20 Years in Vietnam
  In 1999, a small group of Rotarians, Vietnam veterans and concerned citizens in Toledo, Ohio decided to build a school in Vietnam. The doi moi renovation had begun a decade earlier in Vietnam with a move toward a socialist oriented market economy.

But decades after the fall of Saigon, Vietnam was still suffering from the ravages of war. In rural areas, there was a great need for schools, medical clinics and fresh water. Pete Peterson, once a POW and then U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam, reached out to his contacts and asked for help to rebuild Vietnam.

What followed was a small meeting among friends in Toledo that provided funding for the first nursery school. Built in Quang Tri province by the Development of Vietnam Endeavors (The D.O.V.E. Fund), the little two room building in the village of Duy Hoa was the beginning of a twenty-year long story of love, compassion and commitment to the less fortunate in Vietnam.

Several D.O.V.E. Fund members are veterans who have found peace and reconciliation by returning to Vietnam on a much different mission. In the process of helping others, many veterans who return to Vietnam with the D.O.V.E. Fund are also helped by seeing the Vietnamese people not as enemies but as part of the shared human experience.

Returning veterans are always surprised at the genuine warmth and lack of animosity toward them by the Vietnamese people. Said one veteran, “The Vietnamese have taught me the true meaning of forgiveness.”

There are twenty-five volunteer, unpaid trustees on the Board with members scattered throughout the United States. Each year the organization holds several fundraisers which include golf outings and an elegant dinner auction in late August. An annual trip to Vietnam usually takes place early in the year where trustees and guests travel at their own expense to visit projects and seek new opportunities to help. These trips ensure that the projects are built on time, within budget and to the planned objectives. The D.O.V.E. Fund has often partnered with Hearts for Hue, East Meets West and other Vietnam based charities in addition to U.S. based non-profits to minimize cost and achieve optimum program objectives. The D.O.V.E. Fund has also worked with Rotary Club International on a number of programs from fresh water, mobile libraries and classroom computers. Our only salaried employee is Bui Cam Nhung, an energetic young woman who lives in Quang Tri Province. The D.O.V.E. Fund prides itself on the fact that all donations are dedicated to projects in Vietnam.

Since the first nursery school in Duy Hoa, the D.O.V.E. Fund has raised over $4 million USD to bring humanitarian assistance to Vietnam.

In December of 2019, the largest D.O.V.E. Fund contingent ever traveled to Vietnam to help celebrate their 20th anniversary. The group traveled from Saigon, Dalat, Plieku, Danang, Hue, Quang Tri, Hanoi, Dong Ha, Hoi An, Quang Ngai.

We hope that some year, you’ll consider joining us.

 
  Students at a School Dedication

 
  Photo of Students on the Porch of their new school
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Mail to:
D.O.V.E. Fund

P.O. Box 350741
Toledo, OH 43635

e:mail: 20years@dovefund.org

 
 

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