|Senior Lieutenant General Bế Xuân Trường (third left) at the awarding ceremony of the second-class labour medal to the Việt Nam Friendship Village. — VNA/VNS Photo Văn Điệp|
HÀ NỘI — Over the course of the last 25 years, the Việt Nam Friendship Village has provided support for thousands of war veterans, former youth volunteers who are Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin victims, and AO-infected children.
Established on March 18, 1998, the village is managed by the Việt Nam Veterans’ Association. It has been instrumental in easing the pain and suffering of AO/dioxin victims through nursing services and vocational training for affected veterans and children.
During a ceremony held to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its establishment, Senior Lieutenant General Bế Xuân Trường, chairman of the Việt Nam Veterans Association, commended the thoughtful care and dedicated efforts of the village's officers for war veterans, former youth volunteers who are AO/dioxin victims, and 700 children of the second and third AO victim generations.
The village, constructed as a result of cooperation between the US, Germany, France, Japan, Canada, and the UK, came about following the initiative of George George Mizo, a US veteran who participated in the war in southern Việt Nam. Trường has lauded the Việt Nam Friendship Village as a symbol of international solidarity for peace and friendship.
At the village, veterans and former youth volunteers receive treatment, have opportunities to participate in cultural and sporting activities, and visit various locations for convalescence.
Each year, doctors and nurses from the village travel to each province and collaborate with local veterans associations to examine and transport veterans and children to the village to care for them.
The Friendship Village International Committee provides financial aid to the village each year. The village has become a place where international friends can come together to meet and assist victims.
Most children adopted by the village live with disabilities, particularly intellectual disabilities, due to toxic chemicals.
In addition to rehabilitation, they receive education and vocational training, and many have managed to find jobs and earn money.
Senior Lieutenant General Trường urged the village's officers to continue supporting and caring for AO/dioxin victims and children, assisting them in integrating into society without feeling self-conscious about their disabilities.
As a result of its efforts and accomplishments over the past 25 years, the village has been awarded the second-class Labour Medal. — VNS