It was a beautiful day in September....Everybody was dripping in sweat from the heat in Soc Trang. I couldn't help but feel a twinge of pity for the students, sitting in the stuffy hall, listening to the teachers lecture on sex education. One couldn't tell if everyone was red from blushing at this usually taboo topic, or if they were just red from the sweltering heat.
It's a pretty well known fact that kids out in the rural areas don't learn much -- if anything at all -- about sex education, or any kind of skills or defense to protect themselves from child sex abuse. They, like any other child around the world, had the right and deserved to be educated on these matters that would otherwise be swept under the rug.
Because of the growth and development of OBV, we need a professional management team. We officially announce the transfer of leadership from USA Team to Global Executive Team.
Father Martino officially withdraws from OBV global decision making in Southeast Asia. Gratefully, Father still be with OBV USA to operate and raise fund to support the work of OBV Southeast Asia.
A new website www.picture4charity.com was officially launched at the Nha Nam book store. A project by travel blogger Dinh Hang in collaboration with her friends who have a common passion of recording life as it happens, through beautiful pictures and photography.
The pictures in the gallery are not just for art, but all money raised from selling the pictures will be donated to a charity organization once every 3 months. OBV was lucky to be chosen as the first organization on the receiving end of the money raised for the 3 months starting July 13th, 2017.
an old article...
With the congregation, especially teenagers who belong in a parish Cho Cau church (30/7 Nguyen Van Qua, 12 District, HCM city), beginning in 2013 was always an occasion with full of the joys and the meaning because they were shared about the love of the life by special person- spellbinder Martino Nguyen Ba Thong. With Martino, this was the fifth time he have come back from US to Vietnam to lead the trip 2013. Once again he came with audiences who always have a soft corner in their heart for him.
an old article...
Mr. Micheal Chan To conversing with Ms. Yen Thao – president of the organization
On December 12th, 2012, the Nhip Cau Hanh Phuc organization (OBV VN) was honored to meet Mr. Micheal Chan To – a professor who teaches cosmetology and massage therapy from Canada, visited and worked with the organization.
The discussion with Mr. Micheal Chan To was fairly open, as he states: “I am Buddhist, but I applaud the works Father Thong has done; that makes me want to contribute my efforts to help the children. When I became a volunteer, I received many blessings.” After sharing important information, he will organize his time and start his teaching and training period for the children of the OBV family.
Thank you very much Mr. Micheal Chan To. May God bless you and your family with peace always. .
Translated by Katherine Pham. The original version in Vietnamese entitled "'Khi Trở Thành Một Tình Nguyện Viên, Đó Là Tôi Được Ban Phước' - Micheal Chan To"
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I don't know what I could possibly say to show you how much it means to OBV to have all the love and support that we have received from these performers, and the combined energy from the guests who attended, the sponsors who were all a part of the fundraising event for OBV Vietnam, as organized by performer Ms. Hien Thuc.
It was a night of music, with love and warmth radiating from all participants, making it a success that was beyond our expectations.
(image from thanhnien.com)
At her age, she should have been playing games, or with her dolls. Instead, she was stalked and prayed upon with unwanted phone calls and letters from Mr. B.
Since she was born to the age of 13 years old, her daughter had been subjected to a series of woes. From traffic accidents to severe burns, to falling into the river. The mother was unable to keep her daughter safe anymore.
To raise her daughter, the matter had to leave their home town of Ca Mau for a job in Binh Duong. One day, the daughter called her mother to report he had been raped by her neighbour, Mr. B. Shocked, the mother left her job and headed home immediately. Arriving home, she saw her daughter was lost, withdrawn into herself.
I came back to the House this morning. Some chickens were foraging for food on the ground, while the fish swam in their pool and the pigeons huddled together in our garden covered by fresh green grass and colorful flowers. We sat talking under the shade our our leafy plants, waiting for our children to come home from school.
They came back, like a flock of young birds. Quickly dropping off their school bags, these tweeting birds started circling a real bird: a parrot, probably the same age as the children.
