24 October 2020: Child-focused international aid agency ChildFund today thanked the New Zealand Embassy in Vietnam for their support of Sport for Development programs in Vietnam that allow young people to learn, play and grow through sport. 

A small event was held in Hanoi on the 24 October, 2020 with New Zealand Ambassador to Vietnam, H.E. Wendy Matthews, ChildFund Vietnam Country Director, Ms. Nguyen Thi Bich Lien and participants from the Pass It Back program in Hanoi and Hoa Binh to celebrate the power of sport in creating positive change in communities. The New Zealand Embassy in Vietnam’s support of 20,000 NZD has been used to support ChildFund to deliver leadership and life skills learning and culminated in today’s event bringing together children from rural and urban Vietnam. 

New Zealand Ambassador to Vietnam, H.E. Wendy Matthews said: “New Zealanders are passionate about rugby, and we are proud supporters of this ‘Pass It Back’ programme in Hanoi. This programme is about much more than sport, it is about developing important life skills for boys and girls. Both on and off the field, the participants are building self-confidence, team work skills and learning to create more connected and engaged communities”.

ChildFund Vietnam Country Director, Ms Nguyen Thi Bich Lien said: “We are delighted to have the support of the New Zealand Embassy in Vietnam in our Sport for Development programs. After being the official charity partner of Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan, the program has gone from strength to strength, growing numbers of players throughout Vietnam – more than 11,560 players have benefitted from key life skills learning through rugby to date and 7 clubs have now been registered by commune-level People’s Committees, demonstrating the sustainability of the program”.

A Pass It Back Coach, Huyen, who has been in the program for more than 5 years said “As a Coach, I am proud to have contributed to creating a safe and fun environment for children and young people in my community, especially for girls – who usually have fewer opportunities to play sport. Pass It Back changed my life too. Before joining the program, I was a farmer who spent most of my time at home taking care of my family. Through my participation in Pass It Back, l have developed my confidence and have grown. Leadership skills gained through the project enabled me to become a Coach Group Leader, a Life Skills Trainer, and now an Area Manager, who coordinates the implementation of the Pass It Back activities in Kim Boi District, Hoa Binh”. 

ChildFund’s Pass It Back program, implemented across Asia in partnership with Asia Rugby and World Rugby, has delivered more than 46,273 sessions to 32,277 children, more than 50% girls, since 2015.

2020 marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and Vietnam. There has been strong growth of the two countries’ bilateral cooperation in a wide range of fields including trade, education, agriculture, defence and people to people connections. In spite of the global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the New Zealand Embassy in Vietnam’s support enabled children and young people in rural Vietnam to continue to have access to life skills learning through sport. 

Media Contacts: 

Linh Truong, ChildFund Sport for Development.

Ph: + 84 905 732437 E: linh@childfundpassitback.org

About ChildFund Sport for Development

ChildFund’s Sport for Development programs provide children with opportunities to play, learn and grow. Using integrated sport and learning curricula, young people from vulnerable communities are equipped to overcome challenges, inspire positive social change and take active leadership roles within their communities. Under ChildFund Australia’s guidance, all Sport for Development programs contribute to achieving gender equality, reducing inequality, and ending violence against children, reflecting targets within the UN Sustainable Development Goals.