Japan donates more bicycles to poor schoolchildren in Vietnam

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Miyahara Haruo (second row, center), chairman of the Japan-Vietnam Friendship Association donates bicycles to poor Vietnamese kids in Da Nang city.

Da Nang City in the central province of Quang Nam held a ceremony on August 22 marking the tenth anniversary of the Japan-Vietnam Friendship Association's policy of donating bicycles to local poor children.

Thus far, the association based in the Japanese city of Kawasaki has given more than 10,000 bicycles, worth around VND20 billion (US$950,000), to poor children who must commute long distances to school in Da Nang and other regions of Quang Nam Province, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported Thursday.

Miyahara Haruo, chairman of the association, said he learned that poor Vietnamese schoolchildren desperately wished for bicycles in order to spend less time commuting to and from school.

Since then, he has promoted the bicycle donation program with the help of volunteers.

"The bicycles not only help the kids shorten their time to go to school but in some cases, it is also a mean for their families to earn money," said Miyahara.

The Kawasaki associations said at the ceremony that it will continue the bicycle donation program in the future.

It will also donate over VND2 billion ($95,000) during the 2012-2015 period to help Da Nang's poor and Agent Orange victims.

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