Dong Ha, Quang Tri – August 15, 2021: Today, Project RENEW, a cooperative program between the government of Quang Tri Province, international donors, and foreign non-governmental organizations, marked 20 years in its humanitarian work to make people’s lives safer, reduce accidents, injuries and deaths caused by post-war bombs and landmines, and to build a better future for the community.
In partnership with Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), a leading global humanitarian disarmament and mine action organization, Project RENEW is leading a massive program in Quang Tri to eliminate cluster bombs and other explosive ordnance remaining from the Vietnam War. Project RENEW’s field teams have removed and destroyed 105,000 deadly munitions since we began clearance work in 2008, and released over 2,300 acres of land to the community for development. Under RENEW’s Risk Education and Victim Assistance programs, 160,000 children have been educated about the dangers of unexploded ordnance and over 2,000 bomb-accident survivors and other disabled persons have been provided with prostheses to restore their mobility.
Project RENEW was founded in 2001 by Hoang Nam, who grew up in war-torn Quang Tri and today is Vice Chairman of the Province People’s Committee, and Chuck Searcy, an American Vietnam War veteran. The working concept was funded and made possible by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc. (VVMF), the nonprofit organization authorized by the U.S. Congress to build and maintain the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C.
The Project RENEW model developed over the past 20 years has achieved substantial progress in neutralizing the effects of explosive ordnance, reducing poverty, and supporting socioeconomic development. Together with other mine action organizations, we are proud of making contributions toward a drastic reduction of the number of deaths and injuries related to bombs and mines in Quang Tri Province. There were zero accidents in 2018 and the record has been sustained during the past three years. Project RENEW is now seen as a proven model in effective humanitarian mine action response, and is highly regarded by central government agencies and the international community.
Today also marked the launch of Project RENEW’s new logo thanks to the support of Friends of Project RENEW, Inc. (the Friends), an independent, U.S.-based 501(c)(3) charitable organization which has recently been formed by our supporters.
The new logo keeps the original name of the cooperative program launched 20 years ago, i.e., Restoring the Environment and Neutralizing the Effects of the War, and introduces an icon that reflects the comprehensive and inclusive nature of Project RENEW’s humanitarian mission. It reflects the close relationship between Project RENEW and our partners – dedicated to making Vietnam safe from the American-Vietnam War’s deadly legacies. Filled with two major colors of dark blue and “new growth” green, the logo reiterates Project RENEW’s initial and cross-cutting priorities to focus on restoring the environment and neutralizing the effects of the war. Starting with an incomplete “R”, the logo indicates that Project RENEW’s work is unfinished as our journey continues, striving toward completion of the mission. Bringing an end to the lingering impact of the war’s consequences in Quang Tri and addressing the contaminated environment here will open the door to collaboration in other provinces of Vietnam in the future. The letter “R” in the square also means refreshing, renewal, regeneration and reliability. The two connected arrows reflect the meaning of regeneration and continued mission of Project RENEW in the future.
On this special occasion, as Vietnam has been fighting the Covid-19 pandemic resurgence, we wish to thank the government and central ministries for their assistance and support to the project. Thanks to the Quang Tri Province People’s Committee for their direction and guidance, provincial departments and district authorities for their collaboration, and local people for their cooperation and encouragement. Special thanks to Project RENEW’s international donors and partners for 20 years of support, and we look forward to their continuing support and future cooperation in the coming years.
Thanks to RENEW’s hard-working and professional staff for their unflagging efforts to make RENEW what it is today.
Project RENEW remains committed to making Quang Tri Province safe from the impact of bombs and mines, creating an environment where communities can live with confidence that they are safe, and affected groups are provided with the support they need. We are willing to share our best practices and lessons learned with other provinces in central Vietnam still plagued with explosive ordnance. All of these efforts are moving us toward a safe Vietnam, where people can live without fear of death or injury from bombs and mines.