Canadian Ambassador to Vietnam David Devine speaks at the event. (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Crowds of Hanoians, students and celebrities joined a run at the main gates of Reunification (Thong Nhat) Park in the capital on December 6 to raise funds for the treatment of disadvantaged children with cancer and heart disease.

The annual event, organised by the Vietnam-Canada Friendship Association and the Embassy of Canada, was attended by Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien and Canadian Ambassador to Vietnam David Devine.

Addressing the event, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Viet Tien, who is also President of the Vietnam-Canada Friendship Association, hailed the support the annual event has provided for disadvantaged Vietnamese children.

For his part, Canadian Ambassador Devine said every child in Vietnam deserves to be strong and healthy, and the community could make this happen.

The run shows that communities can move forward together for a common cause, he added, noting that it also represents the friendship between Vietnam and Canada.

Nguyen Mai Thuong from the Academy of Diplomacy expressed her excitement to join the run and make a small contribution.

Establish in 2000 (formerly known as the Terry Fox Run Hanoi before a change of format in 2009), the event is recognised annually as a popular corporate/family team-building activity that promotes social responsibility while raising awareness about healthcare issues in Vietnam.

Over the past 15 years, the fundraising programme in Hanoi drew thousands of Hanoians and foreigners and raised about 1 billion VND (44,460 USD) each year, which was used to treat poor children at the Hospital of Pediatrics, the Hanoi Heart Hospital and through the Heart Beat Vietnam Programme.

Last year, the event attracted 16,500 participants and raised 1.3 billion VND (58,000 USD).-VNA