From January 2015 – OBV will post some of our DAILY activities (especially our children) on our website! Please follow them – to see how they grow! Thank you for being part of our children’s lives!
As any other families, OBV children are expected to do the house chores.
It was around 9am on a Tuesday morning, after all our girls had gone to school, and only the carers were at home preparing lunch when the door bell rang. Strange, there were no appointments made for the day. A man on his motorbike peered through our gates. With a blank expression he asked:
"Has the mother of Child X come through?"
I told him no, but invited him in.
To assist with the missions to find and help victims of abuse -- such as sex slavery among both young boys and girls, the Psychology and education sector of Bridge to Happiness made a giant leap forward in organizing seminars covering topics such as 'improving education to prevent sexual abuse of children' in schools and churches across the Northern and Central provinces of Vietnam. Meetings were also organized with representatives from agencies from relevant departments at these local provinces, in order to provide contact and address information for victims in need, as well as provide an insight on the prevention of sexual abuse of children today.
Save her, raise her, take care of her is still not enough, but give her chance to school, to grow up normally just like the others and to get bigger, stronger, stand still on her feet are what we want for her and that’s the goal the whole OBV family aims to.
Today, she – the youngest and slowest to catch up others went to school first time and will stay at a volunteer's house. She cried because she was afraid Mother Ngoc would abandoned her. The volunteer had to try many ways to make her stop crying.
Now she is no longer crying and asked to return to Mother Ngoc, and she sat with the volunteer to play with flowers and play with her. Try hard, my dear, we will take you home in the weekend.
Translated by Chuyện Người Trẻ. Original version in Vietnamese entitled:"Bé Út đi học"
I got a phone call at a very early time in the morning. A female voice from the other line called out “ Am I speaking to One Body Village?”-“ Yes, what can I do for you?”, I replied. She went on “ My friend from a foreign country had me contribute something to your organization”.
After taking notes of her contact, I made an appointment with her.
When talking with her at that appointment, I know that her friend is Ms Phuong Thao living in Canada now. She follows a series of article about the little girl in OBV’s house, feeling upset and sympathetic with this little one and asking her friend in Vietnam help this case. She wants to know more about physical and mental heath of this little child. She left her email and hopes to get more information about the positive changes in this child.
We would be grateful for your contribution, and also need more sharing like yours for children suffering from misfortunes. .
Translated by Phuong Do. Original version in Vietnamese entitled:"Món Quà Từ Phương Xa"
In the weekend, the kids can have more time for playing and reading. One weekend afternoon, there was suddenly a loud cry coming from the study room, followed by some whispering. Then mom heard the knock on the door:
Mom, we have something to tell you… (their usual catch phase)
Mom opened the door saw two of them coming in, standing at the door were the “followers.”
In October, OBV welcomed a volunteer who came in and taught various subjects covered in elementary school.It was obvious from these classes that one particular subject, English, was very much needed, however very hard for the students to grasp. The monthly report cards showed that all girls scored the lowest when it came to English, and so a tutor or teacher is needed for both elementary and middle school levels. The volunteer teacher took this into account and since the start of November has been coming in twice a week for extra tutoring classes.
Being girls, all of the kids like going shopping for clothes and shoes. Today is the birthday of a little Khmer girl and we have not gone out for fun a little bit long time so I let her choose where to go. The decision made is buying shoes in Orussey Market and watching movie in Sorya Mall.
Heading for the movie "Goosebumps"
Even though mom and aunties were so busy with everything, they still wanted the children to celebrate Halloween. Since the kids' schedule for the weekend changed, most of them had to go to class on Saturday; so we ended up with four girls representing the entire family. Uncles and aunties were the judges. Now, let's have a look at the "ghosts" of OBV family
Almost all parents feel a great deal of pain when their child was born under an unlucky star, not only being severely undernourished but also physically and mentally hurt. However, those who are willing to abandon their child don’t even care about it.
When a child joins OBV family, she does not only get daily care, we also provide mental health care. Every month, OBV organises the discussion between the children and medical doctor abroad.
The doctors work closely with OBV manager to follow-up with the mental change of each child in order to provide instant support, and help the children have certain life skills to overcome with what could happen around them. And because they went through harsh time in their life in the past, their heart and soul were hurted, their mental health will be affected a lot later on. Therefore, the careness, and discussion that the children have got help them to move on their journey.
