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Former Vietnam students give to Christchurch quake relief


MEDIA RELEASE 7 April 2011


Former Vietnam students give to Christchurch quake relief


A group of Vietnamese who studied in New Zealand and graduated from New Zealand universities between the late 1950s and 1975 has raised over $62,000 to contribute to the Christchurch earthquake relief fund. The contibution was handed over to the Minister of Internal Affairs, the Hon. Nathan Guy MP at Parliament yesterday. The group are former Vietnamese students who left Vietnam to study in New Zealand on a scholarship programme under what was then known as the Colombo Plan or as private students.

In a joint statement (below), the group said they had spent their early years in New Zealand and decided to establish a relief fund to help the people of Christchurch.

Within a week, they had collected over $62,000 from one hundred former students and their families living around the world – in Australia, Canada, Europe, Middle East, the United States and New Zealand.

“We were given not only an education, but also hospitality and love by the people of New Zealand. We have been longing to have an opportunity to do something to express our love and gratitude to the New Zealand people who kindly and generously helped us in our education and training and also instilled in us a sense of personal responsibility,” the statement said. “We realise that this is an insignificant amount of money compared with the billions of dollars of damage caused by the earthquake. However, with this token amount, we sincerely hope, as members of the big New Zealand family, it can lend a hand in soothing and comforting earthquake victims as they rebuild their lives. “We pray that the people of Christchurch will overcome their adversities, and quickly recover to wrest back their city’s former beauty.” The Colombo Plan’s purpose was to organise a cooperative effort to develop the economies and raise the living standards in the countries of South and South-East Asia. Under the Plan, thousands of students from Southeast Asia and South Asia were educated at international universities and many have gone on to be leaders in their home countries. The original members of the Colombo Plan were the Commonwealth countries of New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Ceylon, India, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom. But the Plan was extended to include Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, the United States, and Singapore.

PUBLIC STATEMENT CHRISTCHURCH EARTHQUAKE RELIEF FUND DONATION FROM A GROUP OF FORMER-COLOMBO PLAN AND PRIVATE VIETNAMESE STUDENTS STUDYING IN NEW ZEALAND FROM THE FORMER REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM

We are a group of former Vietnamese students who received our higher education and training in New Zealand from the late 1950’s to April 1975. We were recipients of Colombo Plan Scholarships and also private students.

The devastating images of the recent earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, were shown on televisions and internet sites around the world and struck us deeply in our hearts The extensive damage caused by the earthquake immediately compelled us to help the earthquake victims and their families. We decided to establish a relief fund to help the people of Christchurch. In just over a week, we have pooled together approximately over NZ$62,000 from one hundred former students and their families now living around the world: in Australia, Canada, Europe, Middle East, New Zealand, and the US. We realize that this is an insignificant amount of money compared with the billions of dollars of damage caused by the earthquake. However, with this token amount, we sincerely hope that we, as members of the big New Zealand family, could lend a hand in soothing and comforting earthquake victims as they rebuild their lives.

We spent our early years in New Zealand and have always had fond memories of the country and her people. We were given not only an education, but also hospitality and love by the people of New Zealand. We have been longing to have an opportunity to do something to express our love and gratitude to the New Zealand people who kindly and generously helped us in our education and training and also instilled in us a sense of personal responsibility. We pray that the people of Christchurch will overcome their adversities, quickly recover and wrest back their city’s former beauty.

ends

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