Project RENEW Celebrates its 20th Anniversary with a New Look
RENEW with its NGO Partners Has Recovered and Destroyed 750,000 Bombs in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam, The Most Bombed Place on Earth
Refreshed Name and a New Website by a Supporter Group To Launch RENEW’s Next 20 Years
Quang Tri, Vietnam and Washington, DC – August 16, 2021: Today, Project RENEW based in Quang Tri, Vietnam, marked 20 years in its effort to make Vietnam safe from unexploded ordnance (UXO) from the American Vietnam War which ended in 1975.
RENEW, its NGO partners, and its 230-member all-Vietnamese team members have removed and destroyed 750,000 bombs. 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 Chuck Searcy, an American Vietnam War veteran, and his Vietnamese friend, Hoang Nam, who had grown up in war-torn Quang Tri Province, which straddles the demilitarized zone (DMZ) in central Vietnam that once divided north from south. The Project RENEW concept was initially supported by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc. (VVMF), which built and maintains The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, DC.
“We estimate that our work there is roughly half done,” said Searcy. “Our renewal is preparation for the next 20 years that will make Quang Tri and Vietnam safe.”
“To position RENEW for the next 20 years, its supporters have formed Friends of Project RENEW, Inc. (the Friends), an independent, U.S. based 501(c)(3) charitable organization, to further RENEW’s mission. RENEW’s work in Vietnam will continue to be performed by Project RENEW.”
The Friends have launched an exciting new website, www.renewvn.org, documenting RENEW’s accomplishments and opportunities. The brand of the two organizations has been simplified to “RENEW.”
This summer RENEW has equipped, trained, and certified a new all-women Emergency Response Team to respond to the public’s increasing number of emergency calls. It will be deployed to respond to increased public emergency demand on September 1st. RENEW has deployed Vietnam’s internationally recognized all-women Battle Area Clearance Team since 2018.
Depending on COVID-19 restrictions, a physical event marking the anniversary is planned for later this year.