projects. One group of organizations even put together a comprehensive anti-trafficking program that has received financial support from USAID.

VA NGOs are growing stronger by working together, noted Diep Vuong, Chair of the VA NGO Network Planning Committee, the body charged with the task of developing the vision and strategy for the network. The VA NGO Network Planning Committee has been working closely with the US Embassy in Vietnam as well as with Vietnamese government agencies responsible for facilitating NGO work in Vietnam to promote better recognition for the contributions of Vietnamese Americans. Transparency, Accountability, Sustainability, and Recognition are the cornerstones of our efforts to build stronger Vietnamese American philanthropic organizations, said Ms. Vuong.

While we are grateful for the financial assistance from the various foundations to help us organize the conference, we also want to acknowledge the support from the Vietnamese American community in the last 30 years. Diaspora philanthropy is what fuels our energy and nourishes our commitment to help the people and the children of Vietnam. It should be recognized and appreciated, added Vuong.

The conference will honor Prof. Lê Xuân Khoa and Mr. Huu Dinh Nguyen for their lifelong dedication to helping the needy and promoting development in Vietnam.

Funding for the conference has come from the Ford Foundation, The Asia Foundation, and the Alexander Wallace Gerbode Foundation. Support also comes from Vietnamese American donors and the VA NGOs themselves: Le Viet Canh & Vuong Ngoc Quyen Foundation, the Tran Family, East Meets West Foundation, Children of Peace International, International Children Assistance Network, and Pacific Links Foundation.


Overview

On the weekend of May 7-9, 2004, 32 NGOs (110 total participants) convened in Pacific Grove, California for the historic First Conference of Vietnamese American Non-governmental Organizations (VA NGOs). Participating organizations are either founded and/ or led by Vietnamese Americans, with humanitarian and development assistance programs in Viet Nam. The first of its kind, the VA NGO Conference provides a forum where Vietnamese Americans can discuss a common approach to the questions of how best to engage with Viet Nam in humanitarian and development efforts.

The Conference was highly successful in promoting better cooperation between VA NGOs, and more productive relationships between VA NGOs, the US, and Viet Nam. Based on common needs and challenges identified by Conference attendees, areas for collaboration focus on: a) better communication and information-sharing among VA NGOs, b) exploring new funding sources, c) educating stakeholders in the communities about the work of VA NGOs in Viet Nam, and d) providing technical assistance to VA NGOs to improve organizational capacity and operational efficiency. Specific follow-up activities will include: 1) collaborative Working Groups, 2) Directory of VA NGOs, 3) VA NGO website, and 4) network-strengthening activities. Financial support for the Conference and follow-up activities come from foundations, community funders, and Conference participants.