US Congressional Delegation visits VNAH Projects

 DANANG CITY, April 19, 2014 - Senator Patrick Leahy welcomes Phan Van Son (left) and Tran Cong Phuong (right), both are beneficiaries of the Leahy War Victims Funds as Senator Richard Shelby and Mr. Tim Rieser look on.

DANANG CITY, April 19, 2014 - Senator Patrick Leahy welcomes Phan Van Son (left) and Tran Cong Phuong (right), both are beneficiaries of the Leahy War Victims Funds as Senator Richard Shelby and Mr. Tim Rieser look on.

 Senator Leahy in Thu Duc District in 1996

Senator Leahy in Thu Duc District in 1996

A U.S. Congressional delegation led by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) visited Danang and participated in a luncheon hosted by Viet Nam Assistance for the Handicapped (VNAH) and local private business on April 19, 2014. 

Accompanying Sen. Leahy were Sen. Richard Shelby (Republican-Alabama), Sen. Mike Crapo (Republican-Idaho), Rep. James Cooper (Democrat-Tennessee and Re. Peter Welch (Democrat-Vermont). 

More than 20 members of the National Employer Council -- the Blue Ribbon of Employers Council (BREC) and workers with disabilities and several landmine survivors from Danang city participated in the special event. They shared their experience in training and hiring workers with disabilities and the positive impact of BREC in creating employment opportunities for persons with disabilities in Vietnam. BREC is an activity of the Inclusion of Vietnamese with Disabilities Program (IVWD), which funded by USAID. 

In his remarks, Senator Leahy praised the leadership role of VNAH in working with the private business sector and the government in the training and employment as well as the area of program development and policy for persons with disabilities.

After the lunch meeting the delegation attended a wheelchairs distribution organized by DAI and VNAH in Hoa Vang District. This activity is a part of the Disability Support Program (DSP) funded by USAID. The three-year DSP Program aims to address the need and improve the lives of Vietnamese with disabilities including people affected by Agent Orange Dioxin.

In 1996, Senator Leahy also led a five-member Congressional Delegation and visited VNAH's prosthetics and rehabilitation program in Ho Chi Minh City where he met with landmine and UXO survivors. With his steadfast support and encouragement, VNAH has worked with the Vietnamese government and private foundations to provide prosthetics and rehabilitation assistance and service to more than 130 thousands people with disabilities.