Kind Visitor

Doing Right by Poisoned Kids

Image
0 688 0
My wife and I pulled open the door of the taxi van that had delivered us to the Thanh Xuan Peace Village, near Hanoi, Vietnam, and one look at the assistant director’s face told us we'd been right to come bearing gifts.

A receptionist at the hotel where my wife and I were staying told us about the center and informed us that visitors were welcome—especially ones donating common household items.

The U.S. Air Force sprayed 20 million gallons of defoliants and herbicides on South Vietnam between 1961 and 1972. More than 40 years later, the chemicals' chief ingredient—dioxin—shows up in the children and grandchildren of people who were sprayed, passed from mother to child through breast milk.

Before coming to the center—one of 28 in Vietnam—my wife (Susan) and I had learned that it cost just 1 U.S. dollar a day to feed one of the 130 children living there. So the assistant director who greeted us couldn't have been happier as Susan and I began unloading noodle soup packages, sacks of rice, shampoo, combs, toothbrushes, toothpaste, bathing soap, and boxes of lollipops. She eagerly gave us a tour of the facility and introduced us to staff and volunteers, our taxi driver translating.

We knew that dioxin damages brain tissue, but we were heartsick to see so many children with lopsided faces, twisted limbs and other deformities. Many looked up at us with sweet smiles, but the poison had rendered some such as the boy in the picture unable to speak and it was apparent all were dependent on the kindness of others.

By Scott Doggett, Reno, Nevada, U.S.A.
Kindness Map
Kindness Partner's Information
Name Thanh Xuan Peace Village at the Hanoi Nursing And Rehabilitation Hospital
Street Address 35 Le Van Thiem, Than Xuan
City Hanoi
State/province Hanoi Province
Country Vietnam
Post Code Unknown
Contact Nguyen Thu Ha
Contact's Title Vice Director
Phone (84-4) 3558-3402
Email nguyenthu_ha228@yahoo.com.vn
Website None
Source A hotel receptionist who volunteered at the Peace Village told me
KiVi Notes
A receptionist at the Art Hotel Hanoi, 65 Hang Dieu Street, in the Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, turned me on to the existence of the Thanh Xuan Peace Village. The hospital’s phone numbers at the time of writing were (84-4) 3923-3868 / 3923-3866. Don’t hesitate to ask a hotel receptionist or taxi driver to place a call to the hospital and to ask questions for you or at least explain that you’d like to stop by with a donation and ask what their current needs are. The hospital’s email address is hanoiarthotel@gmail.com. Its website is www.hanoiarthotel.com