Vietnam Time

7/11/2019 1:43:27 PM

American peace activists’ memorable reunion with Vietnam Friendship village

A delegation of American peace activists, on July 5 visited Vietnam Friendship village (Van Canh, Hanoi), home to 120 children & adults who are victims of AO/Dioxin. 
 
The delegation, including five peace activists: Frank Howard Joyce (head of the delegation), Mary Anne Barnett, Alexander Herrmann Hing, Judith Albert,  Karin Aguilar San Juan, are paying a visit to Vietnam from July 4 to July 14.
 
As part of the visit, the delegation will attend  the launch of the book The people make the peace: Lessons from the Vietnam antiwar movement on July 11 as well as meet with leaders of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations (VUFO) and Vietnam – USA Society (VUS).
 
Frank Joyce, Alexander Hing and Colonel Nguyen Thang Long, Director of Vietnam Friendship village. This is their second visit to Friendship Village since 2013.
 
Alexander Hing in Friendship village’s  handicraft workshop, where young generation of AO/Orange victims receive vocational training and later get a job there. Despite the language barrier, the friendliness of the visitors quickly ‘break the ice’ between them. Their meeting is full of laughters.
 
France Joyce observes a young garment worker doing her work. Returning to Friendship Village after 6 years, the delegations are delighted to see the expansion of vocational center which equip youngsters with necessary knowledge and skills to live independently and integrate into the society.
 
 Vietnam Friendship village is also where war invalids and veterans affected by AO/Dioxin are taken care of. In the photo, the American delegations are talking to a veteran named Bui Van Suu .He fought in the fiercest period (1968-1972) of the war. “In a battle to defend Quang Tri ancient citadel, my head was injured due the pressure of a bomb explosion. Nowadays, some ammunition debris are still left in my stomach” 

 
A touching moment when two sides realize that while Suu and his comrades were bravely fighting for Vietnam’s independence and freedom, on the other side of the globe, there were young Americans kept standing by themselves, dedicating their youth to stop the war in Vietnam. 
 
The delegation presents gift to Vietnam Friendship Village, signifying their sympathy care to children of  war invalids and veterans in the village. 
 
  ( Van Nguyen )
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