A celebration was held in Hanoi on Jan. 16 to mark the 60th founding anniversary of the Australian Volunteers International (AVI) and its 26th year of operation in Vietnam.

Addressing the event, President of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) Vu Xuan Hong said since its presence in the country in 1985, AVI has worked with 110 partners nationwide and sent a total of 371 volunteers and voluntary experts to Vietnam to assist in poverty reduction and socio-economic development.

For his part, AVI Country Manager Peter Britton said that AVI, a non-governmental organisation of Australia, was established on June 16, 1951 with the aim of working for a peaceful, just and sustainable world.

He said the anniversary in Vietnam is an opportunity to recognise the contribution of more than 9,000 Australians and 2,500 partner organisations in 88 countries, including Vietnam over the past 26 years.

The Vietnamese President has presented the Friendship Medal to AVI in recognition of its contributions to Vietnam. The chief of the organisation’s project office Claude Potvin received an insignia “For Peace and Friendship among Nations” from the VUFO./.