The “Keep Hanoi Clean” group founded by James Joseph Kendall, an American citizen living in Hanoi, has been nominated for an annual award to honor their voluntary efforts to help clean up the capital.
The Bui Xuan Phai – For Love of Hanoi Awards honor ideas and actions that are deemed to stem from a deep love of Hanoi.
The winners of the awards are scheduled to be announced in Hanoi on September 8, by the organizers, The thao & Van hoa (Sport & Culture) newspaper.
“I was extremely honored [to have been informed of the nomination]. I felt very happy to just be nominated for the award,” James told VnExpress International late on Monday. He added that he has been invited to attend the ceremony on Thursday. He shares the honor with the group because the project would be nothing without contributions from the volunteers, he said.
James also said he hopes that if the group wins the award then more people will hear about the project and want to join in. “More volunteers will make the project stronger,” he said.
James told The thao & Van hoa in a recent interview that he and the group usually carry out their cleaning missions on weekends. Funding for their efforts mainly comes from the community, but sometimes he uses his own money to buy cleaning equipment.
“I hope we will get more funding, but I am not counting on it,” he told VnExpress International.
The expat and his group went viral on the internet in May this year for cleaning up a dirty channel in Cau Giay District without a permit.
After upsetting local authorities by failing to obtain a permit to clean the channel, the group received the backing of Hanoi’s mayor (chairman) Nguyen Duc Chung and a Hanoi badge for their contribution to the capital.
"I'm extremely happy to report that we now have full support from the government! I also invited the mayor of Hanoi to plant a tree with us when he has time. Now, we will have a chance to see what is really possible when everybody works together. Thanks for all your passion everyone! It's time to build our network in all the districts!" James Joseph Kendall said. Photo: Keep Hanoi Clean's Facebook group.
As well as James and his group, music video "Hanoi" by French singer La Grande Sophie has also been nominated for an award.
The annual awards were launched in 2008 and are named after renowned Vietnamese painter Bui Xuan Phai (1920-1988) in honor of his well-known career and with the aim of spreading his love for Hanoi.
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