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Kim Phuc

Author & The Vietnam War's 'Girl in the Picture'

Overcoming adversity is a story that Kim Phuc tells like no other. Early in her life, she was caught in the horrors of the Vietnam War, running naked up a road with her skin on fire and screaming in agony.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Presentations

The Girl Behind the Photo: Kim Phuc’s Story
Kim’s story is both a universal and a deeply personal one. It parallels the fate of Vietnam itself. Both Kim’s suffering, and her courageous recovery mirrors that of a whole people. It is also the story of how one little girl’s tragedy would be used by all sides. Peace activists, journalists from all over the world and Vietnamese government officials saw Kim as a symbol, not a person. She tells her story so that we may gain better understand the power of hope and optimism. This moving presentation will leave audiences inspired by the strength of the human spirit.

Overcoming Adversity with Inner Strength
After experiencing unimaginable horrors, Kim faced a myriad of emotions: bitterness, anger, sorrow and love. She was a victim on two levels, the physical and a much more painful level: the emotional. In this presentation Kim shares the step-by-step process on how she learned to forgive. How the inner strength she had helped transform her destiny from darkness to light. This presentation leaves audience’s with a fuller understanding of the transformative powers of forgiveness.  

*Kim is able to deliver keynote presentations in English, Spanish or Vietnamese

  • I was amazed at Kim's attitude. I'm sure that I have never met anyone who has gone through such trauma, at such an early age, and come out so totally positive and forgiving. Her presentation reassured me about the strength that we all possess. When we mix this element with the power of love and forgiveness, miracles can happen.

    - SB & C Financial Growth Associates
  • "As an ambassador to her cause, she brings peace and happiness to those she meets and an understanding of forgiveness for all of us. Your spirit will soar also as you hear Kim's moving message of her life and how she has overcome many adversities to be one of the most recognized and respected young women in the world today."

    - Rotary International Former District Governor

Summary Profile

Kim Phuc tells a story like no other. She is the poster child of the Vietnam War, and an icon of the cry for peace. She is the unforgettable girl behind the photo – at age nine she was photographed, running naked up a road with her skin on fire and screaming in agony. She was fleeing the horrors of the Vietnam War and, luckily, she escaped her death from napalm to tell her story.

Kim recounts her story to those around the world. And each time, she paints an unforgettable image of her life and how it was altered by the click of a camera. Nick Ut’s photograph saved her because of the recognition she received.

Kim was fast tracked to special burn clinics, survived 17 operations, and received plastic surgery to lead a “normal” life. Overcoming pain, fear and death, Kim talks about an incredible life path that many will never experience. After surviving such trauma, Kim is still full of strength, compassion and forgiveness. Her ability to survive one of the worst atrocities and her eagerness to give back to the community is an uplifting and inspiring message of the power of humanity for her audiences.

Now Kim Phuc lives in the Toronto area of Canada with her husband and two sons, Thomas and Stephen. In 1997 UNESCO named her a Goodwill Ambassador for Peace. She is also an Honorary Member of Kingston Rotary, an Honorary Member of St. Albert Rotary, a member of the Advisory Board for the Wheelchair Foundation, an Honorary Member of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, 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 also a recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and the 2004 “Order of Ontario”.