US country singer to perform for landmine victims

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American country music singer-songwriter Mary McBride and her five-piece band will perform for victims of landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) in Vietnam's north central province of Quang Tri next Monday (April 9).

The visit to Quang Tri is part of McBride's 10-day tour (April 4-14) in Vietnam. It aims to highlight the legacy of wartime ordnance and the threats to Vietnamese families still living in contaminated areas.

The concert is hosted by Project RENEW and the Humpty Dumpty Institute (HDI), a New York-based NGO implementing mine action and humanitarian programs around the world.

A Project RENEW press release says McBride is an international spokesperson for HDI and has visited HDI programs and projects around the world. RENEW and HDI are working in partnership to reduce the impact of Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) by providing income-generating opportunities for victim families.

The venue for McBride's performance is the Quang Tri Mine Action Visitor Center in Dong Ha Town, where students and local residents come regularly to learn about safety and how to avoid accidents from bombs and mines. The center is also frequented by international tour groups visiting the former Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), which once divided the country during the Vietnam War, and former battle sites.

As part of her Vietnam tour, McBride performs with her band at a free concert on April 6 at the Lan Anh Club in Ho Chi Minh City through a cultural program sponsored by the US Consulate General.

They will also perform at free concerts on April 8 and 9 at the Hue Festival, offer master music classes for students in HCMC and Hue Town, and engage in outreach events for disadvantaged people in HCMC, Hue, and Quang Tri.

McBride, who has released four albums and was featured on the soundtrack of "Brokeback Mountain," is the founder of "The Home Tour," which brings musical concerts to the homes of people who otherwise would not have access to live music.

The Home Tour travels throughout the US and abroad to "places people call home," including facilities such as long-term health care centers, homeless shelters, orphanages, correctional facilities, homes in supported-housing communities, homes for people living with HIV/AIDS, homes for disabled veterans returning from service; and homes for people living with mental and physical disabilities.

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