The Vietnam News Agency (VNA) was among the earliest donors to respond to the “Day for Agent Orange/dioxin Victims in Vietnam ”, which falls on August 10.

The nation’s only newswire on August 3 handed over 20 scholarships and three wheelchairs for victims in the northern port city of Hai Phong . The beneficiaries are war veterans now leading a hard life, either nursing deformed children or suffering a number of child deaths.

Take Dinh Dang Luu for instance. The former soldier at the Quang Tri battlefield had all three children die at less than six years of age.

Tran Van Binh is another example. The army man, once fighting at the Central Highlands battlefields during the war, has two of his three daughters suffering from schizophrenia. His entire five-member family is living on his allowances, totalling just 2.1 million VND (roughly 100 USD).

For many years, the fund “For the Agent Orange Pain” run by VNA has made regular donations to the target population in Hai Phong, home to some 17,000 Agent Orange victims.

The fund also provided financial support for 20 Agent Orange victims in Tien Giang, making it the fifth consecutive year VNA has contributed to alleviating the plight of AO victims in this Mekong Delta province.

In 2009, the news agency built a charity home at a cost of 15 million VND for a victim in My Loi A village, Cai Be district, Tien Giang province.

The province, home to almost 7,000 AO victims, has so far this year raised almost 650 million VND for 2,660 gifts, 72 wheelchairs and construction of eight charity homes.

Also on August 3, the Red Cross Association of the Red River Delta province of Ha Nam launched a month of action for AO victims.

After the launching ceremony the Vietnam Red Cross Association handed over gifts to 25 children affected by the toxic chemical and 50 wheelchairs for the provincial fund in support of AO victims.

Many donors such as Hanoi Garment and Textile Corporation (Hanoisimex), the Ha Nam Garment and Textile Company and the Korean Copper Technology Company have joined hands in the charity movement, donating over 500 million VND and 30 industrial sewing machines.

Ha Nam has almost 29,200 locals exposed to toxic chemicals, including almost 19,000 of the first generation, almost 9,736 of the second generation and 557 of the third generation./.