A senior Cambodian official has credited the Cambodians of Vietnamese descent for the country’s development, saying that they have lent hands to its poverty reduction cause.

Assistant to the Speaker of the Parliament of Cambodia and head of the Department of International Cooperation under the Ministry of Cults and Religion Sai Omnang made the praise at a ceremony in Phnom Penh on December 20 celebrating the 10th founding anniversary of the General Association of Vietnamese Cambodians (GAVC).

He thanked the Vietnamese Party, State and Fatherland Front and the entire nation for their assistance to the Cambodians during the fight against the Khmer Rouge regime in 1979, ushering in a new chapter of Cambodia’s history and laying the groundwork for its national construction and development.

Speaking at the event, GAVC Chairman Chau Van Chi reviewed what the association has done since its establishment in 2003, saying that its chapters have raised public awareness of laws in the host country, ensuring that their interests and benefits are fully met.

It has also worked hard to raise donations in support of social and charitable activities, he added.

In the recent past, the GAVC chapters have pressed overseas Vietnamese households to teach their children how to master Khmer and Vietnamese languages at school, making it easier for them to integrate into society and preserve Vietnamese cultural identities.

Thanks to the support of ministries, localities, businesses and benefactors, the association has opened 57 school venues majoring in languages for some 5,000 students.

The GAVC, previously known as the Overseas Vietnamese Association in Cambodia, has steadily perfected its apparatus from the grassroots to central levels. With over 58,000 members, it has elected executive boards in 20 out of 24 cities and provinces across the country.-VNA