An unusual visit by two women from Vietnam and Laos, to the IACC in Lod, in order to examine the opportunity to export this social model of community centers and community building to their countries.
Zong Do Twai holds the education portfolio in Hanoi (8 million residents); she is one of the leading politicians in Vietnam. Professor Patleban Pimson, the daughter of Laos's Prime Minister, is a leading businesswoman in Laos and a social activist very much involved in public action, and intended for a senior leadership role.
Zong Du Twai: 'The way of thinking in Vietnam is very hierarchical, unlike the broad way of thinking and discourse you have in Israel. We have both private and international schools which abide by the highest international standards but they are very, very expensive and out of reach for the majority of the community. We don’t have any informal education systems or a sense of community and in the last elections I promised to promote both of these issues. We are here to examine these topics and the model of community centers seems promising to us.'
Prof. Patleban Pimson: 'The situation is the same in Laos. The wealthy families provide their children with their needs but are disconnected from any community aspect. The poor children do not receive any activities beyond their formal education'.
Zong: 'Vietnam is going to be one of the top 20 leading economies in the world in 2050. Israel and Israelis can take part in developing our country, the economy and the education. I want you to come visit Vietnam but also do business with us. Israel is a huge success, Vietnam is an expanding economy and collaboration can benefit us all. I'm the first to come here officially and we are expecting to see the President of Israel in the spring delegation at which time we will be happy to promote these issues.'
Prof. Pimson: 'We are a beautiful traditional country, unique in South East Asia's landscape; we are excited about Israeli tourists and are currently interested in cooperating on issues of business and tourism with both Israel and additional countries as well as international organizations. We hope that Israel will hold a place of honor in the development of Laos.'