Belgian, Vietnamese Golfers Raise Funds for AO/Dioxin Victims
Ambassador of Vietnam to Belgium and Luxembourg and head of the Vietnamese Mission to the EU Nguyen Van Thao (left) presents the trophy to the winner of the Vietnam Ambassador’s Cup 2022. Photo: VNA
Belgian and Vietnamese non-professional golfers have competed in the Vietnam Ambassador’s Cup 2022, the ninth event of its kind to raise funds for Agent Orange (AO)/Dioxin victims in Vietnam, VNA reported.
The friendly tournament was organised by the Embassy of Vietnam in Belgium and Luxembourg and the Vietnamese Mission to the EU in collaboration with Chris Geyskens, a nearly-80-year-old entrepreneur and Chairwoman of the Belgium chapter of the Hoi An – Vietnam Association of AO/Dioxin Victims on June 29.
It brought together 80 Belgian entrepreneurs and ambassadors to various countries, including Bhutan, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia and Myanmar, and for the first time 50 Vietnamese golfers from the Vietnam Young Entrepreneurs’ Association and Royal Golf Club.
It also provided a chance for the entrepreneurs and diplomats to meet and explore business and investment opportunities in Vietnam
The event collected nearly EUR 11,000 (USD 11,456), the highest sum ever raised, which will be used to support care centres, award scholarships and build houses for AO/Dioxin victims.
Ambassador Nguyen Van Thao presented a souvenir cup to Ms. Chris Geyskens. Photo: VNA
Speaking at the event, Ambassador of Vietnam to Belgium and Luxembourg and head of the Vietnamese Mission to the EU Nguyen Van Thao thanked Geyskens for her enthusiastic efforts to organise the tournament and raise funds for AO/Dioxin victims.
He said the event once again demonstrates the friendship between Vietnam and Belgium, and the EU.
Chris Geyskens visits Vietnam in 2018 to present a house to AO/Dioxin victim. Source: agentorangebelgium.be
Chris Geyskens, a woman with a special love for Vietnam, since 2015, the Hoi An – Vietnam Association of AO/Dioxin Victims has agreed to establish a branch in Belgium and she was invited to be President in order to help to mobilize organizations, individuals and benefactors in Belgium and other countries for helping the victims in Hoi An.
Since then, she has had the initiative to organize an annual golf tournament “Vietnam Ambassador’s Cup in Belgium", to raise funds for the Hoi An – Vietnam Association of AO/Dioxin Victims. In addition to the golf tournament, Chris also organizes charity sales programs to increase revenue to help AO victims.
So far, the Vietnam Ambassador’s Cup has so far raised around VND 1.2 billion (USD 51,579).
Toxic chemicals have left very heavy consequences in Vietnam. In these eight provinces, nearly 66,500 people with disabilities need special care, 76,733 people with mental disorders and 59,759 people want to participate in vocational training and employment opportunities.
The life of the AO/dioxin victims and their families is extremely difficult due to fatal diseases and deformities. Many of them haven’t got the opportunity to work. AO/dioxin victims are in dire need of regular care and appropriate rehabilitation services to improve their quality of life and social integration.
Every year, Vietnam earmarks more than VND 10 trillion (over USD 440 million) from its budget for providing aid and health care for AO/dioxin victims and for assisting the disadvantaged areas severely affected by the herbicides.