December 18 2009
President Kutin opens the 13th Vietnamese SOS Children's Village
17/12/2009 - Helmut Kutin opened the newest SOS Children's Village in Dien Bien Phu, which will give 50 children a new home in seven family houses at first, two days after he was honored for his achievements in Vietnam over the space of several decades.
A new life is about to begin for 50 Vietnamese children at the new SOS Children's Village - Photo: B. Neelemann
Helmut Kutin is also in Vietnam to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the opening, or rather reopening of the SOS Children's Villages of Hanoi, Go Vap and Da Lat and to honour the lifetime achievements of several SOS mothers. Kutin himself was awarded the 'Medal of Peace and Friendship among Nations' - the most honourable prize of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations. To honour the occasion, numerous Vietnamese supporters of SOS Children's Villages attended a concert at the residence of the Austrian ambassador to Vietnam, His Excellency Dr. Georg Heindl.
Ambassador Heindl and his wife during their visit to the SOS Children's Village Go Vap - Photo: SOS Archives
Mr. Kutin has a very personal connection to Vietnam, since this is where he took on his first task for SOS Children's Villages: the construction of the very first SOS Children's Village in what is known today as Ho-Chi-Minh City. In 1968, he was appointed the director of the village, then the largest SOS Children's Village in the world. In the years that followed, he constructed and managed several more SOS facilities, until he was forced to leave the country in 1976, just one year after the end of the war.
Mr Vu Xuan Hong, President of Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations said, "Mr Kutin and SOS Children's Villages are among the best friends of Vietnam. Over the years they have made practical and significant contributions - caring and transforming the lives of numerous children who were in difficult circumstances".