Kim Phuc's Story
Kim Phuc tells an inspiring story of courage and forgiveness unlike any other. Once an iconic child symbol of war, she is now a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for the Culture of Peace. Her remarkable journey has taken her from Vietnam to Cuba and finally, in 1992, to Canada.
Kim Phuc is the nine-year-old girl in the famous Pulitzer-prize winning photo taken by AP photographer Nick Ut. On June 8th, 1972, the day napalm bombs fell on her village of Trang Bang, Kim was photographed fleeing up the road, naked, and screaming in pain. Her skin was on fire and she was terribly wounded.
A child’s life changed forever by a bomb and a photograph.
Kim Phuc wasn’t expected to survive, but she did. She survived 17 operations. The photograph that shocked the world may have saved her. Because of the recognition, Kim was moved to the acclaimed Barksky burn clinic and cared for by wonderful doctors.
Although Kim still deals with pain, she has healed both physically and emotionally. She leads, not only a "normal" life, but an extraordinary life. She speaks around the world at conferences, schools, hospitals and churches, with presidents, business leaders and students.
Overcoming pain and suffering, learning the importance of freedom and the power of forgiveness, are just a few of the life lessons Kim has to share. She loves to laugh. She is full of strength and compassion. Her determination to survive and her commitment to give back have made her a remarkable example of resilience and the power of humanity for audiences everywhere.
In 1996 she founded The Kim Foundation International, a non-profit organization which partners to fund projects to help child victims of war.
Today Kim Phuc is a Canadian citizen. She lives in the Toronto area with her husband, Toan, their two sons, Thomas and Stephen and her parents. In 1997, she was named a Lifetime UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Peace. She is an Honorary Member of Rotary, a member of the Advisory Board for the Wheelchair Foundation, a Member of the Advisory Board of Free Children's Foundation in Canada, and the World Children's Center in Atlanta Ga., USA.
Kim is a recipient of the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal and the 2004 "Order of Ontario". She holds honorary doctorate degrees from universities in Canada and Australia.