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.
Let's forget about all that happened before bringing the girls to their new home with OBV. "Van su khoi dau nan" where everything, including our house, was either borrowed or rented. These past three years, thanks the love and generosity of our supporters, our OBV children can finally say they have their own home. However, care for the house must be made every day, with additions and renovations being made, until finally...the management team are at ease knowing the that girls are safe and at peace.
Although the garden is not very large, the team at the house continue to develop it, not leaving any inch unused, to the point where Father Thong said 'Mother! You keep planting every thing to the point it makes my head spin when I look at it!'. But you know what Father? Despite your head spins, it provides lots of shade and the perfect environment for our girls and visitors alike. Many plants have produced flowers or fruits, and the fruits have readily been eaten. Our big failure would be the sugarcane plants your brought back from Lao Cai...they couldn't survive the Saigon environment.
But that's not all. Mother also now has a mini acquarium and bird enclosure where the kids can hang out and relax while watching the animals play. It is also healing, to the human soul.
Dr. Ehum and the OBV-Cambodia children
Only a few months out of every year do our kids recieve visitors who come and stay with them at the OBV house, not just donate money and toys. Dr. Ehum, Mr. And Mrs. Kingston stayed with the girls for several days and got to know their daily routines, as well as got to know them on a personal level by playing games with them and making them feel special.
As a child, she suffered alone, with no parents, no next of kin. When a couple adopted her, she dared to dream that my life would become brighter, but...who would ever imagine that the roof they supplied would become a life of pain and sorrow.
She was only allowed to study to 5th grade, when she was forced to drop school and take up the life of a street kid to earn money for her adoptive parents: through begging, selling lottery tickets, working in coffee shops....
Dr. Ehum has individual talk with the OBV children.
Both OBV in Vietnam and Cambodia were very lucky to have Doctor John Ehum visit both locations, to get to know the girls, the staff, and the work that OBV do. It was an exciting week for John, with visits to Vietnam house, Cambodia house and a comprehensive tour of Kuala Lumpur and the work of OBV in Malaysia.
I got the opportunity to sit with Dr John at the beginning of the trip, and again at the very end, to talk about his expectations and experiences.
Jacqueline: So let's talk about your expectations coming into Vietnam and Cambodia. What were you thinking prior to your trip?
John: It was my first time to Vietnam, Cambodia and Malaysia so in terms of the countries and culture, I'm not quite sure what I was walking into. However, having worked with Dr. T.T for many years and heard her stories about OBV, I was very willing to go and see first-hand what the work involved, while experiencing new cultures.
Dr. John Ehum was welcomed to the OBV house with songs and a few simple Korean phrases, a moment that was truly heart-warming.
Dr. John joined in on all of the house activities, including going to mass with the children on Saturday afternoon, then waking up early Sunday morning to help with the household chores, including sweeping and taking out garbage.
After breakfast, he took the time to sit with each child to get to know them, their personalities, their hopes and dreams and goals. After the girls shared their stories with him, they said a prayer together, where Dr. John gave thanks and asked for blessings so that they may reach their goals. In just under 24 hours, he was able to remember all their names and point them out, which made the girls feel loved and appreciated.
To support OBV, he chose a piece of artwork, hand-embroided by one of our girls, to take home as a memory of his new family.
After finishing up his individual talks with the girls, Dr John treated them to a day out at the park, lunch, and karaoke. The children accompanied him to the airport, where they said good-bye with heavy hearts.
Thank you Dr John. Although your visit was very short, the time has left a big footprint in the hearts of our girls, and we hope to see you again very soon in the future!
Translated by Jacqueline Huynh. Original version in Vietnamese entitled:"Người bạn đồng hành của OBV- Bs John Ehum"
On those busy days at the end of the year, besides taking care of the kids who are living and studying at OBV, our thoughts are in home kids. We want all of them to be happy and enjoy Tet as other children do.
All of OBV children were taken to shop for new clothes; they also received lucky money for the Lunar New Year.
Here is a story of a young woman, a sex-trafficked victim that is forgotten on the soil of Malaysia.
When she was alive, OBV did not know of her.
OBV was contacted when she died and no one was willing to take care of her after-life arrangements.
5th & Last Working day in Malaysia.
Shared information about sexually transmitted infections, alcoholism, smoking, and work violence with the Vietnamese laborers/workers that currently work in Malaysia. Most of them are here illegally and have much challenges with language, culture difference, transportation, attending Vietnamese Mass, and missing families and Vietnam. We celebrated together with deliciously simple dishes prepared by the workers. Talked to the VN priest and the Malaysian priest who are assisting workers.
Thank you for all your hospitality and yet still find joy and hope in difficult circumstances.
Goodbye OBV Malaysia for now. Thank you for your hard work, perseverance and hospitality.
4th Working Day in Malaysia
Presented the new research on Adverse Childhood Events - how ACE's affect brain growth and development, & how we can optimize brain development. Also shared ideas for self-care to avoid compassion fatigue.
The Community Leaders were from the 14 ethnic groups of Myanmar. They, themselves are refuges waiting for re-settlement. Some have waited for 11 years.
Some refugees were exploited prior to arrival in Malaysia. They are living with poverty, unemployment, family separation, depression, and unknown future.
Third Working Day in Malaysia - a long day.
Visited and talked to the refugees children. They came from Myanmar, Syria, Pakistan, ... & have waited years to re-settle in another country.