Lichee Toys is proud to be sponsoring a charity called STARS OF VIETNAM  which is a school in Northern Vietnam for blind and handicapped children. These children have these disabilities due to the effects of AGENT ORANGE which was used as a defoliation chemical in the Vietnam War. Most of the time the grandfather was a soldier in the war and the genetic defect “jumped” one or two generations. 

The children are not always born blind, sometimes they slowly loose their sight and it can happen at any age. The children are prepared for this day which is called “X” Day when they go 100% blind. The school has special teachers and caretakers to help with the transition for the first 10 days. It’s a very emotional time for all involved. This is the ‘heritage’ of a brutal war fought generations ago. 

The main focus is to build a clean and safe school for 100  children. A better building has been found and new toilets, showers and sleeping rooms have been built. The children receive schooling here and there is a music program. Two blind children from Stars of Vietnam were received to study at the University of Fine Art & Music in Hanoi for the first time in Vietnamese history. These children are working harder than anyone else and are excelling and are top of their year! This has given the other children hope for their own futures. 

The school runs a therapy group for very small children every morning. These children are handicapped/blind or have been victims of violence. Staff try to win their confidence and the goal is to make sure they can later attend the blind school. 

Some children and teenagers are so crippled from the AGENT ORANGE defects that there is nothing that can be done for them as there is no therapy or research at this point. All that can be done for the victims is to administer pain killers, morphine and be there to hold their hand when they die. This is a distressing and helpless situation. 

Stars of Vietnam have implemented a programme for the blind children to attend the local school from 7:30am – 11:30am each day. The education level at the blind school was previously only 25% compared with children at a normal school. Now with this new programme the education level has risen to 82%. This has been a great result and is encouraging.The children also are able to socialize with their peers which is so important to their well being.

The affects of AGENT ORANGE is a topic most people do not know about. It has all been hushed up because of the political implications.Australian soldiers have also had genetic disorders passed to their own children even though there is denial that Australian soldiers were sprayed with AGENT ORANGE. 

At Lichee Toys were are trying to bring this awareness to general knowledge. It is going to be a very long time before it goes away. Affected people carry the gene disorder which will be continually passed on through their children. There is still AGENT ORANGE in the soil and water of certain areas through Vietnam and dump sites that have not been fully disclosed by the Americans. 

Thank you for your support by buying Lichee Toys.

Images of children with deformities and information on AGENT ORANGE