Thanks so much to our partner in the field for this powerful, testimony straight from Vietnam.
Ms. Vuong Kim Tuyen’s ability to get around has depended on a homemade wheelchair that her father made for her, or by her family’s help. I asked her gently the reason she is not able to walk. She spoke with some difficulty how she was born with birth defects. As a result, she is not able to walk and can only speak with difficulty.
Her father talked with me, saying, “I was a soldier and during the war, I was exposed to the toxins of Agent Orange. Because of that, my daughter’s condition is a genetic result of that exposure to Agent Orange. She faces many difficulties in her ability to move and speak”. At this point, her father’s face saddened, I’m sure because he felt sorry for his daughter. She said that her family took her to some hospitals but her condition did not improve. She told me that, “I used to be very sad and scared of going out and meeting other people. But, due to my family’s encouragement and help from The Association for the Support of Vietnamese Handicapped and Orphans, I was given training and a job working in a clothing company. I was also taught a skill of how to make artificial flowers. Now, I love my work so much, plus I feel confident and comfortable in meeting people”. Her father said proudly that she is very skillful and good at making artificial flowers and clothes. I am very happy for her and understand how much her effort was to overcome her disabilities, and how much she loves her work.
With tears running down her cheek she expressed sincere gratitude to the sponsors, for presenting her with a wheelchair. Before I left her side, she shared with me her desire to establish an artificial flower company to create jobs for other physically challenged people just like herself.
With her determination and motivation, I am sure that her dream will come true in the near future!