A Vietnam Day was held in the suburban Paris region of Essonne on March 1 to raise money for Agent Orange/dioxin victims in Vietnam.

Handicrafts such as lacquer paintings, and embroidered items went up for sale to collect funding for a therapeutic swimming pool in Vietnam Friendship Village, Van Canh commune, Hanoi.

Photos and articles about the toxic chemical sprayed by the US army over Vietnam during the war were put on display. Vivid images of its cost to generations of Vietnamese people were featured in the documentary “Returning to Hell”.

Addressing the event, President of the French Friendship Committee for the Vietnam Friendship Village (FCV) and Chairman of the French Republic Association of the Former Combatants and Victims of War, Raphael Vahe, made it clear that the project intends to become a symbol of reconciliation and cooperation in the aftermath of the Vietnamese war, bringing involved nations closer.

Denise Henry, member of the FCV Essonne chapter, said other chapters are established in many French regions, helping local people get a better understanding of Vietnamese AO/dioxin sufferers.

At the event, French historian Alain Ruscio delivered a speech about the late President Ho Chi Minh and the Vietnamese people.

Operational since 1998, the village offers medical and physical care to 120 AO children and their elders. They also receive education and vocational training as well.-VNA