Having grown up in warzone Kim Phuc is spending her life promoting peace.
More than four decades ago, her excruciating pain was exposed in a photo that made headlines around the world. On June 8, 1972, during the Vietnam War, a little girl made world news when she was photographed escaping her Vietnamese village, which had been bombed with napalm. Only now is she fully revealing the depth of her scarring―to both body and soul.
It’s a moment forever captured, an iconic image that has come to define the horror and violence of the Vietnam War: Nine-year-old Kim Phuc running in agony moments after napalm bombs fell from the sky, bringing the hellish fire that burned away her clothing and seared deep into her skin.
Nine-year-old Kim Phuc was so severely burned that she was not expected to survive, but after fourteen months in a Saigon hospital and sixteen skin-graft surgeries, she returned to her village to begin rebuilding her life. Left for dead in a hospital morgue, Kim miraculously survived―but her journey toward healing was only beginning. When the napalm bombs dropped, everything Kim knew and relied on exploded along with them: her beloved home and village, her country’s freedom, as well as her childhood innocence and happiness.
Kim’s coming years would be marked by agonizing treatments for her burns, incessant physical pain throughout her body, and being handled for political propaganda. Kim survived the pain of her body ablaze, but how could she possibly survive the pain of her devastated soul? Kim loves to share the answer with her audiences.
During the years that followed, Kim struggled with physical pain as well as being used as a propaganda tool by the communist government. In 1986, she moved to Cuba to pursue her education. There, she met a young Vietnamese student, Toan Bui, who later became her husband. In 1992, she and Toan defected to Canada, where they have dedicated their lives to promoting peace.
Today, Kim is the founder of the Kim Foundation International in Ontario, Canada.