Ten years ago this month, the FBI stood up the Innocent Images International Task Force. Its mission: to investigate commercial websites—at that time mostly based in Eastern Europe—involved in the worldwide distribution of child pornography. A big task for a small but dedicated group of expert investigators from the U.S. and five other participating nations.
Fast forward to October 2014, and this group of investigators has grown from about a half dozen individuals to around 60 officers from nearly 40 countries. And the group's changed name—the Violent Crimes Against Children International Task Force—represents its expanded mission today: to identify and bring to justice anyone involved in violent child sexual exploitation activities, whether online or in person, and to identify and rescue the victims of these crimes no matter where in the world they may be.
On Saturday 8/30/2014, One Body Village was the proud recipient of the Lien Doan Chi Lang 1279' s Girl Scout Junior 2014 Bronze Award Junior Journey.
The four ten-years-old girls chose to fundraise for One Body Village. It is their year-long fundraising project for their Junior Journey, a leadership adventure and the highest honor a Girl Scout Junior can achieve. Their goal was $500. However, with their passion and parental support, they were able to raise $2,760.00. What a committed achievement!
One Body Village sincerely appreciates the Girl Scout Juniors for their leadership and support of OBV Mission.
After many months of planning, organizing, and rallying, on Friday 10/24/2014 at Chateau Crystale, about 500 people gathered together for an evening of awareness, fundraising and disco dancing. Attendees, dressed in the 70's fashion with mini-skirts, maxi dresses, tie-dyed shirts, bell-bottoms, Go-go boots, and Afro hairstyles...
It is yet another example of how social media can be dangerous for young people. Recently, a Houston man was sentenced to 40 years in prison on child sex trafficking charges after identifying and contacting young girls through social media platforms and then luring them into prostitution.
Back in 2012, 20-year-old Tevon Harris—aka "Da Kidd" or "King Kidd"—didn't have a legitimate job. He lived on and off with his mother but mostly moved from one motel room to the next. And he was very good at manipulating people. Harris trolled social media websites looking for vulnerable young girls he could sexually exploit. Online, he complimented them. He offered them modeling jobs. And he promised them lots of money.
We apologize that your mails and kind donations may have been returned during the transitions to the new mailing address in the last two months. This issue has been resolved. If possible, please re-send your mail to us:
One Body Village 445 Sugar Gate Court, Lawrenceville, GA 30044
Thank you and sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.
On receipt of an email from uncle (an endearing term I use for Father Thong) about a request for help from OBV as their daughter has been missing for over two weeks along with her friend also in 8th grade, I tried to find a way to contact the victim's family and arranged a meeting the next day at their home, which is close to mine.
Within about 15 minutes, I received another email from the mother which started with an apology before enquiring about the fees we charge for finding and rescuing her daughter so the family can try to work something out. Honestly, I was quite stunned to receive this email. Luckily, she apologised first. I responded that OBV operates as a non-profit organisation, so if it is within our capacity we will do all we can to assist for free and assured her that the family should not be concerned about this. (When we met later, I realised why she had asked such a question.)
In order to raise the awareness about child sex trafficking, One Body Village is distributing the “Musical Play THE LIFE I LEFT BEHIND” DVD FREE of charge.
In the last few days I had been receiving e-mails from Father Martino with the approval to let guests visit our OBV home in Vietnam. A lady called us when she was still in the U.S. to express her excitement and enthusiasm to meet the children.
Mrs. Hoang Ngo and her family.
Two days later a call came in from Mrs. Ngo's Vietnamese phone number and we decided on a time and place to meet. When she asked if the children would like to have anything, I answered, "Your visiting us is more than enough." But she insisted on some kind of gift, so my response was, "Anything edible and usable." She spent that whole afternoon to buy rice, milk, oil and hygienic articles for the girls. Her enthusiasm was so overwhelming that it aroused my suspicion. Just to make sure, I asked her about the e-mails from her side. She stated not knowing of any e-mails because her nephew was the one who had sent them. I asked further for his name, but she wavered and could not answer.
A year ago One Body Village was chosen to be the 2013-2014 Grant recipient from Union of North American Vietnamese Student Associations, a non-profit, community-based organization founded in 2004 of Vietnamese undergraduates, graduates, and young professionals.
And... toward the end of the eleventh annual leadership conference from July 24 – 27, 2014, the CPP team of UNAVSA presented to OBV president a BIG CHECK of $85,849.88 — the largest amount UNAVSA had ever raised for its CPP recipient in the last 10 years. The VSA at George Mason University (Virginia) was named the TOP for raising more than 8 thousand dollars, and together with other Vietnamese Student Associations in the Mid-Atlantic region (MAUVSA) they raised more than 25 thousand dollars for this year CPP.
The grant will help OBV to push stronger in our effort to prevent, rescue, raise and rehabilitate young male victims of child sex trafficking.
OBV appreciates UNAVSA's recognition of OBV Mission and Vision, and looks forward to our close collaboration in the coming year.
One Body Village
OBV employees, collaborators, and OBV children would like to congratulate you on the 9th anniversary of your ordination.
We all hope that you are always happy and healthy to lead OBV so that the organization could grow steadily and accomplish its noble mission.
May God bless you always.
Below are the few line jotted down by Lee Channimol, One of our new project staff in Cambodia.
This is my first opportunity to work with OBV to help sexual slavery victims. I am truly happy. This was always my ambition since I was a student. However, I was still so worry when I started working with OBV. I did not know what to do to help. I always tell my self to keep it up. I am so lucky to have the support and encouragement from family and friends.
I started my first case with two little girls in my village. When I decided to go see them, I was worried that they would think I had a bad intention. After our talk, the family more open and allow me to help them. I will go into further details in my next post.
I love and value what I do. I will try harder and help people as much as I can.
Translated by Miny Truong. Original version in Vietnamese entitled "Tôi Đồng Hành cùng OBV"