Cross-border cordial smiles
Although everyone in The Radio Saigon Houston delegation had stayed to work in Cambodia for only four days, we will always remember them all. Thank you for spending time to have fun with us. In addition to this joy, on the last day, some sisters from OBV Vietnam House also visited Cambodia House. Because we had had the opportunity to meet and chat with each other via Skype, via video a few times and one big sister had even come here to take care of us to help Mother Phuong, our "first surprising moment" quickly went away.
Per reference by Father Xua – a priest who is very down to earth and passionate in serving his people, Bridge to Happiness Center got a chance to talk to over 400 young adults from Mac Bac diocese, Tra Vinh province.
The event took place at Mac Bac church – the second largest church of South Vietnam in the late nineteenth century. Father Peter, who welcomed our party, left me an impression that he was very caring. Throughout the way, he kept asking where we were heading and how, whether we were tired, and he let us know he got food ready for everyone... His hospitality truly warmed our hearts.
One Body Village, whose Mission is to prevent, rescue, and rehabilitate the victims that are trafficked, forced, or sold into child sex slavery in SouthEast Asian countries, will present a Musical Play "The Life I Left Behind" at the Saigon Performing Arts Center (16149 Brookhurst St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708) on Friday 04/25/2014 at 6pm PST. The play tells the real story of one of the OBV children that was rescued and raised in one of OBV's homes. The audience will experience the pain as well as feel the joy of their challenges and survival.
The girl in innocent smile
I met her, a Khmer girl, her body is slim, tanned skin, but God gave her a tall figure, innocent smile.
She is only 14 years old but she had been bearing so much sufferings. She grew up in her grandmother's affection, her mother died of an incurable disease when she was little, but she was more woeful when she had a cruel father whom created a lot of woes in her life, he got crazy-mad when mentioning about her. When telling about her mother, her face always flushed with tears. Although she just quietly cried, I could feel that she really missed Mom, loved Mom.
Abigail Haworth goes inside Cambodia's virgin trade, where young girls' virtue is treated like a commodity, put on the block by the people they trust the most. Photographs by Will Baxter
Hostesses at Cambodian beer gardens are often targeted by men looking to purchase their virginity.
Dara Keo and her mother, Rotana, were both in tears when it was time for her to leave. A motorized rickshaw had arrived to transport 12-year-old Keo from her one-room shack in Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh, to an unknown location. Keo was crying because she was terrified. Rotana was crying because she knew she had done something unspeakable: She had sold her daughter's virginity to a rich, powerful man. The rickshaw driver took Keo to an underground medical clinic. A corrupt doctor on the payroll of brokers who arrange the sale of virgins examined her to check that her hymen was intact and gave her a blood test for HIV infection. "He confirmed I was a virgin and disease-free," says Keo, now 17. "Then I was taken to the man who bought me. I had to stay with him for one week while he raped me many times without a condom."
At the twelfth annual Vietnamese Interacting As One (VIA-1) hosted by the Vietnamese Student Associations of the Midwest (UVSA-Midwest) from March 12-14, 2104, the first OBV president, John Duy-An Nguyen, Ph.D., presented the work shop "YOU – ME & OBV MISSION": The mission of One Body Village is to combat child sex trafficking, especially in Southeast Asian countries.
Thinh Phuc Pham, Master Degree in Education, is lecturing the participants.
On Sunday night of March 16, 2014, Mr. Thinh Phuc Pham of the Counseling Center of "Love - Marriage – Familty" Bridge to Happiness had talked on the topic entitled "Learning - Joy or Burden" to more than 60 high school students at Bui Phat Parish hall.
Three days before the fundraising event "More than a thousand words" (July 14th, 2013) in the capital of refugees - Orange County in The USA, Sister Maria Joseph Ho Ngoc – OBV General manager in Vietnam - arrived. It was the first time she first set foot in America (July 11, 2013) as a live witness on behalf of thousands of words of the children who have been saved and raised by One Body Village (OBV) in Vietnam.
After more than a month going on business in the US, Sister Maria Joseph Ho Ngoc – General Manager of OBV Vietnam House – landed at Tan Son Nhat International Airport safely at 12:00 p.m on August 22nd, 2012.
Truly, I didn't want to travel because travelling alone was a new experience which made me feel like a fish out of water. However, I always acknowledge myself as a person who likes discovering and learning new things. I've never dared to think that I would go to The US one day... but now it came true.
Training Workshop is kicked off in the morning, everyone are acquainting with each other.
As scheduled at 5PM on March 21, 2014, the delegation departed to Can Tho for the two-day training of "Parenting Skills". The training location will take place at 'Our Lady Mary' Parish with 50 participants including Catholics and non-Catholics.
The parish had been led by Father Vincent Tho Van Vo - a priest who came from poverty chose the path to God and committed his lifetime to serving others, serving the poor with practical deeds, his own life and in the lyrics, in singing. Yes, he has usually known under the musician Priest nickname Thai Nguyen.
Father Thomas and Mrs. Ngoc Tuyen (The Communications Committee of Ho Chi Minh City Diocese) donated rice to the OBV (One Body Village) organization.
The muggy weather and the intense sun in the past few days drove people not willing to step out of the house. However, there was one priest remained silently driving the motorcycle from one district to another to collect the donation for the unfortunate lives.
Father Thomas lobbied the sponsors giving each box of instant noodles, dried fish, sweet potatoes, sacks of rice, fish sauce, salt, soap ... Father Toma drove all donations by himself to the needy home, the Disabilities and Cerebral Palsy Center. Doing the work of a good shepherd silently.
Welcome, Trixy! Visiting the children at OBV home 9th district
Though Ms. Trixy might have felt uneasy for having postponed the date to visit the children, she did have a valid reason, namely chronic pain which has to treated with acupuncture daily. At last she was able to schedule her visit on a weekend, exactly on March 8 – International Women's Day. She even brought the children home-made delicacies: cream puffs, cakes and rice cake with sausage.
"Welcome, welcome hooray ..."
The OBV children in Cambodia joyfully greet the Radio Saigon Houston delegates – Mr. Duong Phuc, Mrs. Thanh Thuy , Mr. Quang Tuyen and Mr. Chau Tran - their visit and communication. After attending the Holy Ash Wednesday Mass with the children, arriving the house, the children welcomed the delegation with an acclaimed song.