American Center Celebrates 20 Years and launches the End Plastic Pollution Campaign

U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel Kritenbrink gives remarks at the celebration.

HANOI, April 13, 2018  On April 12, the American Center Hanoi celebrated its 20th Anniversary, highlighting its impact in helping Vietnamese people improve their English skills, create businesses, and gain skills for educational and career advancement.  The Ambassador also launched the “End Plastic Pollution” campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of plastic pollution.

Formerly known as the Information Resource Center located in Ba Trieu Street, the American Center was established in 1997 to provide research information from the United States for government officers, professors, researchers, and non-profit institutions. Many of the early users have become leaders in their fields in universities, non-profit institutions, even senior government officials, including the Vice Chief of Staff of the Vietnamese President’s Office.

In 2000, the American Center moved to its current location at 170 Ngoc Khanh Street with expanded services including weekly film showings, classes on internet searching strategies, English language workshops, and public speaking skills. Since then, the American Center has become a place for people to learn English, STEM, entrepreneurship, soft skills, and conduct research. With the slogan, “Fun, Free, Friendly, and For All,”  in 2017 alone, the American Center organized over 700 programs, workshops and courses, and have touched on tens of thousands of people’s lives in Hanoi and beyond.

The American Center programs help visitors gain new knowledge and perspective.  For example, during the April 12 event, we also celebrated Earth Day.  The Ambassador launched the “End Plastic Pollution” campaign to educate and inspire people to make some simple behavior changes including:

  • Stop littering
  • Use re-usable shopping bags
  • Stop using one-time use plastic bottles, cups and straws.
Guests at a photo corner on plastic pollution.
Guests at a photo corner on plastic pollution.

Because peoples’ health and the health of our oceans are intertwined.  When plastic bottles and bags enter the ocean, the toxins leak out and contaminate the fish we eat.   Yet, clean oceans are vital to the fishing and seafood industries, and clean beaches are vital to the tourism industry.

2015 University of Georgia study found that Vietnam was the fourth greatest contributor to ocean plastics pollution worldwide. We call on our friends in Vietnam to join international efforts to put a stop to this pollution and safeguard the marine environment that we all depend on.

Follow our #EndPlasticPollution campaign on the Embassy’s Facebook page.  Educate your friends and families and encourage them to take action as well.  Protecting our ocean and our health is everyone’s responsibility!

The American Center Hanoi is committed to being a “Fun, Free, Friendly, For all” community center for people to learn, to discover, and to seek opportunities.  Even if you cannot visit us in person, you can follow us on Facebook for our free livestreamed workshops and discussions.

Follow this link for video clips on AC 20th anniversary: