|The Australian Consul-General in HCM City, John McAnulty (1st left), and Australian volunteers celebrate International Volunteer Day on Wednesday. — VNS Photo
HCM CITY (VNS) — Australian volunteers working in their country's volunteer programme joined an informal dinner hosted by the Australian Consulate in HCM City on December 5 to celebrate International Volunteer Day.
Speaking at the celebrations, the Australian Consul-General in HCM City John McAnulty, said: "You are making a positive contribution to poverty reduction and sustainable development in HCM City."
"Importantly, you are also enhancing the strong people-to-people links and understanding between Australia and Viet Nam."
The volunteers have a diverse range of skills in areas including medicine, business, education, design and agriculture.
Laura Power, a volunteer project officer, said: "The challenges of volunteering here in Viet Nam are many and varied but are utterly outweighed by the rewards. The part of my role that I enjoy the most is being able to witness victims of trafficking take back control of their lives and underprivileged women realising the true extent of their potential after so much hardship in their lives."
The Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) programme in the period 2012 – 2013 had 132 volunteers.
The Australian Government is expected to provide AUD159.1 million (US$143.79 million) in non-refundable aid to Viet Nam in 2013-2014, including funding for the AVID programme. —VNS