US Ambassador to Việt Nam Daniel Kritenbrink attends the event to donate quality helmets to special needs students at Bình Minh Primary School in Hà Nội on Thursday. — Photo courtesy of the US Embassy in Việt Nam
HÀ NỘI — A ceremony was held on Thursday to hand over quality helmets to students and teachers at special needs Bình Minh Primary School in Hà Nội, along with helmet-wearing tutorials and road safety training, as part of Helmet for Kids programme by the AIP Foundation to commemorate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
This year’s theme for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities is “Building Back Better,” and the primary focus is to create a more disability-inclusive, accessible, and sustainable world.
The helmets are from Protec, whose own workforce includes a large number of team members with special needs.
US Ambassador to Việt Nam Daniel Kritenbrink participated in this event by delivering remarks, distributing helmets as well as taking part in the helmet-wearing tutorial with students. Against the backdrop of the 25th anniversary of Việt Nam-US diplomatic relations, Ambassador Kritenbrink’s participation in this engagement demonstrated the steadfast US support for social inclusion initiatives in Việt Nam while bolstering US-Việt Nam people-to-people ties.
Ambassador Kritenbrink expressed his sincere appreciation to the AIP Foundation, Protec, UPS, and AA Việt Nam 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 Việt Nam is so delighted to partner with AIP Foundation, AA Việt Nam, and Protec and UPS to distribute helmets to vulnerable communities across Việt Nam while equipping them with the life-preserving knowledge they need to remain safe as they transit Việt Nam’s roadways,” Ambassador Kritenbrink stated while highlighting the fact that Vietnamese commuters are much safer and more cognisant than they have ever been of the paramount importance of wearing helmets and practicing road traffic safety thanks to the efforts of these organisations.
The event was also attended by Vietnamese Ambassador to the United States Hà Kim Ngọc, who joined virtually from Washington, D.C., and by UPS, a key US supporter of road safety initiatives in Việt Nam for the past 15 years.
Ambassador Ngọc said “Over the past 25 years since the establishment of US-Việt Nam 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 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 Việt Nam. Nowadays, the Vietnamese school-children have become the change agents for a society of safer road users.”
The US government has taken concrete strides in reducing physical and social barriers for people with disabilities in Việt Nam by providing nearly $125 million of support since 1989.
The Government of Việt Nam has also made improving the well-being of people with disabilities a high priority of national interest. Between 2012 and 2020, the Government of Việt Nam has spent over $13 million annually to support for persons with disabilities in accordance with Decision 1019.
In August 2020 Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc also signed a decision to continue support programmes for persons with disabilities for the next decade.
The Helmets for Kids programme has been a signature project of AIP Foundation since its launch during the historic US presidential visit to Việt Nam in 2000.
Since its inception, one million helmets have been distributed through Helmets for Kids to primary students throughout Việt Nam.
Protec and AIP Foundation donated 2,500 medical masks for students, teachers, and parents in a special handover between Protec’s workers and Bình Minh Primary School’s students.
The Helmets for Kids programme 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 Việt Nam, the US Mission in Việt Nam, Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Government of Việt Nam, as well as by other partners in Hà Nội and HCM City. — VNS