The annual Vietnam Summer Camp 2011 for overseas Vietnamese youths and students kicked off in Hanoi on July 8, drawing 150 overseas Vietnamese youths and students from nearly 30 countries and territories worldwide.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Foreign Minister cum Chairman of the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs Nguyen Thanh Son stressed that the Party and State always regard overseas Vietnamese as an integral part of the Vietnamese nation, providing them with favourable conditions to promote their role as one of the nation’s resources.

He said he hoped overseas Vietnamese youths and students would work as a factor binding the national community and conserving the mother tongue and the homeland’s traditions in their residing countries.

Son expressed his hope that the annual activity will help overseas Vietnamese young people and students to witness changes in the homeland and encourage them to contribute to building prosperous Vietnam .

The Vietnam Summer Camp 2011, taking place from July 7-24, holds on the theme “Following the footstep of Ly Tu Trong”, who is one of the youngest fighters for freedom in Vietnam under French domination. He was arrested by the French army in February 1931 and sentenced to death in November the same year when he was 17.

During the event, the participants will pay courtesy visits to Party and State leaders and visit historical, cultural and tourist sites in the capital city.

They will pay tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at his mausoleum and offer incense at the Hung Kings’ Temple in northern Phu Tho province and the Dong Loc T-junction Historical Relic in central Ha Tinh province.

They will take part in a requiem for heroes and martyrs at the Dong Nai Martyrs’ Cemetery on the occasion of the Invalids and Fallen Soldiers’ Day (July 27).

The overseas Vietnamese youths will also visit Son My Village in the central province of Quang Ngai , where the My Lai massacre took place during the US war in Vietnam .

They plan to present gifts to Vietnamese heroic mothers and conducts exchanges with young people in Hanoi , Quang Ninh, Phu Tho, Ninh Binh, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam , Quang Ngai and Dong Nai provinces and Ho Chi Minh City .

The closing ceremony will be held in the southern province of Dong Nai./.