10:03 | 04/12/2020 Society
To commemorate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, AIP Foundation organized a Helmets for Kids program donation event on December 3, 2020 at the Binh Minh Primary School, an educational institution dedicated to serving children with special needs. Participating students and teachers at the Binh Minh Primary School received helmets from Protec, whose own workforce includes a large number of team members with special needs. Students also received a helmet-wearing tutorial along with road safety training.
This year’s theme for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities is “Building Back Better,” whose primary focus is to create a more disability-inclusive, accessible, and sustainable world. The U.S. government has taken concrete strides in reducing physical and social barriers for people with disabilities in Vietnam by providing nearly US$125 million of support since 1989. The Government of Vietnam has also made improving the well-being of people with disabilities a high priority of national interest. Between 2012 and 2020, the Government of Vietnam has spent over US$13 million annually to support for persons with disabilities in accordance with Decision 1019. In August 2020 Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc also signed a decision to continue support programs for persons with disabilities for 2021-2030.
The Helmets for Kids program has been a signature project of AIP Foundation since its launch during the historic U.S. presidential visit to Vietnam in 2000. Since its inception, 1 million helmets have been distributed through Helmets for Kidsto primary students throughout Vietnam. This project has served as a continued reminder of the importance of U.S.-Vietnam relations, with a particular focus on proper road safety education and helmet-wearing.
Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink participated in this event by delivering remarks, distributing helmets as well as enthusiastically taking part in the helmet-wearing tutorial with participating students. Against the backdrop of the 25th anniversary of US-Vietnam diplomatic relations, Ambassador Kritenbrink’s participation in this engagement demonstrated steadfast US support for social inclusion initiatives in Vietnam while bolstering US-Vietnam people-to-people ties.
Ambassador Kritenbrink expressed his sincere appreciation to the AIP Foundation, Protec, UPS, and AA Vietnam for continuing to implement this meaningful and life-changing event year after year while highlighting the transformational impact that their efforts have had.
“This is precisely why the US Mission in Vietnam is so delighted to partner with AIP Foundation, AA Vietnam, and Protec and UPS to distribute helmets to vulnerable communities across Vietnam while equipping them with the life-preserving knowledge they need to remain safe as they transit Vietnam’s roadways,” Ambassador Kritenbrink stated while highlighting the fact that Vietnamese commuters are much safer and more cognizant than they have ever been of the paramount importance of wearing helmets and practicing road traffic safety thanks to the efforts of these organizations.
The event was also attended by Vietnam’s Ambassador to the United States Hà Kim Ngọc, who joined the event virtually from Washington, D.C., and by UPS, a key U.S. supporter of road safety initiatives in Vietnam for the past 15 years. Ambassador Ha Kim Ngoc said, “Over the past 25 years since the establishment of US-Vietnam diplomatic relations, the Vietnamese people and children have received a lot of support from US NGOs, including AIP Foundation, together with the Administration, Congress and business community. We very much appreciate that Mr. Greig Craft and the AIP Foundation have made a lot of efforts in raising the awareness of road safety and providing helmets to many schools in Viet Nam. Nowadays, the Vietnamese school-children have become the change agents for a society of safer road users.”
Protec and AIP Foundation donated 2,500 medical masks for students, teachers, and parents in a special handover between Protec’s workers and Binh Minh Primary School’s students.
The Helmets for Kids program has benefited from the generous support of many US corporations including UPS as well as from grants provided by the US Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam, the US Mission in Vietnam, Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Government of Vietnam, as well as by other partners in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Each year, AIP Foundation and Protec also donate helmets to the US Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam’s Scholarship Program.