|Vice State President Nguyen Thi Doan yesterday conferred the Friendship Order on two Vietnamese-French professors in honour of their contributions to Viet Nam's education sector over the last 40 years. — Photo vietnamplus.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — Vice State President Nguyen Thi Doan yesterday conferred the Friendship Order on two Vietnamese-French professors in honour of their contributions to Viet Nam's education sector over the last 40 years.
The husband and wife couple are Tran Thanh Van and Le Kim Ngoc who are native of Quang Binh and Vinh Long provinces respectively.
The Friendship Order is an award conferred by the Vietnamese Government to individual foreigners and groups of foreigners that have made great contributions to building, consolidating and developing the friendship between Viet Nam and other countries, or in recognition of their contributions to the national economy and social security and defence.
In the early 1970s, the couple set up a society in France to raise funds to help children in their homeland. In 1972, this society became a member of SOS Children's Villagers International, which is an umbrella organisation for all SOS non-governmental and social development organisations that provide family-based care for children in 133 countries and territories. This advocates the concerns, rights and needs of children, especially of those without parental care.
They have also managed to pool money from different sources to build the SOS Village Dong Hoi in the birthplace of Professor Van – Quang Binh Province – in 2005, and the Thuy Xuan Children's Patronage Centre, which in 2000 changed its name to the SOS Children's Village Hue in Viet Nam's former royal city.
The two professors were also able to get Professor Odon Vallet from France's famous Sorbone University involved in a scholarship programme called "Vallet Scholarships".
To date, this programme has granted 25,000 scholarships to Vietnamese students from across the country, including from SOS children's villages.
The couple also initiated a conference themed "Meet Viet Nam", which has been attended by their friends who include world-renowned scientists and Nobel laureates. — VNS