Vietnam Friendship Village – symbol of solidarity
The Vietnam Friendship Village, set up 20 years ago, has contributed to easing the pain of Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin victims by giving nursing services and vocational training to AO-infected veterans and children.
The Vietnam Friendship Village, which is run by the Vietnam Veterans’ Association, was formed on March 18, 1998. It covers over 3 hectares in Van Canh commune, Hoai Duc district of Hanoi.
It is a symbol of international solidarity for peace and friendship. The village was built by the cooperation of six countries – the US, Germany, France, Japan, Canada and the UK following the initiative of George Mizo, a US war veteran who joined the war in the South of Vietnam.
|AO victim children are provided with vocational training.|
The construction cost was over USD 2 million, was funded by the Friendship Village International Committee and the Vietnamese Government.
After 20 years of operation, the village welcomed over 6,500 war veterans and former youth volunteers who are AO/dioxin victims and 700 children of the second and third AO victim generations.
The veterans and former youth volunteers receive treatment and nursing services and have chances to join cultural and sport activities as well as visits to different places and convalescences.
Meanwhile, almost all children adopted by the village are living with disabilities, especially intellectual disability due to the toxic chemical. Along with rehabilitation, they are provided with education and vocational training such as IT, embroidery, tailoring and making fabric flowers. Many of them have managed to find jobs and earn money. The most important thing is that they can integrate into society without any discomfort about their disabilities.
Each year, the Friendship Village International Committee provides financial assistance for the village. The village has become a venue for international friends who wish to meet and assist the victims.
With its efforts and achievements in over the past 20 years, the village was honored with the first class of Labor Order and certificates of merit from the Government and the Party Central Committee’s Commission on Information and Education.
In the coming time, the village aims to become a model in humanitarian and charitable activities, a destination for friends at home and abroad as well as a symbol of solidarity, peace, friendship, cooperation and reconciliation./.
( VNF/VNA )