Respectful to kind hearts

The Association of Victims of AO/Dioxin of Da Nang city always pays attention to raising fund from international organizations to support AO victims.

Medical Outreach of America providing health check-ups for AO victims of Da Nang city

According to the association’s deputy head Tra Thanh Lanh, this year, the association has received over VND 2.2 billion from international organizations and individuals. Of the sum, the Switzerland-based Green Cross International funded over VND 1 billion for the 2023-2024 project benefiting AO victims and staff of Da Nang municipal center for supporting AO victims and unfortunate children while USD 50,000 was donated by UNICEF for a friendly project for children in the 2023-2026 period.

In the year, the association has received and had working sessions with nearly 60 foreign organizations and over 300 individuals, including Kyoto Sangyo and Meiji Universities of Japan, Miss Universe Australia Charity delegation, JICA, Veterans for Peace, and a delegation of Thai persons with disabilities.

Such support in both material and spiritual fashion has helped encourage AO victims to have a better life.

Students from Philippine University of Far Eastern visit Da Nang AO victims.

Story from Belgium

Recently, the Belgian Chamber of Representatives passed a resolution in support of Vietnamese AO victims with absolute approval votes. Belgian parliamentarian André Flahaut said that it was the first time a foreign parliament adopted a resolution on supporting Vietnamese AO victims.

Vietnamese AO victims show respect for Belgian parliamentarians’ call for other European countries to join the effort.

Belgian parliamentarian André Flahaut (Photo: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons)

The resolution is the start of a journey to assist Vietnam in settling war legacy. Over the past time, a number of activities have been held by Belgian organizations and individuals, such as annual golf tourney to raise fund for AO victims held in Hoi An city, and solidarity evening party with Vietnamese AO during which Belgian people have clear views on consequences that Vietnam is facing after the war.

Kind hearts from Belgium have tightened the friendship and solidarity between the peoples of the two countries.

President of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives Éliane Tillieux talks to Tran To Nga (left), a Vietnamese-French AO victim. (Photo: VNA)

“Seeds of hope” project

Recently, Masako Sakata, a social activist and founder of the “Seeds of Hope” project, and Kyodo reporter Tamaki Tachibanna visited the Vietnam Association for Victims of AO/Dioxin (VAVA) Central Committee.

At the event, Masako Sakata handed over USD 5,000 scholarships to the association to support students who are AO victims. Since its launch in Vietnam in 2011, the project has granted three-year scholarships, worth VND 18 million each, to nearly 200 child AO victims and over VND 3 billion to Orange Village.

Masako Sakata (left) visits AO victim Tran Doan Hien in Tay Phong commune, Cao Phong district, Hoa Binh province.

Masako Sakata also visited the Friendship Village, Center on Supporting Vietnamese AO Victims, the family of AO victim Nguyen Thanh Tung, and two scholarship recipients in Hoa Binh province. In Southern region, she visited AO victims Nguyen Hong Loi, Tran Thi Hoan, Peace Village under Tu Du Hospital and Orange Village, as well as a class of compassion in Cu Chi.

During the meeting with Masako Sakata, VAVA leaders expressed thanks to her and hoped for her continuous support.

Taking advantage of support from international friends

VAVA Chairman Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Van Rinh emphasized that taking advantage of international friends’ support for Vietnamese AO victims is important in the people-to-people diplomacy work that has been strongly promoted. 

Sr. Lt. Gen. Nguyen Van Rinh (center) at an event hosted by the U.S. Institute of Peace in September 2023

According to the official, the association has maintained its ties with traditional friends from the U.S., France, the U.K., Japan, the Republic of Korea and expanded relations with organizations from Japan, Belgium, and others. It has actively participated in external affairs activities of the Japan Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs, the Institute of Peace and engaged in seminars, conferences, and forums on addressing consequences of war.

The association has also sent delegations to the U.S., Japan, the RoK to call for more support and fight for justice for AO victims and welcomed 11 foreign delegations with over 1,000 members to Vietnam.

Gen. Rinh receives a delegation of U.S. veterans for peace.

Attentively, the association has persistently worked to fight for justice for AO victims in accordance with the Party and State’s foreign policy, guidelines and policies. It has actively worked with and contacted U.S. officials, taking advantage of forums and participating in international seminars and discussions to make requests and suggestions to the U.S. government and chemical companies to take responsibility for AO victims and consider AO a problem that the U.S. Government must pay attention to solving. Its efforts were paid off. U.S. functional agencies have made policies and carried out activities to support Vietnamese AO victims, such as expansion of study on AO victims in Bac Lieu, Ca Mau, Phu Yen, Thanh Hoa, Quang Ngai, Binh Duong provinces and Can Tho city and addition of Bac Lieu, Ca Mau and Quang Ngai province to the project on supporting people with disabilities.

The above activities of the association and international organizations, benefactors should be multiplied and encouraged to arouse each person's conscience and responsibility towards AO victims, helping them have more confidence, love, aspirations and stronger will to integrate into the community.

Translated by Mai Huong