Child exploitation continues to frequent our news.....
What can we do to reduce or even eliminate this shameful practice that pains us all?
Whenever this happens in these areas, who ever expects it?
There is only one way and that is to teach children to self protect themselves, as we are not always there by their side.
We must have proper talks with them and show them the very basics of what abuse is.
We must put in all our efforts because this could happen to any child, including our own.
It has been four months since you came to become a member of our OBV home; you are innocent like any other little girls I have ever seen. The day I picked you from your village, all personal information I got about you were nothing except the name CL (without last name), 10 year olds and in grade 1 for 3 years on a floating school organized by the church.
In term of legality, you don’t even exist in the world because of not having any identification papers. In the situation that the authority are tightly controlling the procedures of granting those kinds of papers, we have less chance to get you the legal papers and this means you cannot go to school. The first month you stayed at home with Ms. H. and N., you looked miserable especially during school time when you saw your sisters busy preparing for going to school.
We managed to teach you at home by ourselves and at the same time tried to apply you to the school by all means. The principal of your sisters school still said “No” to your case until we begged him to let you in even just paying for your study, no need to get official school certificates or records.
Your sisters are also patient to teach you after their school time
Last week our girl had an honor to welcome special guests - The Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Bangkok, Thailand leading by Father Chatsirey. I was not home at that time and I absolutely amazed when got back and read the comments they left in our visit log book that they had a very good time to come to visit our girls at OBV and thanked the girls for their warmest welcome with a good preparation for greeting and especially for the dancing was meaningful.
The girls are changing, from being introverts, they are reaching out now, they laugh a lot, they are more friendly and actually ready for engaging with another, not just like before, only sat in a stony figure and mumbled "Yes" or "No" to adult's questions.
Thank you for visiting us and wishing our girls a beautiful life granted by our Loving God, thank you for your prayers always to encourage us to keep moving and keep changing to become good members of the Church and of community.
morning, the 12th of June, our social work from One Body Village gave some rather exciting seminars to the youth group of the diocese of Mai Khoi in Saigon, covering topics of how to prevent child sex abuse.
It was a particularly special event, as not one did the children partake, but parents of the children came along, and if there were any younger sinblings, they too joined in on the session.
On the night of , and the morning of , where, with the collaboration of volunteers, workers and associates, we held two seminars for the Vietnamese Scouts and their parents About 30 children and parents attended the first session in Ba Ria, and a further 40 participants joined us at Chanh Phu Hoa to learn more about the prevention of abuse to children.
Despite the long distance travelled, and despite only a small number of participants, we were all still very willing to take the time to share stories and experiences with these youths and their parents, so that they may protect themselves. Thank you to the enthusiasm of all our volunteers and collborators who helped us organize and run these events.
Translated by Jacqueline Huynh. Original version in Vietnamese entitled:"Nói chuyện chuyên đề ở Bà Rịa- Bình Dương"
Over the last few days of May, while the kids are eagerly preparing for their summer holidays after months and months of studying and cramming for exams, our team from One Body Village took a journey out to host a seminar for 100 year 8 students in Vung Tau, focusing on ways to self protect themselves from being at risk of child abuse.
Because the kids were patient and had been ready to partake in this seminar from the wee early hours, they actively joined in on the conversation presented by trained psychologist Duy Nguyen, resulting in positive results. The message about protecting one self was able to be passed on successfully.
Recently, we has just taught the children about mindfulness exercises and how to practice. The first step seemed difficult to them since they hardly focused on the meditation. At first, some said that the ringing bell we rang to start practising gave them a headache, some complained that they felt asleep when sat down and closed their eyes in nearly 2 minutes.
The girls slowly came around and enjoy this kind of practice now. We hope that the exercises will soon show its benefits to the children and help them to improve their attention, develop their skills to regulate emotions and to have positive outlook.
Lord, please give us enough patience and open mind to guide the little girls growing up to maturity in Your Love.
For our girls, English is so hard to learn however learning English is interesting as well. At first, it is an awful bore for them to sit an hour to study English even though we let them watch the English subtitled cartoon. But now, the girls are really excited to learn English with a different way that is doing narration of the English stories and play performace in groups.
Learning by heart the conversations in a English story and role-play
And this is rehearsal by an another group
June was coming with sultry morning as usual, yet come also some showery rains in the afternoon that break the morning heat. Such sudden change of weather on the same day was getting the kids sick easily, so they have to stay inside the house for playing after finishing their homework.
Lining up for martial moves (punching practice)
Playing the game "catching ball with small wash-tub''
Watching our 16 girls absorbed in playing in such cramped space and never complain about that make us wish we could do better and could afford them a really playground.