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Monday, 26 March 2018 21:06

Together At Tịnh Trúc Gia

After three days together at Tinh Truc Gia (Peaceful Bamboo Family), a foundation in Vietnam for children with both intellectual and physical disabilities, what did we take away from the whole experience?

1. We were able to observe a standard daily routine of the teachers and children. Everything was done silently and in an organized manner. We couldn't tell that we were watching a group of teachers managing a class of children with disabilities, it felt just like a regular class.

2. We had an opportunity to work with the children. The work they produced was amazing, and much better than what we were able to come up with. They were both very artistic and hard working, making things such as incense and bags, while other baked or took care of the garden.

3. We were blessed to be able to eat with the children. We were filled with gratitude with every meal that we received. Our stay coincided with their vegetarian period, so there was no meat. To make up for it, we were given a chance to try all new foods, cooked with love.

4. Valuable lessons were learnt on this trip, in particular: PERSEVERANCE, HARD WORK, DISCIPLINE, EDUCATION, THRIFT and BEHAVIOR TRANSFORMATION.

Thursday, 22 February 2018 02:27

Just a few hundred meters

I arrived at the People's Committee's office to research a particular case of child sex exploitation. A police officer of the Ede tribe pointed towards a trail leading through an eggplant field and shook his head sadly. "It happened just a few hundred meters from here. And three of them, so close together."

"What do you mean three of them?" I asked.

"H'ba, H'ka and H'uyen all live really close together. And all three of them were sexually abused," he replied.

Sunday, 01 April 2018 03:30

The Pulse of a Coach

Professor Toan, along with the OBV team and special guests from the media stopped by Soc Trang province to give a seminar to schools in six districts. on the basics of puberty and sex education, as well as some information and skills in the prevention of sex abuse. This was requested by the Women's Union, in an attempt to lower the instances of child sex abuse in the region.

Two of the districts were extremely far and difficult to get to. One of these districts had a bridge so narrow that only a single bicycle could cross it. Most of the people living here had Khmer roots, with their lives being in complete destitution. Many ended up moving to the bigger cities (Dong Nai, Binh Duong, HCM) to look for work, and left their children behind for the grandparents to care for. Without the appropriate discipline, and general lack of care towards having an education, the children had little focus and attention in school, with many dropping out by the age of 13 and followed their parents to work. 

Sunday, 17 December 2017 18:09

It's Bad Thing, Forget It!

"Just forget it"

"Mother, you've told me that it's a bad thing, to forget it...but why do you keep asking me to repeat the story so many times?" Xiu Xiu tiredly complained. She was a small and shy girl, and it was her forth time retelling her story to a police officer. She was confused. Her mother would tell her 'it was a bad thing that happened...just ignore it and forget it', yet these policemen repeatedly requested her to retell her story over and over, despite it happening a month ago. She had told the exact same story 4 times now.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017 17:57

A Branch on the Verge


The Branch to hold onto.

After our training course on the Prevention of Child Sex Abuse, we gathered our bags and started to head off into the next part of our journey: Child rescue.

This particular case was a strenuous one, and we were absolutely committed to seeing it through. After contacting local government bodies, and insisting on the support from the Buon Me Thuot city council, we found the location of a child and her family in the suburbs just outside the city, on the way to Buon Don. We were actually surprised that everything was working in our favor up to this point. In previous cases, we'd travel the great distances and fail miserably as the family had just left the town, or other circumstances would arise that would prevent us from meeting with them.

Some special classes in the "Prevention of Child Sex Abuse" were organize by OBV for the minor of the E De tribe from highland Dak Lak province. The reports of children from ethnic minority communities being kidnapped or lured with candy and cookies, only to be sexually abused has been a huge concern for the officials and priests in the area. That was enough to encourage OBV members to brave the weather, long distances, strong winds and glaring sun to ensure the classes were a success.

Sunday, 26 November 2017 22:11

I Will Run Away....

"Lottery tickets! Get your lottery tickets here!" The feeble cries from a little girl battled the sounds of Saigon traffic. She, like many other children, needed to sell lottery tickets after school to help support her family. She stood under the glaring sun, her voice piecing our hearts.

She was a member of the OBV family, but had since returned to her family 3 years ago. She was now a 12 year old girl. Grown up and more mature. As soon as she saw us, a big smile lit up her face and she ran to welcome us in. "As soon as I heard your voice on the telephone, I knew it was you!" she told us. "This is my uncle Nam...he picks me up to go to school. Do Mother Ngoc and the sisters miss me?!" She spoke a million miles a minute, but it was heart warming to see her genuinely happy.

Sunday, 07 January 2018 23:58

A Gloomy Future


It was already after 2pm when she came home, a little girl exhausted as she hadn't eaten all day, and had been moved from one office to another, one medical exam to the next, repeating her rape story over and over, and being stared at by curious strangers. The Medical staff refused to allow an abortion until they received the full report from the police officers in charge of her case. She had another medical appointment for the following Monday, no doubt it would be yet another insult added to her trauma.

Sunday, 11 February 2018 22:14

Book Donation Picnic

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Members of OBV donated two boxes of books to the Charity Summer Camp organized by Mr. Huynh Ngoc Trung Luong. The books donated would find a new home in the library currently being built for students in remote towns, giving them a chance to read and broaden their minds. 

Monday, 30 October 2017 20:16

Fundraising in Australia 2017

"Trả Em Tuổi Thơ 4 - Fundraising in Australia 10-2017

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