Source: Vientiane Times
Vientiane Rescue 1623, under the Foundation for Assisting Poor People of the Lao PDR, presented the Ramon Magsaysay Award 2016 to the Lao people, after receiving the award in Manila, the Philippines, last month.
A press conference was held at the Vientiane Center on Sunday to honour the recipients and officially hand over the award to the people of Laos. In attendance was Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Savankhone Razmountry, Deputy President of the Lao Front for National Construction, Assoc. Prof. Dr Som-OckKingsada, President of the Foundation for Assisting Poor People of the Lao PDR, Ms Sisaliao Thammatheva, and Vientiane Rescue Team volunteers.
The Ramon Magsaysay Foundation of the Philippines selected Vientiane Rescue 1623, a humanitarian volunteer group that works to save the lives of accident victims in Laos, as one of the 2016 recipients of the world-renowned Ramon Magsaysay Award.
This year the Ramon Magsaysay Foundation is presenting this highly prized award to six outstanding people or organisations in Asia, including Laos.
According to the Foundation, Vientiane Rescue 1623 was selected as one of this year’s recipients as the board of trustees wished to recognise its heroic life- saving work, in a time and place of great need and challenging circumstances, inspiring people by their passionate humanitarianism and generosity of spirit.
Mr. Bounmy said “Vientiane Rescue 1623 was set up in 2007 under the Foundation for Assisting Poor People of the Lao PDR to provide free first aid services to road accident victims – a service which was previously lacking, even in a national capital.”
“Vientiane Rescue 1623 has grown from a small band of volunteers who gave up their time on weekends, to a team of over 200 volunteers including 50 women, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” he said.
“It now has eight ambulances and maintains a standby presence in Dongdok, That Luang, Arkard and Nonghai villages, ready to be dispatched, rapidly, to the scene of an accident,” he added.
The team responds to all kinds of emergencies including road accidents, vehicle extrication, fires, drownings, snake bites and other emergencies. ‘Anytime, anywhere, please call 1623’ is its motto.
Every day, Vientiane Rescue receives no less than 20 emergency calls for assistance, the majority of which are to attend to road accident victims.
The award has been given by the Ramon Magsaysay Foundation since 1958, to outstanding members of society and organisations working in social development in Asia.
Last year, the committee for the Ramon Magsaysay Award presented prizes to five outstanding people from Laos, India, Myanmar and the Philippines.