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Former Vietnamese refugees launch fundraiser for Ukraine’s displaced

March 25, 2022

By Vancouver Sun |

Boyhood memories of war and flight are nightmarish enough, but seeing similar scenes on the nightly news recently has left Tony Vuu sleepless.

The one-time refugee himself is now helping to raise money for those displaced by Russian president Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine.

“I find it really hard to watch the news about the Russian army’s invasion of Ukraine,” Vuu said on Wednesday. “It’s so hard. We see something like this, it just flashes back the horrible memories, and I can’t stand it. I can’t sleep at night. I’ve got to do something to help them.”

Vuu and others in Metro Vancouver’s Vietnamese community got together a couple of weeks ago to figure out how they could help, and came up with the idea of a banquet with live music, a silent auction and raffle, with the proceeds going to the Canadian branch of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

The banquet is Friday evening at Pink Pearl Seafood Restaurant at 1132 East Hastings St. in Vancouver, beginning at 6 p.m. Tickets are $80 per person at a VIP table, $60 per person at regular tables, and available by emailing or phoning 604-866-5533.

The target is to raise at least $100,000 by April 30 — although $200,000 would obviously be even better, Vuu noted.

There is also a website,, through which donations can be made to the U.N. refugee agency via, UNHCR’s partner in processing donations and issuing tax receipts, which are issued instantly upon donation.

“We’re a small community, but we felt we had to do something for Ukraine,” Vuu said.

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