The Advocacy Project is seeking $1,500 to support the Cao family, which has been devastated by Agent Orange sprayed during the Vietnam war. Toa and his wife Luan (main photo) were both exposed to dioxin poisoning, leaving their three children with serious disabilities. They struggle to pay for health care and food. Your donations will buy a cow and provide the family with a sustained income. AP has raised over $15,000 for 11 Agent Orange families. As before, this appeal is led by a Peace Fellow.
Agent Orange has taken a terrible toll on the Cao family, as it has with millions of other Vietnamese. All three children - Van, Xuan and Ngoc - suffer from serious intellectual and physical disabilities and the two brothers have separate spaces in the house after repeatedly biting and scratching each other. Toa and Luan can only grow food for seven months in the year and are unable to cover medical costs. Adding to their problems, Luan suffers from a fused spine and is largely immobile.
The cow will be purchased by our Vietnamese partner, AEPD, which has provided financial support and training to scores of Agent Orange families in Quang Binh province, including the eleven funded so far by our appeals. AEPD outreach workers are highly respected and will help the ailing Cao family get the most from their cow. This appeal is managed by Ryan, a recent college graduate in the US whose family left Vietnam in 1991. Ryan has met remotely with AEPD through the pandemic.
Ten of the Agent Orange families we have supported received a cow. Cows are the ideal investment for families with limited means and mobility because they require little maintenance while providing sustained benefits. This starts with milk, which is sold or consumed. Cows are also rented out to neighbors to work the land and their calves fetch a high price. AEPD will provide technical support to guide the project and psychosocial support to reduce the family's isolation in the community.