Vietnam: Day Two
Today, our interfaith delegation from the United States visited the /Center for Children with Disabilities/ in Cu Chi, Vietnam. It is run by a Catholic priest, Father Phan Khac Tu and a wonderful staff.
As we walked into a large room on the ground floor, we were greeted by a couple dozen children sitting on the floor, singing and chanting and welcoming our strange looking group. These children suffer from a wide variety of disabilities, but they were able to be hugged, and to appreciate Bob Edgar’s crazy/wonderful magic tricks.
Upstairs, we visited more severely disabled children, lying on mats. Most had badly crippled limbs, and some had enlarged skulls. One girl, eleven years old, had the body of a two-year-old. Still, they smiled, reached out, and seemed to welcome our visit, and our hugs.
These are just a small fraction of the children with birth defects that are believed to be caused by Agent Orange/dioxin, the poisonous herbicide the United States sprayed over the countryside for ten years during the Vietnam conflict.