|Houses are submerged under floodwaters in Quang Tri Province in October 2020 – PHOTO: VNA
The campaign was organized by Ron Haeberle, an American photographer best known for his photos of the My Lai Massacre in 1968, with assistance from Chuck Searcy, who in August 2001 co-founded Project RENEW with a mission to reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by cluster bombs and other munitions leftover in Quang Tri Province.
They were aided by Ron Carver, curator of the “Waging Peace in Vietnam: U.S. Soldiers and Veterans Who Opposed the War” exhibition at the War Remnants Museum in HCMC.
The funds will be distributed in Quang Tri Province by the staff of Project RENEW and in Quang Ngai Province by the Quang Ngai Red Cross Society.
“We were moved by the images of mud slides and water trapping villagers on the roofs of their houses and water roaring through village streets carrying away trees, furniture, animals and the villagers themselves,” Haeberle said, explaining the motivation to begin the campaign.
“I was horrified to learn that central Vietnam was battered by six typhoons in three weeks,” said Carver. “When I received photos and videos from the War Remnants Museum, I knew I had to share these with the American people and seek donations to help with the recovery.”
According to Searcy, the Project RENEW staff have firsthand knowledge of the victims of these typhoons and are in contact with these families. “People already struggling with the legacies of Agent Orange and injuries from wartime explosive accidents, years after the war ended, had a particularly hard time coping with the flood damage. We are fortunate that Project RENEW is in a position to help,” he said.