The Thanh Xuan Peace Village in Hanoi, Vietnam opened in 1993 and serves as part hospital, part orphanage and part nursery and elementary school to over 100 children who are recognized victims of Agent Orange. While the school is funded to a certain extent by the Government of Vietnam (approx. $75K/ yr) they rely upon private funding to improve the services and facilities.
Many of the children have been orphaned. The Peace Village sweeps the northern region for young victims who need special care. Local villages often contact the school directly asking for help with a child. Sometimes the government puts children into these schools as a result of judicial rule if their parents cannot provide for them sufficiently.
The school has a staff of caretakers, physical therapists, massage therapists, teachers, cooks and doctors. A very caring group of people, they work long hours with little pay for the sake of the children. The children are always well-fed and properly attended to in the classroom or doctor’s clinic. The Peace Village is a very loving and happy place where children run freely and speak freely and can find a warm meal each day.
The children form friendships with one another as healthy children do, and in most cases can respond to teachers and family members with reciprocation. Hugs don’t seem to be forgotten at the Peace Village, and there is always lots of laughter echoing the hallways.