Association for Victims of AO/Dioxin stands side by side with AO victims

(VOVworld) – The war ended more than 40 years ago but its mark has been left on tens of thousands of victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin. Although they have struggled against diseases for years, they have never been alone in the fight. Relatives, the community, and the Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin and its chapters across Vietnam have helped them cope with the hardships and integrate into the community.

Association for Victims of AO/Dioxin stands side by side with AO victims - ảnh 1
President Tran Dai Quang: All dioxin victims should gain access to support policies.

Thai Nguyen, a poor northern province, sent 25,000 people to join the resistance war. Since the war more than 13,000 AO victims have received monthly allowances. 11,000 of them were directly affected, the rest indirectly.

Over the past five years, Thai Nguyen has mobilized 1.35 million USD for AO/Dioxin victims. Hoang Duc, chairman of the provincial association, said its members are kind individuals who live by the Vietnamese moral tradition ‘Do as you would be done by’.

Duc says: “Cadres are a decisive factor in all of the association’s activities. We try to choose those who are persevering, moral, and of a venturesome spirit. We often organize training courses for our members.”

During the war, Quang Tri was a hot combat zone intensely affected by the American army’s spraying of toxic chemicals. Tens of thousands of people were exposed to Agent Orange/Dioxin, one of the most toxic chemicals known to humankind. Recent statistics put the number of victims at nearly 16,000.

Association for Victims of AO/Dioxin stands side by side with AO victims - ảnh 2
Nguyen The Son, Director of the Fund for AO Pains of the Vietnam News Agency, presents a symbol of the house of gratitude for Ms. Nguyen Thi Vien of Trieu Trung commune in Trieu Phong district, Quang Tri province. (Photo: Tran Tinh/VNA)

Le Van Dang, chairman of Quang Tri’s Association for AO/Dioxin Victims, says that over the years the chapter has made a great effort to share the pain and difficulties of the victims.

“Over the past decade we’ve raised more than 1 billion USD and donated 30,000 gift sets to AO/Dioxin victims, giving priority to families with multiple victims. We’ve also donated some 150 wheelchairs, bicycles, and scholarships, and provided free medical check-up to victims. Quang Tri asked the German government to sponsor a rehabilitation center for AO victims,” according to Dang.

Association for Victims of AO/Dioxin stands side by side with AO victims - ảnh 3
Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Van Rinh (L) receives a donation worth VND1.6 billion from the High Command of the Vietnamese People’s Navy to support AO victims. (Photo: NDO)

Tien Giang is one of the AO-affected southern provinces. It has about 10,200 AO victims. In the last decade, the provincial association for AO/Dioxin victims has presented 50,000 gift sets and built 330 houses of gratitude worth 1.53 billion USD, according to the association’s chairman Le Quoc Bao.

Bao explains: “Tien Giang has decided its most important task is to mobilize social resources to take care of AO victims’ health, transportation, accommodations, and study. We’ll try different, appropriate ways to inspire the sympathy of sponsors who can help AO victims. This means our mobilizing methods should be flexible, sometimes direct and sometimes indirect.”

With the motto “solidarity-sentiment-responsibility for AO/Dioxin victims”, the Associations for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin nationwide have made an effort to mobilize overseas Vietnamese and international friends to help AO victims.



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