They rushed to feed the parrot food and water, yelling with excitement and urging the parrot to eat. How wonderful it is to watch the natural 'maternal instinct' come out in these girls! Despite having been through spiritual, emotional and physical trauma, they still have the longing and desire to love, and to care of other smaller and weaker creatures. This is considered to be a natural instinct for all animals....then why did it not apply to their fathers, uncles, stepfather, neighbours who instead of looking after them, had abused them instead?
an old article...
Everybody in the office told each other: “Behave yourself! The new chairwoman might be tough.” We were so nervous and assumed she might be a difficult person after we had received a bunch of her emails requesting us to send reports and annotations. Nobody knew about her, how old she was, how she looked like and whether she was difficult as we thought.
Our first meeting with the new Chairwoman, Dr. Thanh Tam finally took place. Her modest clothing and her smiling gave us the first impression that she was a humble person. Her plane just landed but she stopped by the office anyway for the meeting, carrying a lot of luggage.
She is so friendly and sympathetic with a smiling face
Once again, Lunar New Year of the Rooster 2017 is here upon us.
We sincerely wish all of you bountiful blessings in health, spirit, families, work and life.
We sincerely thank you for your belief and commitment in OBV Mission.
Direct links for References and Addendum:
(1) https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prostitution Accessed 01/25/2017
(2) https://www.justice.gov/criminal-ceos/prostitution-children Accessed 01/25/2017
(3) http://www.vietcatholic.net/News/Html/213969.htm Accessed 01/27/2017
(4) https://www.amazon.com/Pimpology-Laws-Game-Pimpin-Ken/dp/1416961046 Accessed 01/27/2017
(5) https://www.apa.org/pi/women/programs/trafficking/report.pdf Accessed 01/27/2017
(6) http://www.traumacenter.org/products/pdf_files/Invisible_Chains.pdf Accessed 01/27/2017
(7) https://www.amazon.com/One-Among-Us-Paige-Dearth/dp/1502492253 Accessed 01/27/2017
1) OBV published an article about some myths and misconceptions in child sex exploitation and trafficking. Please refer to https://image.slidesharecdn.com/obvnewslettervol8vn-140610135450-phpapp01/95/one-body-village-newsletter-volume-8-13-638.jpg?cb=1407844119 Accessed 01/27/2017
2) Myths & Misconceptions reference from Human Trafficking Hotline: https://humantraffickinghotline.org/what-human-trafficking/myths-misconceptions Accessed 01/27/2017
She was abused by her own biological father at the age of 16, maybe 17. "She was really pretty, with hair that cascaded down her back not unlike that of an angel" remembers a staff member from a shelter just outside Ho Chi Minh City.
She also had a really beautiful name, meaning a bright and beautiful day. You would think that parents who name a child with such a meaningful moniker would be that with a strong education, or at the very least, a strong moral.
But no. Despite having been born and raised in District -- an area not that far from the city centre of Saigon, her family was far from civilized. When we arrived at her house to collect precious paperwork, her birth certificate, so that we could process and accept her into our home, her mother dug full a box infested with dead cockroaches, until finding her paperwork, almost destroyed by rodents.
We'll call her Angel for this story!
"Miss, can I leave her here with you, I'm never coming back"
Angel was a beautiful girl, but was a little slow on the developmental side. When she was taken into the first shelter, the sisters there had to teach her literally everything from the very beginning. She couldn't speak, but was always smiling. Her chores such as cleaning vegetables, cleaning the house....they were done very carefully, but also very slowly.
When her mother passed away, Angel was left alone with her father.
And it was then, that he started to rape her.
A trip to visit the family of a survivor, to talk to them about the option they may have to remove their child from an area of such high risk of being abused
On this particular day, before heading out to her tutoring class, she kept reminding her mother over and over to make sure to put on lots of layers of pants for her. The weather in Saigon was balmy, for what reason would she have to wear multiple pants, especially as she was well toilet trained. Concerned, the mother asked her why, to which she replied: "that man (the husband of her tutor) always takes my pants off....please put on extra pants so he can't take them off!
In Vietnam, according to the statistics from relevant authorities, on average every year sees over 1,200 children sexually abused, with another 2,000 cases of child abuse. In particular, the incidences of children being sexually abused continues to rise, with the cases also increasing in severity and complicated nature.