Our warmest congratulations to Tinh Khoi, the first of hopefully many OBV daughters who has successfully been admitted into Street International - an organization headed by Neal F. Bermas, PhD.
The course will last 18 months, with classes including English, life skills, F&B business and/or culinary arts (trainees are able to take on either). The curriculum closely follows that of the Institute of Culinary Education - USA.
Our OBV family sends our wishes for successful studies to build a brighter future for herself and her family.
OBV News December 10th 2017
Translated by Jacqueline Huynh and Mr. Phung. The original version in Vietnamese entitled "Chúc Mừng Tinh Khôi"
Follow the spiritutality of Father Martino Nguyen Ba Thong, the children of OBV Vietnam and Campuchia won't receive or give gifts. Instead, as an offering to Jesus on his birthday, they will do some good deeds and make sacrifices for their families, relatives, friends, and neighbours.
In this picture, the children of OBV Cambodia list down the good deeds that they will do this Christmas, and hang them on their tree. In Vietnam, the children will save a part of the December allowance to donate to the homeless on January 12th, 2018, as Father Martino has done every year for his birthday (Jan 13).
OBV News December 9th 2017
Translated by Mr. Phung and Jacqueline Huynh. The original version in Vietnamese entitled "Ý Nghĩa Mùa Giáng Sinh"
an old article...
- Do I have to report to mother if I am ill, Q?
- Yeah, you should.
- I have .....a personal matter.
- What is it?
- I am ... bleeding...
Little H had just reached puberty. She had been a wild child when she entered OBV two year ago. None of her family had any I.D or supporting paperwork, and so she had gone to school run by a charity organization. She excelled in all her subjects, and everybody at OBV loved her, as she was a gentle and adorable girl. However, she had tomboy traits, from her short hair to her dress code. Yet now, she was faced with a personal matter than all girls eventually will face. After all, she had just turned 13.
- It's nature. There's nothing to be ashamed of....Talk to Q, she will help you.
And from that day, 'personal matter' is the code word used for all matters pertaining to the life of a young girl entering the next stage of her life.
April 8, 2013
Translated by Tho Nguyen, Jacqueline Huynh and Mr. Phung. The original version entitled "Chuyện Riêng Tư"
Mother Ngoc took our children of OBV to an exhibition of lacquered artwork honoring artist Tinh Truc Gia last Saturday. The artwork was a tribute, with all of Tinh Truc Gia's student gathering to display all they had learnt from their teacher. It was beautiful and deep, and the presentation that accompanied the pieces left the children feeling hopeful and full of admiration.
On that particular day, Mother Ngoc was especially proud of little U, one of OBV's newest family members, talking very politely to the mother of one of the artists.
Some volunteers visited OBV house a few days ago. The house is currently under remodeling, and was in complete disarray -- construction equipment and tools, bricks, cement and their mixers, sand....everything was everywhere. This month, my schedule was also thrown out the window, all my time and energy was put towards the completion of these works.
an old article...
Recently, a social psychologist told me: “In all kinds of organization, warm shelter is the most serious one”. When I asked why he said that, he told me some difficulties we might have in managing warm shelters.
Some kids got out of warm shelter and turned to crime. Some kids did not try to be nicer, just like before getting into our house. Although he told me that, I still remained calm. It wasn’t because I was inactive but because I’ve got a belief. I believe that there are lots of helpful people surrounding us. Especially, I believe that God will be always with us. In conclusion, I know that our House – House of God – is different from other Houses – Houses of people.
It was a day of horrific storms, that we made our way to the ends of the world to their house. Two sisters, both victims of sexual abuse. Immediately, we worked to get their paperwork in order, so that we could bring them home. That was nearly 6 years ago.
It was not my first visit to OBV, but tonight was a special and remarkable one for me.
After a storm passed through Saigon, dumping water across the whole town and turning the streets into what looked like branches of a river, and more than 3 hours on a bus (a trip that would've taken 1 hour and 45 minutes normally), I arrived at the gates of OBV's house. Everybody could see how wet and exhausted I was from the journey.
The children had already come back from school; some were preparing dinner, while others were taking care of their personal hygiene. All of them were chirping to welcome me. Some ran off to get me some warm water, and a towel. Others ran in the other direction to prepare a room for me, while others told me to "quickly take a warm bath before I got sick". How absolutely sweet these children could be, and suddenly, all my tiredness, my worries and stress were left behind at the front gate.
OBV welcomes a child with open arms and with little attention to their religious background. The the founder and the staff are predominantly catholic, only a third of the children who walk through our doors are born Catholic.
For community integration, the children participate in activities organized by the local parish, however, are given the choice to study and convert to Catholicism. In fact, 6 children made the choice to receive their First Communion two years ago, and 2 of them continued on to receive their Confirmation today.
My Dear Children,
During Holy Thursday mass this evening, my eyes were stung. Every single word of the development of Love had soaked deeply in my heart.The Love God granted to us, and our love for each other.
How many years had we been through this? We celebrated the simple ceremony of washing feet every Holy Thursday, a reminder for us to live with humility, to serve, and to love.