"Western guy who collect trashes" wins KOVA Prize 2018

James Joseph Kendall, the famous "Western guy who collect trashes" is the first foreigner awarded the KOVA Prize in the category of Beautiful Living on November 24.
November 24, 2018 | 20:05

(VNF) - James Joseph Kendall, the famous "Western guy who collect trashes" is the first foreigner awarded the KOVA Prize in the category of Beautiful Living on November 24.

James Kendall received the KOVA Prize in the category of Beautiful Living. (Photo: VNF)

A ceremony to honour the outstanding Vietnamese people who have made positive contributions to the community and national socio-economic development of KOVA Prize 2018 was held in Hanoi.

The event was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam and former Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan, who is also Chairwoman of KOVA Prize Committee.

The 16th KOVA Prize awards include four categories – Innovation, Beautiful Living, Potential and Fortitude Scholarships for disadvantaged students.

In the Innovation category, the group prize was awarded to a research on renal function restoration in patients with rapidly progressing kidney failure, conducted by Associate Professor Dr Tran Thi Bich Huong and colleagues at the Kidney Department at Ho Chi Minh City’s Cho Ray Hospital.

A research on surgery in treatment of bone cancer developed by Associate Professor Dr Le Chi Dung, and another on safe herbal plant cultivation in Phu Yen province by Engineer Le Thi Tuyet Anh were honoured in the category.

51-year-old Nguyen Hong Dan mends the roads. (Source: Lao Dong)

Meanwhile, in the Beautiful Living category, the awards were presented to nine groups and inpiduals for their actions which have contributed to the national building and safeguarding included James Kendall and Nguyen Hong Dan, a 51-year-old disabled man in Can Tho Province, using his own money for mending local roads.

Removing trashes in polluted locations in the city such as river, canals has become part of James Kendall and the Keep Hanoi Clean team's weekend ritual. When most people keep themselves away from the unbearable smells of rubbishes, James and his team keep persistent with their voluntary tasks, regardess of the weather, or the incooperative attitude surrounding them.

Their images have become popular not only via online news, but also widespread on Vietnam national television and mainstream news outlets.

In 2016, James even received the honored award The love for Hanoi, in recognition for his dedications in protecting the city's environment.

James Joseph Kendall's hometown is in Ohio State, the U.S. He went to Vietnam 5 years ago and has been working as an English teacher since then.

He initiated the campaign Keep Hanoi Clean in order to raise public's awareness of pollution.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam addresses the event. (Photo: VNF)

The prize in the Potential category worth 10 million VND (USD 430) each was awarded to 12 students with excellent academic performance and prospects in scientific research, while the scholarships (valued at VND 8 million or USD 344 each) were handed over to 151 disadvantaged students of 60 public universities across the country.

Speaking at the ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam appreciated the contributions of Dr. Nguyen Thi Hoe, as well as the success of the 16th KOVA Awards. He also praised the efforts made by inpiduals and collectives that won this year’s awards to overcome difficulties.

The deputy PM shared his desire with the winners to improve the quality of life and contribute to the country’s development, while preserving the good values of each human being in every living activity.

The KOVA awards over the past few years are one of the incentives for those good values, with award-winning examples that need to be replicated in society, Dam said, while expressing his wish that the awards would continue to grow and expand to other fields to multiply the shining examples and honour more virtuous models.

Associate Professor Dr Nguyen Thi Hoe, Chairwoman of the KOVA Paint Group, said at the ceremony that the KOVA Awards have heightened the country's socio-economic development.

She spoke highly of scientists’ achievements and contributions to the nation and outstanding performance of poor students.

The annual KOVA Prize established from Hoe’s wish to encourage inpiduals and organisations to get involved in applicable scientific research with high economic benefits and practical impacts on the community.

The KOVA Prize, which was set up by former Vice President Nguyen Thi Binh and Associate Professor Dr Nguyen Thi Hoe, Chairwoman of the KOVA Paint Group in 2002, is held annually to honour inpiduals and groups who have made significant contributions in the fields of science, education, charities, and other areas.

Over the past 16 years, the awards have been given to hundreds of groups and inpiduals, with the youngest winner being 19 and the oldest one 101. The organisation aims to encourage students, inpiduals and groups – especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds – to pursue innovations in science, technology and social welfare. So far, hundreds of projects and outstanding people and students have received tens of billions of Vietnam dong from the Kova Prize./.

Translated by Hien Trinh

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