“The horrible experiences during the war and the suffering of everybody on all sides inspired me to do something that would be a living symbol of peace, reconciliation and hope.” —George Mizo
The Vietnam Friendship Village Project was initiated in 1988 by George Mizo, an American Vietnam veteran, and subsequently created in collaboration with Vietnamese and French veterans who shared his desire for peace and reconciliation. In the following years many people from different countries joined, and today an international committee with representatives from the USA, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and Vietnam works to finance and manage the Friendship Village. Our partner in Vietnam is the Veterans Association of Vietnam. All members of the US support committee (VFVP-USA) are volunteers and through many different activities raise funds for the project while promoting principles of peace and reconciliation in the United States.
The Vietnam Friendship Village provides therapy and medical care for 100-120 children with a variety of mental and physical conditions, as well as education and vocational training. About 40 adults at a time also receive residential treatment services. Since opening its doors in 1998, the village has grown in capacity, now caring for 150 individuals or more at any one time, as well as providing services to the surrounding community.
Located in Van Canh commune, Hoai Duc district, Ha Tay province, about 11 kilometers west of central Hanoi, the village today has more than nine family-style residences providing housing for girls and boys and their housemothers as well as special housing for severely disabled children. Other buildings house administrative offices, a medical clinic, a kitchen and dining hall, vocational studios, and educational facilities including a computer classroom. There are organic fruit and vegetable gardens, a medicinal herb garden, fishponds and farm animals.
Change is a key concept at the village. The children grow, learn, and respond well to good nutrition and various therapies, while facilities and programs are constantly improved and refined to best meet their needs.