Kids first (America)
Through Peace Tree- an American non- Governmental organization which has been active in bomb and mine disposal in Quang Tri- Kids First has established its relationship with VietnamWomen’s Union and Quang Tri Province. Since its establishment, Kids First has implemented several projects in cooperation with Quang Tri People’s Committee and other counterparts including Vietnam Women’s Union. These projects are:
1. Scholarship Fund: managed and operated by Quang Tri Women’s Union, the Fund currently supports 372 poor pupils including 100 disable pupils. Kids First contributes $50/year for each pupil. With this amount, Quang Tri Women’s Union pays for training fees, text books and tailoring classes for the female pupils at the vocational training program of Kids First. By now 31 female pupils have finished the course. Quang Tri Women’s Union has committed to makes arrangement so that these trained pupils can make school uniforms on annual contract for Kids First sponsored schools.
2. Song Hieu Primary School: with Kids First assistance, Song Hieu Primary School in Dong Ha, Quang Tri, was built in 1997 - 2000. The school has 12 classes for 825 pupils, a computer room with Internet, a library and a laboratory fully equiped for foreign language study. Disable pupils can assess to all areas of the school with the 8 wheel chairs provided by Kids First.
3. Visits to Vietnam: Annually, Kids First organizes 2 visits to Vietnam in February and August. Consequently, in the August trip Kids First delegation used to provide pupils in the scholarship program learning utilities and school uniforms. The delegation also visits some orphanages and spends time with the children there.
By the introduction of VWU, Kids First has cooperated with the Vietnam Youth Union to organize a visit and cultural performance exchange by an American youth delegation with the Vietnamese Youth in Hanoi, Hue and Hai Phong cities in August 2001.
4. Rehabilitation and vocational training village: Together with other non-governmental organizations, from 2/2001 to 2/2003 Kids First provided funding to build a village for treatment, education and job training for the disable and disadvantaged children in Quang Tri. The village was built in an area of 2 hectares to accomondate 128 pupils, excluding the number of teachers and school workers, and 10 hectares for agricultural and vocational training activities. Pupils in the village will learn business, computers, cooking, carpentry, blacksmith husbandry and plantation. A pig farm with appropriate technology was built.
Kids First also cooperates with the Whirlwind Wheelchair International to establish manufacturing workshop and train disable people to manufacture wheelchairs. Kids First is mobilizing the Wheelchair Foundation to sign contract to invest and market 1.000 wheelchairs as its first production.
At the introduction by Kids First, some NGOs in American as Wheelchair Foundation, rotary International, Latter Day Saint Charity and Help Children, Families and Communities in Vietnam (VNHELP) have cooperated with Central VWU and WU in Hue, HoChiMinh, Quang Tri to distribute wheelchairs for needy people especially to women and children in respected sites. By November 2003 totally 1480 wheelchairs had been distributed.
With the above activities, Kids First and other counterparts have contributed to healing the wounds of war the cause of economic and humance resource development to overcome the consequences of the US war in Vietnam.