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2 foreign women named honorary citizens of Vietnam’s Thua Thien-Hue

2 foreign women named honorary citizens of Vietnam’s Thua Thien-Hue

Friday, March 08, 2024, 17:21 GMT+7
2 foreign women named honorary citizens of Vietnam’s Thua Thien-Hue
Andrea Teufel (R, 2nd) of Germany and Kazuyo Watanabe (R, 3rd) of Japan receive the Honorary Citizenship title from the leaders of Thua Thien Hue-Province, central Vietnam, March 7, 2024. Photo: Ngoc Hieu / Tuoi Tre

Authorities in Thua Thien-Hue Province, central Vietnam have bestowed honorary citizenship upon Andrea Teufel from Germany and Kazuyo Watanabe from Japan for their great contributions to cultural heritage preservation and pediatric healthcare in the province.

The two foreign women received the Honorary Citizenship title at a ceremony held by the provincial administration on Thursday on the occasion of International Women's Day (March 8).

Teufel is chief representative of Germany’s Society for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage while Watanabe is the founder and president of Japan-based Asian Children’s Care League (ACCL).

She is a heritage conservation expert and has been involved in the revitalization and promotion of Hue heritage sites for 21 years.

One noteworthy project led by Teufel and her colleagues involved restoring the entrance gate, folding screens, and 'hon non bo,' a nature-inspired landscape miniature, at Phung Tien Temple in Hue City, the capital of the province.

Constructed in 1829, the temple served as a sacred place of worship for several emperors and their consorts during the Nguyen Dynasty, Vietnam's final monarchy, which officially concluded in 1945.

The temple was mostly destroyed by war in 1947 and is located in the western area of Hue Imperial Citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Expressing joy and pride, Teufel shared her happiness at being recognized by Hue and being granted honorary citizenship of both the city and Thua Thien-Hue Province.

She expressed a deep connection to the region, considering it her second home.

Meanwhile, Watanabe is a Japanese expert who has made great contributions to the process of transforming the Hue Central Hospital Pediatric Center into a spectacular treatment facility for pediatric cancer patients.

Through ACCL, a nonprofit, Watanabe was able to bring modern equipment and machinery from Japan to Hue Central Hospital in order to treat pediatric cancer patients.

Thanks to the Japanese woman and her associates’ great efforts, Watanabe has helped reduce the rate of families abandoning cancer treatment for their children at Hue Central Hospital from 50 percent to less than five percent, thereby helping prolong life for hundreds of pediatric patients.

Nguyen Van Phuong, chairman of the Thua Thien-Hue administration, said that every foreigner living and working in the province is willing to contribute to its development through their enthusiasm, dedication, and participation in social activities.  

Presenting the Honorary Citizenship title to the two foreign experts can be seen as a sincere thank you from local authorities to Watanabe and Teufel for their continuous devotion to the province, Phuong said.

The provincial leader conveyed his best wishes to the two honorary citizens on the occasion of International Women’s Day and expressed his hope that they would continue contributing to the province’s sustainable development, the Vietnam News Agency reported.

The two foreign women expressed their pride in the title and extended thanks to local authorities, the Hue Monuments Conservation Center, and Hue Central Hospital for supporting their activities over the past years.

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Vinh Tho – Nhat Linh / Tuoi Tre News

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