Origin of Our Logo
The Hands of Hope
The Origin of the Uplift International Logo
The photograph which is the inspiration for the Uplift International logo, showing children standing on open hands, was taken in Saigon, Vietnam in 1974. The young girl in orange and black and the little boy next to her on the hand toward the right side of the picture are two of the artist’s children. The other children are friends and relatives.
The two children in the photo are now adults and each is making a contribution that is connected to their refugee experience. The girl, Hue-Chan Luu, founded VietLink in 1992, which provides training and education resources for the country of her childhood. VietLink was instrumental in organizing and funding the first trade mission to the United States to be given “official” status by the Vietnamese government. This trade mission was led by Minister Thai Phung Ne, who was then Minister of Energy, and presented conferences to large audiences in Atlanta Georgia and San Francisco. Today Ms. Luu is a director of KHM, Inc. which provides infrastructure development consulting and project management services for U.S. companies operating in Vietnam. The primary emphasis is on power projects and industrial development.
The young boy is Ky Luu. His contribution took a different path when he was sent to Bosnia by the International Rescue Committee (IRC), with the task of assisting resettlement of Bosnian Muslim refugees. He had the painful job of interviewing those whose asylum application was denied and drafting their appeals. Later he worked on relief efforts for the Newly Independent States and became a director at IRIS. His latest move takes him to the New York office of the law firm of White & Case.
In 1993, Hue-Chan returned to Vietnam for the first time when VietLink arranged for Gary P. Hauptman and John K Spencer to present a lecture series entitled “U.S. Business Law and Practices” for more than 100 Vietnamese professionals at the Foreign Trade Development Center of HCMC.
While in Ho Chi Minh City, Hue-Chan visited her childhood home. What she found was poignant and heartwarming. The house had been turned into a primary school. All of the smaller hands were gone and a second building of class rooms was in their place. But the hands in this photo are still standing and in perfect condition. Today, 25 years after the Luu family left, children still clamber into the upraised palms and strong fingers of the Hands of Hope.