Showing posts with label Vietnam war. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vietnam war. Show all posts

Monday, May 27, 2013

Children with disabilities overcome the legacy of Agent Orange

Three-year-old Dan was born with disabilities because of Agent Orange
© UNICEF Viet Nam/2013/Truong Viet Hung

Dang Hong Dan is just three years old but he’s a victim of the Vietnam War. He was born with disabilities because of Agent Orange – a chemical sprayed in the south of the country during the war to destroy crops and forests. Although the war ended almost four decades ago, Agent Orange still contaminates fields and rivers in the Mekong Delta region. It gets into food and drinking water, causing birth defects in children.

Dan was born with a cleft lip, which has been partly repaired with surgery, and a deformed hand and foot. He is too young to be aware of his disability and the stigma that sometimes surrounds it. He is a happy and active child, with an enormous sense of curiosity and clearly intelligent for his age. “Dan likes to play with anything,” his mother Oanh, 30, says with a laugh as he tries to figure out how to use UNICEF’s digital camera.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Coping with tragedy: a legacy of war in Laos

Peter Kim, a young bomb survivor, at the COPE centre
© UNICEF/Laos 2012/Andy Brown
Peter Kim is a victim of the Vietnam War. But he’s not a Vietnamese or American veteran; he’s a 20-year-old Lao youth living in Vientiane. Four years ago he lost both his hands and eyesight to one of the millions of unexploded bombs that still litter the Laos countryside almost four decades after the war ended.

Peter Kim grew up in a small rural village in Viangchan province, where his father grew rice and kept cows and buffalos. “On my sixteenth birthday, I went to school for an exam,” he told me. “I came home with my friend. On the way back, my friend saw something on the ground. He picked it up to show me. I tried to open it and that’s when it exploded. It happened very fast. Afterwards I couldn’t see or hear anything.