Local BBC Sites

Page last updated at 15:14 GMT, Friday, 19 March 2010
Napalm girl Kim Phuc meets Manchester's women refugees
Kim Phuc after napalm attack, Vietnam 1972
The image won a Pulitzer Prize for AP photographer, Nick Ut and changed attitudes towards the Vietnam War across the world.

Vietnam War survivor Kim Phuc visited Manchester to share her experiences with women refugees in the city and children who have suffered burns.

As a girl, Kim was pictured running along a road with her arms outstretched after a napalm attack on her village.

The photograph became an iconic illustration of the suffering of war and helped to change public opinion.

Now a UN peace ambassador, Kim spoke to women from war zones who the Red Cross is helping to adjust to life in the UK.

Kim Phuc spoke to women refugees in Manchester


Kim, now 49, also met children who suffered burn injuries at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.

She explained that she was committed to using her own experiences to help others.

"War breaks my heart and I don't want to see any children or women suffer," she said.

"But I can work with that picture for peace. I can find a purpose for my life. That little girl is still alive and I've been able to learn and move on."

Still bearing her own scars, Kim was also shown how women disfigured by war can regain their self-esteem using camouflage make-up techniques.

"People who suffer like this don't feel they're pretty, but this gives them more confidence and encourages them to feel better, which is very important.

British Red Cross area operations director, Alison Dixey said Kim's visit had been 'inspirational.'

I can work with that picture for peace. I can find a purpose for my life. That little girl is still alive and I've been able to learn and move on.
Kim Phuc

"She had a long conversation with Marzia, a 43-year-old judge, women's rights activist and former United Nations worker from Afghanistan who, like Kim did, is starting her life from scratch.

"Kim understood Marzia's experience and the visit gave her hope that life can be turned around. I think it was a confidence booster and made all the women feel valued," she added.

During her visit to Manchester, Kim also spoke at an event to raise funds for the British Red Cross and the special burns unit at the Royal Manchester Children's hospital.


Kim's life changed forever on 8 June 1972 when an American military advisor co-ordinated the napalm bombing of her village by the South Vietnamese.

Kim fled from a pagoda where she and her family had been hiding.

Two of her infant cousins did not survive the attack, and Kim received horrific burns to her back and arms, which still cause her pain.

The image of Kim running down the road with napalm burns won Vietnamese photographer Nick Ut a Pulitzer Prize and was shown around the world.

Kim eventually rebuilt her life in Canada and has founded the Kim Phuc Foundation that helps to fund international organisations to provide free medicine, therapy, wheelchairs and prosthetics to child victims of war.

Picture power: Vietnam napalm attack
09 May 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Audio slideshow: 'Shaped by War'
03 Feb 10 |  Arts & Culture


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2018 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific