​Children with cleft palate are presented with gifts in a programme held by the National Fund for Vietnamese Children. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The National Fund for Vietnamese Children (NFVC) has raised more than 5.5 trillion VND (241.8 million USD) and thousands of tonnes of gifts for some 30 million children since it was founded 25 years ago.

The NFVC was established by the government on May 4, 1992 to gather donations from organisations and individuals to help the country achieve its goals in childcare and protect children’s rights in accordance with the 1990 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

It has funded heart surgeries, worth approximately 80 billion VND, for nearly 2,000 children in its 15-year programme “For children’s heart”. The fund launched its operation smile programme in 1994, since then it has supported surgeries for about 30,000 children with cleft palate at a cost of 70 billion VND.

Individuals and organisations have donated to these charitable surgeries through NFVC, including Operation Smile, Australia’s Vietnam Outreach, US-based ESSO and the Ministry of Finance.

Since 2000, the fund has also offered long-term assistance to about 1,000 orphans or children whose parents suffer disabilities or are unable to work to help them continue their education.

It has worked with a partner from the Republic of Korea to provide support to children with autism from poor families since 2014.

The NFVC aims to raise about 80 billion VND and support 55,000 underprivileged children annually by 2020, NFVC Director Hoang Van Tien said, adding that it will prioritise activities that provide long-term care.

In addition, the fund will pay more attention to postoperative care for children and eye care projects at schools while building boarding schools for children in remote areas.

It has been working with a group of experts on a project to provide comprehensive care for children from the Dan Lai ethnic minority group.-VNA