an old article...
For me, this Christmas, Tet holidays and my birthday came earlier than usual! It is not because of the warm weather or the passing of time, but for the human heart is blooming! Do you know why? I would like to share with you some emails and letters I have just received:
- Mail #1: (after my evening flights were informed)
I wonder if you still remember me, but I still remember you thanks to your writings, your prayers and advice that helpfully dissuaded me from killing my own child. At present I am very happy thanks to God’s blessings. When I decided to keep my child I did not think I would be as happy as I am today. My child is now 4 months old and so cute. I have been back to work. I would like to share my happiness to you and please do not forget to pray for me. I always pray that God will bless you on your journeys.
I have seen your travel plan for January. I wish I could meet you once, but what a pity I cannot have that opportunity! I wish you a happy birthday!
An old article...
For parishioners, especially young ones in the parish of Chợ Cầu (address 30/7 Nguyễn Văn Quá, 12th District 12, Ho Chi Minh City), the occasion of New Year 2013 was a wonderful time when they can to attend the preaching session of Father Martino Nguyễn Bá Thông. For Fr. Martino, this was his fifth time to present the journey of 2013. The audience gave him a warm welcome.
Fr. Martino’s session started at 7:30 PM. His team comprised of volunteers from U.S.A. The room was filled with songs, games, and chats about Fr. Martino and his topics. There were first-time attendees showing their excitement and curiosity.
The children have been waiting in anticipation for Father Thong and the volunteers of OBV Canada' arrival just like the way they wait for spring. The quality time spent together brings most sincere happiness. The spring time for them thus is not only for three months but ongoing throughout the entire year as long as they live together with One Body Village.
You teach us to live all our hearts. Full power and full love. You danced with us in the evening and in the early morning while it was still dark you arose and prepared breakfast for us like mommies do it for their own children. Love you. Thank you so much.
Just a few simple words and pictures from our training session to the Youth Leaders, in the prevention of Sexual Child Abuse, organized for Sunday the 27th November, 2016. The seminar was held at the Youth Leaders' Convention 2016 at the Parish of Phu Cuong, with OBV's psychologist Duy Ngyen leading the discussion.
OBV just welcome our newest addition to the family, from a province far, far away. It took the family days to make the journey to us, with the child having only been sexually abused not so long before that.
The child and her family all came together to visit OBV, with the purpose being to understand the work we do, and the kind of life provided to survivors of abuse. OBV was quite stunned looking at this child: a tiny frame with unsteady legs. Stained clothes, and sad eyes staring blankly that much reminded us of another survivor we had taken under our wing only 2 years earlier. The family, in turn, were equally stunned, for they had never imagined that a safe haven for young victims of abuse existed, and they immediately and wholeheartedly expressed their wishes to have their daughter raised and nurtured here. The child, despite knowing she'd be far away from her family could also sense that she'd be safer and happier here, and agreed to stay without any protest.
It was another Sunday morning with no rest for the wicked. With a special invitation for the father of the Parish, OBV's psychology team headed out to give another seminar on the "Prevention of child sex abuse", to over 600 of the youth at the Parish of Tan Phuoc in Tan Binh Saigon. With such a big group ranging in different age groups, we decided it was necessary to split us the seminar into 2 Sundays: 2/10 and 9/10.
Like every other holiday so far, this year Halloween was during a weekday, and as a result OBV in district 9 decided to celebrate early, on Sunday Oct 20 - Halloween eve.
Compared to previous year, this year's halloween was not as pumping, we didn't carve any pumpkins or make any 'spirit cakes', but we were still able to celebrate in different ways: with games and team building exercises. Split into three groups, they were put through a trivia test with the topic focusing on halloween such as ghosts and ghouls, spirits, horror murder stories etc. They very much enjoyed this activity, despite only knowing the more 'famous' ghost stories and legends.
The first Friday of every month sees the girls of OBV VN settling in for a session with our team of social workers, to learn 'life skills' that may further the quality of their every day lives. The topic for the session in October was "Helpful hints to using Facebook and the Internet", a topic that was eagerly welcomed by all the girls as their access to the internet is quite limited in comparison to others. The girls participated in all the conversation topics with enthusiasm, followed by a Question and Answer segment where they bombarded Duy with question after question.
The Mid-Autumn festival this year unfortunately fell on the same day as a level 4 hurricane, and so all plans to walk through the streets with our lanterns were cancelled. However, we compensated by having a bit of a mini-party within the safety of our OBV home, and at our local parish.
Our in-house party was held 5 days before the actual festival, with 2 of our social workers organizing games and bonding activities for the girls. While making the traditional lanterns, as well as during all the games, there were some sneaky exercises and activities played with the intention of discovery the psyche behind the girls' thinking....you can't take the psychology out of trained social workers! It was a nice and relaxing evening for everyone
The beginning of the new school year started with an event that touched the lives of all our girls. OBV Cambodia had an appointment to visit the Home of Hope shelter, founded and ran by the Missionary Charity of Brothers - Mother Teresa of Calcutta. The girls were excited to be involved in such a special day, despite knowing full well that by the end of it, they would be exhausted.
It was still very early in the morning, when the older girls of the house woke up to begin their day. Immediately, they asked to be split up into groups, however this time, instead of splitting up the girls, we decided to engage them in a team building exercise: to work in one big group and divide the tasks among themselves. Some of the duties involved cooking lunch for the children, cleaning and tidying the area, bathing the children and the elderly. A few of the girls pulled faces upon hearing this, as they had wanted to team off into their age groups, but all was forgotten once they boarded the tuk tuk.
You've been with us for over a month now, and when we ask you what your biggest hopes and dreams are, you reply earnestly that you'd like to go back to school. 16 years old with a grade 3 education. We can't meet up with your parents, as it'll only bring danger and further troubles for you: your father can abuse your further, your mother does not have the capabilities to protect you, your risk of abuse and being sold is extremely high. And you don't have a single piece of identification....how can we help you?