On the 39th anniversary of the closing of the Vietnam War, 20 percent of the countryside is still littered with thousands of unexploded bombs and munitions; the very poor have taken to diffusing them to sell for scrap, and many lives and limbs are lost each year by farmers and others who accidentally dig them up.
In service for 22 years, the Kim Long healthcare clinic run by Daughters of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception sisters in Hue City provides an important safety net to people who live in remote areas or who cannot afford to pay fees at state-run hospitals.
Thanks to the efforts of local Catholic sisters in Vietnam, HIV/AIDS patients and others in need find simple pleasures during the festival of Tet (Lunar New Year). This help comes during an especially difficult time for many Vietnamese recovering from an economic downturn in 2012.
Hai Quyen (real name withheld) in her winter clothes enthusiastically clapped in time to the music, repeating words of the song Xuan Da Ve (Spring Just Comes) while watching traditional dances performed by a group of nuns.