Today, we visited the women's protective shelter again to cook Pho for lunch. The Vietnamese women were so delighted, because they haven't tasted familiar flavours in months! While the others cooked, I gave an informal education session about hygiene and basic first aid. I knew it was successful because the women gave me all of their attention and kept asking questions. They were so grateful that I answered concerns about their health and I that discussed what was normal, what they should keep an eye on, and what needed medical attention. I wish I could do this everyday! Today, the women seemed more relaxed, at ease, and lowered their guard. They are beyond jaded because they have been deceived and abused. I am so happy that in a short two days, we have developed friendship and trust. I hope that they will make it home to their families soon. Thank you to organisations like Suka who support these women on a daily basis.
We visited one of four shelters for human trafficking survivors in Malaysia who are older than 18 (or claim to be). Of the 42 women, 23 were Vietnamese survivors of sex trafficking. Others were from India, Thailand, and China who also survived sex trafficking, as well as labour trafficking and abusive domestic servitude. We brought firecrackers and lanterns to celebrate Lunar New Year, but it only reminded the women of their homeland. They cried inconsolably as they missed their families. The women came from all walks of life with different circumstances that led them down a dark and torturous path. Along the way, they met monsters who held them captive, abused them, forced and coerced them to work and serve men in deplorable conditions. Now they wait in this protective shelter for trial and for freedom. They yearn to be reunited with their families. It's a long waiting game.
Shopping tourism has, and probably always will be, a thing. From jade markets in Beijing, coconut farms in Nha Trang, or even Woodbury Commons in NYC, it's possible for you to jump on a bus (or car or any other method of transportation such as tuk tuk), and you will dropped off to your location of desire.
Imagine then, if you enter a country where pedophile tourism is a thing. It is an ACTUALLY A THING.
You can go to these countries and a tuk tuk driver will actually deliver you to a place where you can buy a child for a night. On this trip we witnessed tuk tuk drivers actually approaching anyone who (unfortunately ) fits the profile of a pedophile and ask "you like young girl? I have! 14 year, have!! 12 year, have!"
A child of any age you want for $80 frickin bucks. A NIGHT.
It disgusts me to my very core to even imagine that some fat, hairy, sweaty, old, perverted punk of a human being is okay with doing this to a child.
From Jaxi Lin - a mission trip follower!
Today, we visited the children's shelter in Malaysia who are under protective order while waiting for trial, waiting to testify against traffickers and pimps, and waiting for paperwork to return home to their families. We met children from Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Sapa (Indigenous region of Vietnam), and Myanmar. The youngest girl who was sexually exploited was 12. For the first time, we met children who were going to be exploited for their organs. There was a beautiful little Indian girl only 18 months old whose freedom was stripped from her right from birth. Her long eyelashes, her beautiful brown eyes, her angelic face and her purity did not matter to the villains who saw her as a product, as a commodity, as an animal to butcher and sell on the black market. Is there an evil greater than this?
We leave the girls today to go to Malaysia. The girls performed a traditional Cambodian dance for us last night to thank us for visiting them. It was beautiful. They are beautiful. They differ from the girls in Vietnam in the way that they are shy and reserved. They yearn for our love and attention but they do not know how to ask for it. However, like all of our children, they are so sweet, respectful, and treat one another like family. We're honored to be a part of this family. (Angela Nguyen)
We arrived in Cambodia today and immediately spent time with the children making balloons and playing with play doh. We then went to Aray Kasath, a poor riverside Vietnamese community for mass led by Father Martino. The community welcomed our visit with delight and we were honored to spend time with the villagers as well.
This morning our Mission Group said our goodbyes to the children and headed to Dong Nai where Cha Tich operates many charitable initiatives. One of them includes feeding the poor families and staff of the Dong Nai Hospital for only 5000 VND. His restaurant is called "Quan Com Tinh Thuong Khat Vong Song" and is staffed by volunteers. Today, we have the privilege to help prepare lunch for the surrounding community. (Angela Nguyen)
Day 2 Mission Trip 2016 success! We made congee for breakfast, bo luc lac for lunch, and canh chua/ bbq chicken for dinner! The girls ate it up and still had energy to play all night. This is a tough job and we appreciate the OBV staff who do it 24/7! (Angela Nguyen)
There is no agency that has so much “Together” as a Family-Company. Eating and resting together, working and playing with sadness or happiness.
OBV is a family so well and the volunteers that come with OBV family is no exception .
The volunteers, who came from many areas and “ no two people are alike”. But they have also lend a hand, spreading the big love to make a difference and save a life.
Please see more volunteer’s photo below
Playing with the girls
I was wandering near the hotel where the captain (rev. Nguyen ba Thong) stay, about to buy thing needed for our fly by night trip, while waiting for departure time (10PM) on February 2nd, 2010, suddently my cell phone rang, the person on the other end screaming:
"T return immediately. I am having a heart attack!!"
I immedately rushed back to the hotel worrying if the singer Ha Bao Thu could not find thebag of medicine weighed about a pound belonged to the captain? I wondered if she found the right medicine? Today she cancelled her various performances to follow the captain to fly by day (cooked for the children with Down syndrome in Can Gio) and tonight fly by night! Therefore, we both stay at the hotel with our captain and Dr Quoc, the Eucharistic Youth Group Leader, who the captain took along to Vietnam to take care of the captain!
At that moment, Dr Quoc just left the hotel so Thu called the Dr "Quoc, return immediately, the Father is very sick"