Laura Waxmann and Tara Haghighi traveled to Vietnam in summer 2010 as part of the Renaissance Journalism Center’s Vietnam Reporting Project. San Francisco State University Professor Yumi Wilson traveled with them as their editor. Their stories were published in the San Francisco Chronicle on October 27, 2010. At the time of the project, both Laura and Tara were SFSU journalism students at San Francisco State. Both have since graduated from San Francisco State.
BY TARA HAGHIGHI
Nguyen Quoc Phong created a boarding school for the blind after losing his sight in a traffic accident around age 40. There are an estimated 3.9 million vision impaired, the nation’s most common physical disability, according to a 2009 government census. Some believe the high number may be due to Agent Orange used during the Vietnam War.
BY LAURA WAXMANN
The YMCA Vocational Orientation Club for Disabled Youth offers free room and board, and job training to a growing number of young Vietnamese disabled by disease, accidents or exposure to Agent Orange who have left their rural homes in search of jobs, education and acceptance in the nation’s booming urban centers.