Maggie Brooks, a Swiss national living in Costa Rica, has presented the Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA) with 10,000 USD to build houses for victims in Hanoi.

Brook, who helped lawyers of the VAVA meet the International Association of Democratic Lawyers in 2011, has raised the fund since last November from her friends.

Speaking at a ceremony on May 27 to receive the fund, VAVA Vice President Nguyen The Luc thanked Brooks for her help, stating that Vietnam treasures the golden-hearted donors and thanks them for their support.

Sharing the reason why she chose Vietnam as the place to carry out charitable activities, Brooks said her husband had to sit in wheelchair for 12 years before he passed away, thus she understands the physical and spiritual pain that her husband and those like him faced.

She said her burning desire is to give a helping hand to the victims, easing their pain and raising their hope.

Brooks said she hopes other people will join hands with her so that a peace village will be built for Agent Orange/Dioxin victims.

According to VAVA, US forces sprayed 80 million litres of Agent Orange on Vietnam’s southern battlefields during a 10-year period beginning on August 10, 1961.

Preliminary statistics by Vietnamese scientists indicated about 3 million Vietnamese people were exposed to dioxin. The toxic chemical still has severe impacts on Vietnam’s filial generations today.-VNA