On August 9, 2011, the day before International Agent Orange Day, delegates of the 2nd International Conference of Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin paid a visit to the Friendship Village where a program was organized to discuss the lingering effects of AO in Viet Nam.
Vietnam Television International was there, and produced this segment documenting the meeting: AO Delegates Visit Van Canh Friendship Village. It features a clip of Director Dang Vu Dung and a few of the international attendees, including several second-generation victims of AO. There is a performance by the children, and I was happy to glimpse a few familiar faces from my past visits to the village. The message of the conference is that the toxic chemicals sprayed in Viet Nam during the American war continue to have devastating effects on families even today, and there continues to be a strong international movement to secure justice and care for the victims.
The Viet Nam Friendship Village in Van Canh, near Hanoi, is one of approximately forty facilities that provide services for Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange. Our village is supported by the Vietnamese government, in cooperation with a community of international friends.
On November 12, 2010, the Austrian Embassy in Vietnam hosted a Viennese Charity Ball in the Grand Ballroom of the Melia Hotel in Hanoi complete with a live orchestra from Vienna which played lots of beautiful Johann Strauss tunes. The ball was Austria’s contribution to the 1,000-year birthday of Thang Long (Hanoi) and a “first” in the city and in Vietnam. The Embassy created a special website for the occasion.
The International Committee of the Vietnam Friendship Village (of which VFVP-USA is a member) was very excited to receive the news in early October that the Austrian Ambassador had chosen Vietnam Friendship Village Van Canh as beneficiary of the charity. In addition, delegates who attended our international meeting were treated to a fabulous dinner at the home of the ambassador on October 29.
International Committee members from Germany, Japan, France, Canada, USA and Vietnam attended the dinner hosted by Austrian Ambassador Dr. & Mrs. Heindl
We just received word that the ball raised a total of 38,485 Euro, which is equivalent to $52,406! Thank you, Austrian friends! Wouldn’t it be great if the American Embassy followed suit?!
The photo gallery below contains two pictures showing dancers getting fitted several weeks before the event and two of couples lined up on the ballroom floor on the night of the ball.