The seed of hope.
The branch of peace.
The tree of life.
This is the story of PeaceTrees Vietnam.
Lt. Daniel Cheney was a US Army helicopter pilot killed during the Vietnam War in 1969. Dan was also a son and brother. His sister, Jerilyn, committed herself to honoring his memory. When relations were reestablished with the country in 1995, Jerilyn and friends realized this commitment by traveling to Vietnam on a mission of peace and compassion. Their idea was simple: Clear the land of the scars and remnants of war. Plant trees and fresh hope in their place.
This hope is created through PeaceTrees Vietnam’s work to create healthy futures for the children and families of Central Vietnam, beginning first with ensuring that Quang Tri Province, one of the poorest and most war-torn regions of the country, is a safe place to live. Even today, more than 40 years after the war’s end, nearly 85% percent of the land remains unsafe, riddled with landmines, bombs, grenades and other unexploded ordnance.
Healing The Land
PeaceTrees’ work begins with healing the land and making it safe for children to play, farmers to till the soil and families to build their homes. These efforts include clearing the land of unexploded landmines and other ordnance, as well as teaching people to be aware of the threats and enable them to live more safely in the midst of these hazards. On an individual level, PeaceTrees Vietnam recognizes the economic devastation resulting from injuries and death from landmine explosions and provides victims and their families with direct aid and scholarships for children.
Beyond creating safe land, PeaceTrees Vietnam’s work branches into building community by constructing homes, libraries and kindergartens. These structures contribute to a vibrant sense of community and empowerment, and serve as tangible landmarks of the intention to invest in a safe and healthy future for the people and children of Vietnam.
PeaceTrees Vietnam is planting futures with the people of Quang Tri province. Making land safe, restoring the environment, and creating new educational and economic opportunities collectively heals the enduring wounds of war that linger for both the Vietnamese and American people. Through PeaceTrees Vietnam, fresh hope is planted, grows, branches and blossoms.