Switzerland-Vietnam Friendship Association Celebrates The 40th Milestone

The Switzerland-Vietnam Friendship Association has made positive contributions to enhancing mutual understanding between the peoples of the two countries, especially introducing to the Swiss people about a Vietnam that loves peace and innovation.
November 29, 2022 | 12:24
Vietnamese Ambassador to Switzerland Phung The Long. Photo: VNA
Vietnamese Ambassador to Switzerland Phung The Long. Photo: VNA

The Switzerland-Vietnam Friendship Association (SVFA) marked its 40th founding anniversary in Zurich on November 26, VNA reported Sunday.

The event was attended by representatives from the Vietnamese Embassy, Vietnam's Permanent Mission to the UN, the World Trade Organization and other organizations in Geneva, the Vietnamese Association in Switzerland and the Vietnamese community in the country.

Addressing the ceremony, Vietnamese Ambassador Phung The Long reviewed the SVFA's contributions to the growth of ties between the two countries over the past four decades with many projects supporting the needy in Vietnam.

The diplomat pledged that the Vietnamese Embassy will always accompany the association to further foster the solidarity and mutual support between people of the two countries for peace and friendship among all nations in the world.

For her part, Ambassador Le Thi Tuyet Mai, head of the Vietnam's Permanent Mission to the UN, the World Trade Organization and other organizations in Geneva highlighted the association's contributions to connecting friendship, enhancing the image of Vietnamese culture and people in Switzerland, teaching Vietnamese language, promoting people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, especially among the youngsters, and supporting the poor in difficult localities in Vietnam.

SVFA Chairwoman Anjuska Weil. Photo: VNA
SVFA Chairwoman Anjuska Weil. Photo: VNA

SVFA Chairwoman Anjuska Weil underlined that over the course of its operation, the association has always pursued the motto of "exchange, information and understanding", which will be continued in the future.

“We are doing so and will continue to do so, together with the new generation of members and with partner organizations,” Weil stressed.

SVFA Chairwoman Anjuska Weil expressed pride in the Binh Minh school established 5 years ago in Zurich. The school teaches Vietnamese language and culture to the children of the Vietnamese community in Switzerland.

The friendship association has published the publication "Peace." This is the magazine of the association with articles on the Bien Dong Sea and the lawsuits of AO/dioxin victims in Vietnam against American chemical companies that supplied herbicides to the US military for use in the American war in Vietnam period.

In recent years, every last Saturday of November, the association also organizes a solidarity event with the Vietnamese community. Over the past 30 years, together with other organizations, the SVFA has worked to support the struggle for justice of Vietnamese Agent Orange/dioxin victims through many activities such as exhibitions, information booths, she noted.

Particularly, a project to provide credit to the elderly has been carried out since 2005, benefiting more than 3,200 people, she said.

According to Weil, the SVFA targets the elderly because they have been through the war and the hardships that followed. The friendship association has its origins in the Swiss people's movement in solidarity with Vietnam to oppose the American war in Vietnam.

Speaking to the VNA on her visit to Vietnam in October with Anita Escher, Coordinator of the Medico International Switzerland, Weil said that she was impressed at the post-pandemic recovery of the Vietnamese economy.

She said she hopes following the macro-economy, the income of poorer people in the society will also recover.

VUFO President Nguyen Phuong Nga presents the insignia to SVFA Chairwoman Anjuska Weil (L). Photo: VNA
VUFO President Nguyen Phuong Nga presents the insignia to SVFA Chairwoman Anjuska Weil (L) in 2021. Photo: VNA

In 2021, President of the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organizations (VUFO) Nguyen Phuong Nga had presented an insignia “For Peace, Friendship among Nations”, the most noble distinction of the VUFO, to SVFA Chairwoman Anjuska Weil in recognition of her contributions to the solidarity and friendship between the Vietnamese and Swiss people.

At the age of 70, Weil still leads a group of Swiss friends interested in Vietnam, conducting cultural tours for Swiss friends to learn about Vietnam in many aspects such as history, culture, society, multiply the understanding and affection of many Swiss people towards Vietnam, thereby continuing volunteer activities towards situations in need of help in Vietnam.

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