CAMPAIGN AGAINST  CHILD SEX EXPLOITATION AND TRAFFICKING

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Saturday, 13 May 2017 16:44

Diary of a Journey to Dak Lak - Part 1

The media tour to Dak Lak was planned a month ago, but the schedule was modified at the last minute, due to many reasons and troubles. This resulted in the OBV-VN family spending countless hours working hard before their departure to ensure the trip would go as smoothly as possible. It was a new project for us, and we were excited to be involved.

We loaded into our 16-seat mini bus, and departed in the early morning at 5:00am, October 21st, 2016, making the long journey a bit more bearable with stories, songs and interesting stories. With us were OBV staff, our director and a female reporter who had worked with victims of pedophilia.

We arrived in the city of Buon Me Thuot in the afternoon, quickly scoffed down a late lunch and attended a conference held at Nguyen Du high school. The topic covered was how to protect children from pedophiles, with over 900 students participating. With our own in-house psychologist Nguyen Ngoc Duy presenting, our trip was off to a good start.

The students seemed to take a lot out of it, and gave a standing ovation, as well as presented the Nhip Cau Hanh Phuc team an array of gifts. The session ran for 2 hours, and although the conditions of the hall were terrible: poor lighting, poor sound...it was still considered a success.

On behalf of the school, Professor Hoang treated the team to dinner, where we chatted about life, and issues that the schools and students face. Teachers at the school were pressured to not only teach academics, but also cover topics such as sex education. Here in the rural areas of Vietnam, children didn't have an easy time going to and from school. Some had to travel daily distances of 10km one way, crossing rivers and jungles. This way of life is a complete contrast to the student of secondary high schools living in the city, although these students have to deal with superficial and materialistic needs and wants. We were given the opportunity to learn and understand the challenges, difficulties and concerns these children living in remote cities had to endure on a daily basis. We continued talking all throughout the night about what we could do to help, how could we improve their standard of living?

The dark skies loomed above us against a mountainous backdrop, that first night in Buon Me Thuot, and we wondered if the stars sparkling brightly here were any brighter than the stars of Saigon, where other members of OBV continued to fight for social justice.

(to be continued)

10-2016

Translated by Mr. Phung and Jacqueline Huynh.  The original version in Vietnamese entitled "Nhật Ký Hành Trình Dak Lak - phần 1"

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