This Trust was set up in Australia in 2002 to help the forgotten people of a forgotten war, people who continue to live with the consequences of the war that we call the Vietnam War and that they call the American War.
The Trust’s Orange Cows projects raise money around the world to buy individual breeding cows in Vietnam for people who would not normally be able to afford them, families of Agent Orange victims in remote communes near Hue in central Vietnam. A breeding cow can secure ongoing income for them.
Members of these families suffer often terrible genetic deformities attributable to the US spraying the Agent Orange defoliant over the Vietnamese forests and countryside during the war.
Since 2007 the Trust has raised enough money to buy more than 150 cows to give to people in five communes near Hue.
Can Van with her new cow at Hong Trung 2011
In 2012 it commissioned the University of Agriculture and Forestry in Hue and the University of Tasmania in Hobart to assess its Orange Cows projects. Their investigations revealed that while the projects were meeting their objectives, in many instances the village recipients were under-equipped to cope with the cows. The mortality rate of the cattle in some communes was too high.
At the end of 2012 the trust asked the Hue University's Professor Ba and his colleagues to conduct training courses in the communes. Another aid group in Vietnam, Vets for Peace, assisted with the program.
The trust is now concluding its final fundraising for the communes, to provide proper shelter and food for the cattle and to better educate the people about caring for their cattle so they can breed them and earn some money.
Prof. Ba training cow owners
It will provide training and cattle shed materials for 43 farmers who have received Orange Cows Project cattle in the A luoi district in central Vietnam over the years. The farmers are also providing materials and their own labour. The university is providing the staff to conduct the training and offer their advice. That will take place between June and August this year.
This will be the Trust’s last project. It has been a heartening experience since 2002, but it has become increasingly difficult to raise funds.
The fund will wind up on June 30, 2014.
The universities in Hue and Hobart have been invaluable in their assistance to us and we thank them.
All the money the Trust has received has gone to the benefit of the recipients in Vietnam. The trustees have borne all other costs themselves.