We truly appreciate for the time that the doctors give to our children even though the time lag, they always make it most convenient and best for our children, no matter how late they have to stay after a hard working day.
However, because they left school too long, may be one or two years and the studying was in rural areas, they hardly keep on the same pace in the city. One volunteer has enthusiasm to come with the children every night for tutoring them on the primary school programs.
The tutor struggled to review the basic knowledge from the start. During conversations with her, she said us that: as a teacher, she understands the “bad habits” of her pupils on classes and even at home, such as laziness, subjective thinking, cribbing, lie and talkativeness. When the studying time starts, there has someone to watch over, inspect, or suddenly check the classroom. One worried thing is the children often disorder during that time, even when the tutor has been teaching. Everyone seems to be helpless and the feelings are just like their colleagues (i.e. teachers) in the school. If they had used rod for punishment, bad habits of the children would have been controlled (however, it goes against their principles). Since no papers are required to mark, the tutor hardly checks children’s studying and they now have a “black hole” to express their “LAZINESS” virus.
We would like to appreciate the tutor for her efforts and time-consuming to help the children. She is a Catholic teacher with attitude just like a sister, and has a simple soul but full of patience, and do love volunteer activities.
6AM in the morning, I waked up but didn’t still get out of the bed, and suddenly the phone rang; that’s from the OBV helpline. I took the call “ Good morning, OBV Vietnam, how may I help you?”
A man on the other line hesitated for a while… “ Is this Bridge of Happiness (another name of OBV Vietnam) that particularly help sexual abuse children?
I could see a feeling of confusion in his voice, so I immediately responded “ Yes definitely, what can I do for you?”
According to lawers, the crime type of child sexual abuse is now increasing considerably and the threat is all around: from subjective circumstances like having concupiscence people hire our home to stay… to unexpected situations, or the case of a 8-year-old girl abused by her teacher’s husband at teacher’s own house, although her mother still took her to school as usual.
Recently, after the case of T.D.H. (2010) at Tan Thanh district, Long An who was abused by 14-year-old boy next door, I met and exchanged view with Ms. Yen Thao – Director of Nhip Cau Hanh Phuc (Bridge of Happiness) Chapter of Psychology Education Science. Maybe this is the only model applied sciences of psycology and education to take care of sexual abused children in Vietnam.
The house of Nhip Cau Hanh Phuc, which is located at a coastal area of Ho Chi Minh City and sponsored by Father Martino Nguyen Ba Thong (Georgia, USA), nurtures more than 20 children and takes care many children at their home, and supports school fee and medicines.
Most of the children are sent by their family to set apart from haunting living environment. When they initially came, they mostly had the first expression like stress, scare or scream. Some of them even sneaked underneath the table or the bed. About two weeks later, they got accustomed to the house and had general examination, imagery diagnosis and ultrasound. Those suspected of HIV infection would be examined to seek the solution. Clinical psycologists and therapists, including foreigners, who are working voluntarily at Nhip Cau Hanh Phuc also take part in treating the children psychologically and physically.
Nhip Cau Hanh Phuc fosters and helps sexually abused children to intergrate and change their future by studying at school and learning vocation skills. Everyone will be supported as far as they can learn, and their parents can bring them home at any time!
Note the hotline number below, so you can consult and help the children (0949754294).
PS. About T.D.H, after news buzzed on Facebook and newspapers, the attitude of government at To Van Thua’s home (Tan Lap commune, Tan Thanh district, Long An) had little changed. Reporters also found and listened to D.’s confession of abuse. However, because D. was too young to have criminal liability, there was only civil liability between two families. After discharged from Childen Hospital 2 to go to Long An, H. had to come back to Ho Chi Minh City and now she is being treated at another hospital. According to the doctor, the wound below is healed so it is hard to examine. H. continues to bleed, however, and the wound is too deep to be treated.
Lê Nguyễn Hương Trà
Starting the new life with OBV, she has encountered some difficulties to adapt to the new environment, lifestyle, and the new daily routines that is more organized than before. This year is also her first year in secondary school, and she has so many new things to learn.
The first few days of school, she had trouble with her learning skills, she was afraid to ask her teachers about what she couldn't understand. And she got some bad grades on her first exams then.
With encouragement from Mom and Aunties, she is getting on well with others and her exam grades are better, too.