Young Generation Finds New Ways to Foster Switzerland-Vietnam Relationship

"People-to-people relationship can be a stable base in an unstable world," said Mrs. Anjuska Weil, President of the Switzerland-Vietnam Association (ASV) about the future of Vietnam-Switzerland relationship whilst the complicated global context.
November 22, 2022 | 08:01

Mrs. Anjuska Weil, President of the Switzerland-Vietnam Association (ASV) spoke with the Vietnam Times about significant role of young people to promote friendship between the two countries, on the occasion of ASV's 40th founding anniversary (26/11/1982-26/11/2022).

President of Switzerland-Vietnam Association
Mrs. Anjuska Weil, President of the Switzerland-Vietnam Association (ASV) (Photo: VNT).

What are the most significant achievements of ASV over the last 40 years?

The first result, though simple but important, is that the ASV still exist. ASV has developed over the past 40 years and actively contributed to promoting the friendship between the two countries and these are some of the most significant achievement:

The Association has implemented many rich, practical and effective activities to increase understanding between the two peoples such as: Organizing photo exhibitions in many Swiss cities the consequences of Agent Oranges, help the Swiss people to better understand about the Vietnam War and the heavy consequences left by Agent Orange/dioxin to this day; supporting Ms. Tran To Nga, a French-Vietnamese citizen in the process of fighting for justice for Vietnamese Agent Orange victims.

Every year, the Association publishes a publication called Peace - Frieden-La Paix, introducing Vietnam lifestyle - "a country that has risen from embargo to global integration", "deserved to be a respected member of the international community”;

ASV has also effectively implemented projects such as: Microcredit for the elderly in Thua Thien - Hue province with about 3,200 loans supported since 2005; supporting localities in Thua Thien - Hue with projects to build and repair houses for the elderly and disabled in order to overcome the consequences of natural disasters; established and developed Binh Minh school to teach weekly Vietnamese language and culture classes in Zurich (Switzerland). Students of Binh Minh school are Vietnamese expat children and parents.

What will be the main focuses of the relationship between the people of Switzerland and Vietnam in the coming time, in your opinion?

Swiss people today pay much attention to countries around the world, including Vietnam. Many Swiss people have chosen Vietnam as a destination to visit. However, not many young Swiss people have a deep understanding of Vietnam. The people-to-people relations between Switzerland and Vietnam should focus on improving mutual understanding and form a new generation to promote the Swiss-Vietnamese friendship. There should be organizations and communities that actively connect and support information exchange so that, for example, students who want to find out information can contact the embassy or other community organizations.

President of Switzerland-Vietnam Association
Mrs. Anjuska Weil (middle) visits the homes of elderly people supported in the project to overcome the consequences of natural disasters in A Luoi district (Thua Thien Hue) in October 2022 (Photo courtesy of Mrs. Anjuska Weil).

What are the future goals of the ASV?

One of ASV's future goals is to continue the Binh Minh school project. It is an expression of the cooperation between our organization and the Vietnamese community in Switzerland. This cooperation is important because it develops better understanding of the peolpe of the two countries. It is also a positive development for both Vietnam and Switzerland. It is one of future goals for the Binh Minh school to be officially recognized by the authorities. We have to have to have a sufficient number of students during 3 years. This year might be the first one with 40 children.

Also, ASV aims to maintain and develop the results over the past years and hopes for a new generation who will work in a new way, with new dynamic, creative and with more innovative ideas.

Thank you very much, Madam!

President of Switzerland-Vietnam Association
mbassador Nguyen Phuong Nga, President of the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organizations (VUFO) (first line, left) presented the “For Peace, Friendship among Nations” medal, VUFO's most prestigious award, to Mrs. Anjuska Weil, President of ASV (first line, right) (Photo: VUFO)

Founded by the Swiss Party of Labor in 1982, ASV welcomes and admits all individuals who are interested in Vietnam, including the Vietnamese community in Switzerland. The three main goals of ASV over the past 40 years include: Strengthensing the relationship of Vietnamese people and Swiss people, promoting the images of Vietnam's history and socio-cultural development achievements; supporting Vietnamese people to overcome the consequences of the war.

During President Nguyen Xuan Phuc's meeting with ASV and the Vietnamese community in Switzerland Nov 27 2021, Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga, President of the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organizations (VUFO) presented the “For Peace, Friendship among Nations” medal, VUFO's most prestigious award, to Mrs. Anjuska Weil in recognition of her contributions to the solidarity and friendship between the Vietnamese and Swiss people.

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