Keep Hanoi Clean (KHC) was founded by James Joseph Kendall — a long-term American resident of Hanoi who was concerned about the levels of trash in and around his neighbourhood — in May 2016.
The inspiration for KHC was a Vietnamese friend’s challenge that expats living in Vietnam show their commitment to the country by helping solve problems they saw around them.
The first event kicked off in May 2016, when James invited a group of friends to clean up an area that had trash dumped beside an in a water canal.
Since that first clean-up event, James and his team of volunteers have engaged with nearly 2,000 volunteers and collected many tons of trash from over 50 locations in Vietnam. Clean-up sites have ranged from downtown urban Hanoi to Sapa in the north of Vietnam.
Through our grassroots work with local communities and hands on approach to clean up events, KHC continues to motivate, inspire and educate in the environmental protection space.
We place a priority on maintaining a healthy, clean environment via a three-tier approach to outreach with the government, other green-minded organisations and businesses, and everyday citizens concerned about the environment.
Aiming to engage more broadly with environmental concerns, KHC is a registered social enterprise, which allows us to increase the scope and reach of our work as well as raise funds for issues of high concern.
Our scope of work includes both three non-profit environmental activities as well as for-profit ventures that will serve as models of socially-minded businesses and sources of revenue for the non-profit projects.
The non-profit activities – Clean Air Project, Clean Land Project and Clean Water Project – will each include research, public education, hands-on volunteer work, and collaboration with other organisations and the Vietnamese government.
We emphasise leadership, sustainability, education, grassroots support and collaboration, with a strong commitment to transparency and community.
Each of these dimensions is essential to the successful relationships we share with our partner neighbourhoods, other organisations and businesses, and government agencies.
The ultimate goals of KHC are to first help Hanoi become “green gem city” for sustainable living in south-east Asia, and then to replicate this success across Vietnam wherever cities and towns are friendly to the green lifestyle ideas and the volunteer work that KHC support
KHC has 12 core volunteer staff working in administration, marketing, fundraising, environmental science, event planning, and education, and we are actively building a board of advisors from diverse disciplines.
Our management team ranges from recent university graduates to corporate executives, senior environmental PhD scientists, marketing professionals and experienced sustainability consultants. A range of specialists also help us out on an as needs basis.
Goodwill is the fuel that keeps KHC running, and we are fortunate there has been no shortage of positive intentions and actions in Hanoi.