Category Archives: Uncategorized

“Talk VietNam” interviews Dan Rocovits

Dan, Moon and SunnyThe man in this beautiful family portrait is Dan Rocovits, here with his wife, Moon and their baby, Sunny. Dan is an American who has lived in Asia for most of his adult life. He is a remarkably kind and caring man, and has provided assistance on numerous occasions to me and others involved with VFVP-USA when we have traveled to Hanoi for international meetings.

Dan’s brother David Rocovits is an active board member of Vietnam Friendship Village Project USA. The two brothers have always loved international travel, and in 1996 Dan moved to Viet Nam to lend a hand with the country’s development efforts, and founded a nonprofit organization called World Village Foundation. Dan is also a founding board member of Vietnam Hosteling International and has served as its secretary for four years. Dan’s wife Moon, a professional graphic artist, is general manager of Vietnam HI Travel and, along with Dan and other staff, coordinates Hostelling International travel experiences for international visitors to Viet Nam.

Dan’s brother David Rocovits, who serves on VFVP-USA’s board of directors, is one of the most dedicated fundraisers we have here in the US, and his efforts are one of the reasons our small group of volunteers has been able to sustain a decent level of support for the Friendship Village despite economic challenges. David travels to Hanoi frequently to visit his brother’s family, and the village, and usually returns with a new batch of excellent photos.

The reason for this post is that Dan was recently featured on the Vietnamese television show, “Talk VietNam.” The interview was divided into four video segments and uploaded to YouTube. In the third segment, in which Dan discusses his brother’s involvement with the Vietnam Friendship Village, there is a great clip of Dan visiting the village. (If you would like to learn more about this extraordinary human being by watching the entire interview, just search for “Dan Rocovits” on YouTube.)

—Becky Luening

Agent Orange Day is August 10

It was on August 10, 1961, fifty years ago, that the US military first sprayed Agent Orange in Viet Nam, the defoliant containing the toxic chemical dioxin. In an ongoing campaign to raise awareness about the lingering effects of this poison legacy, people around the world are getting together on the tenth of August to mark this fiftieth anniversary on what has been dubbed Agent Orange Day.

Our International Committee President, Rosemarie Höhn-Mizo will be attending the Agent Orange Day ceremony in Viet Nam hosted by VAVA (Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin), and we have learned from our Japanese partner Ahara Sigemitu that in his country they are preparing for their first ever 8.10 Vietnam Dioxin Day event. We are sending statements to be presented at both of those events.

In the US, organizers with the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign have a success to celebrate. The legislation they have been working on for four years has been introduced into three Congressional committees by Representative Bob Filner (D-CA). Titled H.R. 2634, Victims of Agent Orange Relief Act of 2011, this bill will help Agent Orange–affected Vietnamese, children of US veterans, and Vietnamese-Americans.

To learn more about Agent Orange Day, check out the Make Agent Orange History blog, Stand Together on Agent Orange Day.