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.
After nearly two years being carefully brought up at OBV’s house, this little girl started to learn many things including memorizing letters and numbers; and the whole family was happy and less worried when everything for her seemed to be less hard. However, within three months staying at her own family, every difficulty has now come back. Namely, she forgets almost all the numbers, letter and even the good habits she used to gain before. So everything has to begin again…
The girls spent an International children’s day off in a simple way, not going out for getting tired and worn out by outdoor game as usual. In the morning, the older girls were heading into the kitchen and learning how to cook Vietnamese crab noodle soup with Grandma Ut, the rest ones "explored" the electric mosquito trap which did not work and was forgotten a year ago.
To prepare for summertime reading, OBV already had intentions to re-stock the library. All the current books in the library, the girls have almost finished reading! Before we could make it happen, a special package arrived from one of our beloved supporters: a box of new books!
She, at the age of puberty, lives in a remote area near the border.
Her father died when she was just a couple of month old. She lives with her mother and her sister since then. One day, a strange woman came to her village and planned out a very bright dreamy future to her family that she can go with her to work abroad in another country. This job seems to be satisfying because it is light work and can bring her family lots of money. Then, she fell into the trap of human smugglers. They took her across the border and sold her to others. And her life of sex slavery began.
Undergoing the dark days of life, she managed to contact her family for urgent help; and eventually the police recued her. Thanks to the great assistance from collaborators and local police, OBV can contact her. She is still scared that these human traffickers might find out her, so she hasn’t shown her face yet. However, we have promised to be with her and do all best for protecting her as well as helping her get back to her normal life. Please wait, we will come to you soon…
Translated by Phuong Do. Original version in Vietnamese entitled:"Khó đó, nhưng chúng tôi vẫn tiếp tục hành trình"
After a few hard weeks of preparing for the end of year examination, our girls got to spend a weekend letting go of their stress with Jesse, an American volunteer, after 2 years of being apart.
With the stifling hot and humid Saigon weather, the girls were more than happy and enthusiastic to let Uncle Jesse take them to Dam Sen water park to cool off.
The first lesson in my life is Love and Giving. I was born in a love filled catholic family so maybe I do not deeply understand what the kids have gone through before they stepped in the OBV house. Because when I looked back all their psychological and physical traumas I found that they have the common point is that living in families lacking the warm of love. However; to my astonishment, the kids are now gradually learning the way to give their love and their care for the others.
A girl fell as playing on the river bank. All of them stopped the game and gathered to console the weeping girl. One of them put the hand to cover her eyes so she could not see the grazed knee that was cleaning by Ms. Ha (our child care staff)
Everyone has his home to come back. And at least one period of life is worth recollecting; that’s childhood. The childhood of every child should be the time living without worry or illness, with only happiness beside their family, friends and others. However, there have recently come more and more cases of child sexual abuse that mainly involve children from 2 to 14 years old in their schools; for example, 23 children in Lao Cai primary school, 3 children in Sapa primary school, 3 children in Lam Dong and others unknown cases that haven’t been invoked in newspapers.
The first moment to make acquaintance with the girls in OBV Cambodia:
A wonderful and colorful sweet soup shop with various kinds of desserts, many choices but only Cambodian palm sweet soup did attract most of them.
Some exciting game competition and the innocence of the kids shown when they played by the bank of the Mekong river.
A quiet and peace moment at the end of the day for the night prayer to thank God and thank each other with the participant of the “four legs member of family”-a loving dog MiMi as well.
May such bright smiles always blossom on their lips and may such blissful moments of peace be bestowed upon their lives forever and ever.
Peter Duy Nguyen