Jacob Cohn (Vietnam)


Jacob Cohn (Vietnam)

Jacob Cohn is a graduate student at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, where he is studying for a master’s degree in human security and conflict resolution, with a particular focus on migration and human rights protection. Before coming to Fletcher, Jacob served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member at the International Institute of Minnesota, a refugee resettlement agency in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he managed an adult education program for refugees and recent immigrants and tutored refugee students in writing. Jacob previously worked as an intern for the US Department of State, the office of US Representative Eliot Engel, and the National Security Network, and his writing has been published in local and regional news outlets. Jacob grew up in New York and California and received his B.A. in international relations from Carleton College in 2013. Jacob spent his 10-week Peace Fellowship in partnership with families impacted by Agent Orange. Upon returning, Jacob reflected, "I came into this fellowship knowing almost nothing about Vietnam or Agent Orange, and getting to learn about both firsthand, and to hear firsthand the stories of those most affected, was a deeply moving experience. I know I'll carry the lessons I learned as an AP fellow throughout my professional and personal life, and I'm incredibly grateful to Iain and everyone at AP for giving me this opportunity".



18 Aug

Some Final Thoughts

While thinking about how to approach this reflection about my time at AEPD, I went back and revisited the post I wrote about my first visit to a beneficiary family almost two months ago. Looking back on my conversation with Mai Thi Loi brought home two key points: I’ve gotten better at taking photos since […]

Posted By Admin

Posted Aug 18, 2017

1
15 Aug

A Buffalo, A Calf, and an Opportunity

I first visited Mrs. Duong Thi An and her children, Huong and Hoa, around six weeks ago as I prepared to launch a fundraising campaign for them. I was impressed at the time by her obvious strength and resilience, and her willingness to take chances on her children’s behalf even with a “1% chance of […]

Posted By Admin

Posted Aug 15, 2017

1
10 Aug

A Quick Word on Agent Orange

In my conversations with friends and family back in the US about my work and AEPD’s work in Vietnam, one question seems to come up a lot: how do I know that the often horrific disabilities suffered by the people we’re working with were specifically caused by Agent Orange? The honest answer is that I […]

Posted By Admin

Posted Aug 10, 2017

0
07 Aug

Buying a Cow and Calf

Last Tuesday I traveled with AEPD staff to the home of Ngo Gia Hue and Tran Thi Thao, in a rural village around two hours north of Dong Hoi. We’re here to complete the sale of a cow and calf, funded by the Advocacy Project and its donors, to Mr. Hue, which will bring in […]

Posted By Admin

Posted Aug 07, 2017

0
02 Aug

Keeping Their Heads Above Water

Phan That and his wife Hoang Thi Que live along the Gianh River, in a village around 35 miles north of the provincial capital of Dong Hoi. Their house lies in a cluster of houses across the road from the river itself, a location that has been a blessing and a curse for this family. […]

Posted By Admin

Posted Aug 02, 2017

2
25 Jul

The Guilt Question

In working with disabled people here in Vietnam, I’ve often had to stop and remind myself that the disabilities and diseases from which most of them suffer aren’t natural. Mai Thi Loi’s children and Duong Thi An’s children weren’t just born disabled for no reason—their disabilities are a direct consequence of US policy in Vietnam, […]

Posted By Admin

Posted Jul 25, 2017

3
14 Jul

We’re Halfway There

Today I am halfway (whoooooooah) through my fellowship here at AEPD in Dong Hoi, Vietnam. In the last five weeks, I’ve gotten to meet several of AP and AEPD’s beneficiary families—it’s been a privilege getting to know them, and learning more about the important work AEPD does on their behalf. The main thing I’ve actually […]

Posted By Admin

Posted Jul 14, 2017

4
07 Jul

A Path Forward for Duong Thi An

Duong Thi An lives with two of her children in a village in Le Thuy district, located near the Pacific coast around an hour’s drive south of Dong Hoi. A rural area, the district is perhaps best known for producing Vo Nguyen Giap, a celebrated North Vietnamese general during the country’s wars with France and […]

Posted By Admin

Posted Jul 07, 2017

4
05 Jul

Le Thanh Duc and Ho Thi Hong: An Uncertain Future

This is the last of a three-part series. Part 1 can be found here and part 2 can be found here. The village where Le Thanh Duc’s family lives is around 15 miles north of Dong Hoi, nestled among sand dunes near the Pacific coast. In the wake of our harrowing visit to Pham Thi […]

Posted By Admin

Posted Jul 05, 2017

5
05 Jul

Pham Thi Do and Nguyen Van Xoan: A Family Forced Apart

This is part 2 of a three-part series. Part 1 can be found here and part 3 can be found here. While reading our previous posts about this family, I’d been particularly intrigued by their son Toan, who developed a talent for making handicrafts and models despite losing the use of his legs at an […]

Posted By Admin

Posted Jul 05, 2017

6
05 Jul

Le Van Dung and Dan Thi Miet: A Race Against Time

This is part 1 of a three-part series. Part 2 can be found here and part 3 can be found here. Last Friday I had the privilege of meeting three more of the Advocacy Project’s beneficiary families here in Quang Binh Province, families that have been ravaged by the effects of Agent Orange. With AEPD […]

Posted By Admin

Posted Jul 05, 2017

5
28 Jun

Good News for Ngo Gia Hue and Tran Thi Thao

View part 1 of this series here. From Mai Thi Loi’s village, we head east, toward the coast, and descend from the mountains again to reach the home of Ngo Gia Hue, Tran Thi Thao and their daughters. It’s about an hour’s drive, not including a stop for lunch. This family also lives in a […]

Posted By Admin

Posted Jun 28, 2017

5
26 Jun

Checking In with Mai Thi Loi

As we set out from Dong Hoi for our first two family visits, I’m both excited to start meeting the people I’m here to serve and somewhat nervous, uncertain of what to expect from these encounters. I’m accompanied by Truong Minh Hoc, one of AEPD’s outreach workers (and himself a disabled veteran of the American […]

Posted By Admin

Posted Jun 26, 2017

6
20 Jun

Dat, Our First Local Associate

AEPD is an organization that works to empower the disabled, but the newest member of its team was first drawn to serve a different group of people in need: children. 22-year-old Tien Dat Tran has previously served as a volunteer at the SOS Children’s Village, a program that provides foster care and social programs for […]

Posted By Admin

Posted Jun 20, 2017

3
16 Jun

Dong Hoi Nights

After a week, I already feel somewhat settled into Dong Hoi, a coastal city a few hundred miles south of Hanoi. It’s a much more relaxed atmosphere than the often overwhelming urban chaos I experienced last week in the capital. Dong Hoi, a city of around 150,000 people, straddles the mouth of the Nhat Le […]

Posted By Admin

Posted Jun 16, 2017

4
11 Jun

Learning Lessons in Hanoi

I spent most of last week in Hanoi, and I feel like there’s already plenty I could write about at length. The chaotic motorbike and car traffic that can come from any direction at any time, turning an ordinary walk to the store into a constant flirtation with disaster. The fascination children, in particular, have […]

Posted By Admin

Posted Jun 11, 2017

3
01 Jun

Confronting the Vietnam War

When I was 15, my parents took me to see Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center, one of the earliest movies about the 9/11 attacks. I don’t recall any details of the film or even whether it was any good, but I still remember being struck, at the time, by a strange sensation of familiarity. 9/11 […]

Posted By Admin

Posted Jun 01, 2017

6

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