Projects for Peace: The Vision of Kathryn W. Davis

"My challenge to you is to bring about a mind-set of preparing for peace, instead of preparing for war."

Foundation of Hope

Project #
Hood College
  • Le Nguyen

Foundation of Hope

Some four million Vietnamese were exposed to the herbicide Agent Orange that the U.S. deployed during the Vietnam War — and an estimated one million people suffer disabilities or health problems as a result, according to Red Cross and Vietnamese government figures. Le Nguyen, who received the Bromer Peace Award at Hood College for her work promoting nonviolent conflict resolution, created Foundation of Hope to improve the educational facilities and bring love and support to 50 children, living at Thanh Xuan Peace Village in Hanoi, who are significantly disabled by the continuing effects of Agent Orange in areas where it was used.

Working with 18 volunteers she recruited for the project, Le Nguyen took the children on field trips to a museum and a craft center. As they learned to make and paint pottery, “I was extremely impressed with how patient some children were,” she writes, “given how hard it was to form their hands correctly.” To encourage participation in school at the Peace Village, the project installed air conditioners and televisions. The children also participated in art and craft activities that helped them learn to work together.

“Ten volunteers who permanently reside in Vietnam all committed to keep Foundation of Hope alive,” Le Nguyen writes. “With my help from afar, the new executive board already recruited 30 more volunteers for the 2017-17 academic year.”