The Friendship Foundation of American Vietnamese is a Cleveland Ohio based non-profit with the mission "to build bridges of friendship between the people of Vietnam and people of other countries."
Luong Thi Gia Hoa Ryan, born in Vietnam, returned to see her family in 1993 after they had been split for over twenty years because of the war and its aftermath. She was so shocked by what she saw, including in her own family, that she decided something had to be done to help the poor and the children of Vietnam.
She returned to the United States and spoke to a group of people from Northern Ohio in December 1993. She asked attorney and Vietnam Veteran Joseph Meissner for help. Meissner was very concerned about the Vietnamese, Laotian, Cambodian, and others, especially the children, he met and knew while he was in Vietnam in 1966. Together they established the Friendship Foundation of American-Vietnamese, Inc.
The Friendship Foundation has built schools and orphanages and assisted in many other ways in their numerous trips back to Vietnam and in fundraising and leadership from Cleveland. Their most recent achievement was helping to complete their Seventh Educational Building construction project in Vietnam.
Here are two email messages from Mr. Thin the Project Adviser in Vietnam and from the Principal and people of the village school that the Friendship Foundation helped.
Dear Bac Hai,
This afternoon all the students who live in the dormitories of the Boarding Primary School Number 1 and the teachers taking photos to show out how they appreciate and are grateful you, Director Mrs Gia Hoa Ryan as well as the all the staffs of The Friendship Foundation of American & Vietnamese and your generous people in helping the children building a very beautiful dormitories to stay. You see Mrs Gia Hoa Ryan photo on the wall, very nice, respectfully. The photo will tell you more, Bác Hai.
The children each drew up their own "Thank-you" message
Dear Bac Hai,
This afternoon the Principal of Boarding Primary School Number 1 - Mrs Chi checked and took photos to show me that the construction company has already completed building the educational building construction and dormitories in a very good quality. "I hope Director Luong Thi Gia Hoa to come to Vietnam to take the Grand Opening so that the children can stay in the best dormitories in Dien Bien Phu" said Mrs Chi on behalf of the children as well as the teachers of the Boarding Primary School Number 1. The photos will tell you more about the dormitories and the play ground you helped as build.
Joe Meissner says "We are only able to do this because of all the support and donations we receive from all of you. So thank you...We will continue with such projects in Vietnam. We also continue with construction of the Vietnamese Cultural Garden here in Cleveland, Ohio."
The mailing address is
Friendship Foundation of American Vietnamese
2234 West Boulevard
Cleveland, Ohio 44102
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