Mr. Ca Van Tran receives FESCO Award [2007/12/17]
Vietnamese-born Ca Van Tran receives a certificate of commendation
On November 13, the 2007 award ceremony for people who have made notable contributions to society was held at a hotel in Tokyo. Awards are presented to individuals and organizations that have gone beyond the call of duty, making significant, but heretofore unrecognized contributions to society in their field. This year, awards were given to 43 individuals. Recipients included Vietnamese-born Ca Van Tran (55), who currently lives in the United States, delivering artificial legs to Vietnamese landmine victims, and three junior high school students from Kanagawa Prefecture whose courage saved the life of a drowning man. Each award recipient received a Nippon Foundation Prize and a cash award of 500,000 yen. Some 12,000 people have been granted these prizes since their inception by the Foundation for Encouragement of Social Contribution (FESCO) in 1971.
Since its establishment, the Foundation for Encouragement of Social Contribution has honored and supported individuals who are selected for recognition in various categories, including saving lives, advancing social welfare, educating the young, aiding international cooperation, environmental conservation, and advancing maritime safety. This year, after considering 208 nominees, the eight-member Award Selection Committee selected 43 recipients, Nine people received awards for having saved lives, 33 were recognized for social contribution, and one was recognized for sea-related contributions. (Photo: awardees)
Mr. Ca Van Tran, one of the award recipients, immigrated to the United States as at the end of the Vietnam War, experiencing numerous hardships before eventually rising to own a chain of five restaurants. Thereafter, he established VNAH, a nongovernmental organization, to assist the disabled in Vietnam. Since then, he has continued to send artificial legs to the country with support from The Nippon Foundation. By this September, he had sent more than 30,000 artificial legs in all.
“It's a signal honor for me to receive this prestigious award,” said Mr. Tran during his visit to Japan to attend the award ceremony. “It's powerful encouragement to stick with this effort to support disabled individuals in Vietnam.” (Photo: Mr. Ca Van Tran)
Also receiving awards were Mr. Masaki Yamamoto (age: 44) and his wife Mrs. Mie Yamamoto (age: 44), who operate the Kibo no Ie (House of Hope), a hospice facility in Tokyo’s Sanya district, dedicated to those suffering from terminal cancer, leukemia, and HIV.
Musashi Hiraishi (age: 12), Suguru Kubota (age: 12), and Daiki Mukaihara (age: 13), three first-year junior high school students in Ninomiya-machi, Kanagawa Prefecture, were commended for their life-saving efforts. On March 29, 2007, they came to the aid of a man drowning in the sea near their town, swam out to rescue him and called an ambulance.
Also honored were two 86-year old individuals. For the past 35 years, Mr. Masamori Hatate has transported emergency patients by boat to the mainland from Momoshima, an isolated island in Onomichi-shi, Hiroshima Prefecture. Ms. Mie Ogura of Tokyo donated funds to establish a Japanese-language school for second-generation Japanese-Indonesians and has continued to support the institution after its founding.
Past awardees include alpinist Mr. Ken Noguchi, an alpinist and Dr. Arturo Cunanan, who helped in the fight against leprosy on Culion Island, Philippines.