May 2014 - Nearly 40 years after the end of the Vietnam War and the use of highly toxic warfare agents, children with deformities are still being born in the areas affected. Families never received compensation and also experience little acceptance within society. Consequently there is desperate need for assistance, which is why 3B Scientific supports self-help groups for children with disabilities.
Otto H. Gies, Managing Director of the 3B Scientific Group, was deeply moved on his return from a trip to Vietnam where he witnessed the lasting impact the Vietnam War left on the country’s population. The victims not only include war invalids but also thousands of children whose congenital deformities are ascribed to their parents’ and grandparents’ exposure to herbicides, mainly Agent Orange. This defoliant, which contained the highly toxic dioxin TCDD, was sprayed over large areas for many years during the Vietnam War by the US military and its allies.
Back in Germany, Gies looked for a suitable project in cooperation with the aid organisation World Vision. 3B Scientific and World Vision already carried out several Christmas fundraising campaigns for all kinds of aid projects. The beneficiaries chosen this time were self-help groups in Ho Chi Minh City and in Trieu Ai, a municipality in central Vietnam. In rural Trieu Ai, funds will go into training people with disabilities, aiming to improve their long-term economic situation. The initial focus will be on the keeping and rearing of cows; in the medium term training is also expected to take place in fields outside livestock breeding.
Gies travelled to Ho Chi Minh City to present the donations of 300 million Vietnamese dong to Children with Disability clubs. The mission of CWD clubs is to support children with disabilities and raise public awareness for their needs. During his visit, Gies gained insight into work with the children and their care (picture).
Over and above the donation, to which he also personally contributed, Otto H. Gies plans to promote further action in his function as Senate Member of BVMW - the German Federal Association of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses, saying, “It’s very important to me to encourage other companies to take action for children with disabilities. Children with disabilities have special needs and do not always get the support they need. We need to inspire people and help improve conditions.”