Terre des hommes to close Vietnam office

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Swiss nongovernmental organization, Terre des hommes Foundation Lausanne, has announced it will shut down its operations in Vietnam next month.

Margrit Schlosser, country representative of the children's rights organization, said there is a rising public awareness about the importance and need for child protection in Vietnam.

"It is the right time for us to leave," said Schlosser at the farewell "Hen gap lai" (see you again) party in Ho Chi Minh City on December 18.

The foundation has decided to open offices in Myanmar, it said. The organization will close its office in January 2011; the official withdrawal is scheduled for the end of March 2011.

Schlosser hailed the role of the government agencies and local organizations in child protection.

"At a national level, social policies, programs and action plans with regard to children in need of special protection, are elaborated by the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs.

"As more and more local associations and community based organizations are established, we think foreign organizations should leave them space to grow," said Schlosser.

Since it started operations in Vietnam in 1992, the organization has pioneered an innovative approach to the care and protection of street children.

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