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US veterans present new bikes to disadvantaged schoolchildren in Vietnam’s Quang Tri

US veterans present new bikes to disadvantaged schoolchildren in Vietnam’s Quang Tri

Tuesday, May 21, 2024, 15:00 GMT+7
US veterans present new bikes to disadvantaged schoolchildren in Vietnam’s Quang Tri
Veterans For Peace Chapter 160 members offer new bicycles to disadvantaged schoolchildren in Quang Tri Province, north-central Vietnam. Photo: Thanh Phu / Tuoi Tre

A group of veterans who are members of Veterans For Peace (VFP) Chapter 160 have offered 60 brand-new bicycles to underprivileged schoolchildren in Quang Tri Province, north-central Vietnam.

Members of the VFP Chapter 160 in coordination with Project RENEW made the donations, valued at over VND100 million (US$3,930) on Thursday and Friday last week, with the disadvantaged students in Trieu Phong District, Cam Lo District, and Huong Hoa District being the beneficiaries.

The VFP Chapter 160 includes seven members hailing from the U.S. and Australia. Some of them engaged in wars in Vietnam.

Among the beneficiaries, Ho Bao An, a nine-year-old resident of the Pa Ko ethnic group in Huong Hoa, expressed her gratitude to the VFP Chapter 160 members and donors, saying that her three-kilometer journey to school will take her less time thanks to the gift.

She added that her parents will have more time for farming work as they no longer need to take her to the school.

Rich Allen, vice-president of VFP Chapter 160, said he had participated in the war in Quang Tri 50 years ago, where he experienced its ferocity first-hand.

Rich Allen, vice-president at the VFP Chapter 160, poses for a photo with a beneficiary of the Veteran for Peace bike program. The child is a part of the Pa Ko ethnic group in Quang Tri Province, central Vietnam. Photo: Thanh Phu / Tuoi Tre

Rich Allen, vice-president at the VFP Chapter 160, poses for a photo with a beneficiary of the Veterans For Peace bike program. The child is a member of the Pa Ko ethnic group in Quang Tri Province, north-central Vietnam. Photo: Thanh Phu / Tuoi Tre

“But what impressed me most were the faces and smiles of local children in the wartime,” Allen recalled.

After five decades, thanks to the openness of the Vietnamese government and the hospitality of local people, Allen and the VFP members could make it to see local kids with bright smiles on their faces.

“We hope that these new bikes would help their journey to school become more convenient,” Allen elaborated.

Truong Thi Thanh Nhan, deputy secretary of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union in Trieu Phong, showed her sincere thanks to the VFP members and Project RENEW for offering these meaningful gifts to the disadvantaged schoolchildren.

Project RENEW was established in 2001 as a joint effort between the Quang Tri administration and international NGOs to restore the environment and neutralize the effects of the war.

Veterans For Peace, which is an international organization made up of military veterans, military family members, and allies, is dedicated to building a culture of peace, exposing the true costs of war, and healing the wounds of war.

The VFP Chapter 160 includes members in Vietnam and the U.S..

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Hong Ngan - Hoang Tao / Tuoi Tre News

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