Hanoi (VNA) – Australian volunteers have contributed not only to the success of organisations in Vietnam but also the common growth of the country, said Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Craig Chittick.

During a meeting in Hanoi on December 4 with Australian volunteers and partners on the occasion of International Volunteer Day (December 5), Chittick hailed them as goodwill ambassadors who have fostered bilateral ties.

Pham Thi Thanh Tam – Executive Director of the REACH Centre which specialises in providing vocational training, career advice, and job placement services for poor young people, a partner of the Australian Volunteers Programme – said that as a non-profit organisation founded in 2008, REACH has since become more well-known globally, which is a result of thousands of volunteer hours.

Australian volunteers play an important role in REACH’s development support activities and in improving lives of poor Vietnamese youths.

Since 1973, over 1,000 Australian volunteers have worked in Vietnam, mostly in education and training, community development, the private sector, agriculture, gender equality, and healthcare.

The new Australian Volunteers Programme was launched in February 2018. Vietnam is the fifth largest recipient of volunteers under the programme. Over 40 Australian volunteers travel to Vietnam for work each year.-VNA