OBV Vietnam just welcomed a new member after 3 months of close watch. Timid and shy, she had met with a therapist to talk about her studies and dreams, and was now more confident in herself. OBV brought her back to finish off with some paperwork. As we arrived mother Ngoc came up to receive her and talked to her parents about regulations and rules in the home, as well as her rights and responsibilities in OBV home.
Please note that OBV has changed to this address:
505 Harbour Gate Cir
Alpharetta, GA 30022
5 years as sex slave
She's a very pretty, petite young lady, about 14 years old; whose eyes always seemed on verge of bursting into tears.
Who would have known 5 years ago, she was raped by her stepfather right in her own home. This started at the time her mother was pregnant, carrying the stepfather's child. The closest person to her was her mother but her mother couldn't protect her. Her mother knew everything that had happened but she kept silent – thinking she was protecting her family so that the new baby would not grow up without a father. Year after year, she endured. Thus, she became more reserve and quiet.
Training: Sexually transmitted disease
Date: Jan 28, 2015
Presenter: Phuong Nguyen, MD, FACOG
Summary: Beside providing information about sexually transmitted disease so that OBV staff can have more knowledge to take care of the OBV children – victims of sex exploitation, Dr. Nguyen also addressed menstrual cycle, vaginal discharge and infections. A very helpful, "hot" topic that benefit female staff too.
Date: Feb 4, 2015
Presenter: Tiffany Pham, MSW, LCSW
Summary: A session held to explore and discuss clinical challenges in completing intake and assessment with victims and their family.
"In time the mulberry reclaims the sunk sea-bourn,
And what the gliding eye may first find fair weighs mournful on the heart "
(Original version belongs to Nguyen Du with 'Kim Van Kieu'
The translation was by Vladislav Zhukov)
Nguyen Du, Vietnamese great poet, felt sorry and sypathized for Thuy Kieu's life. In today era, modern "Thuy Kieu" women tend to lose their humanity for material means.
I arrived at 9am. Many girls were in a room isolated by iron bars. "Here she comes, you go ask her", one of them said. I looked behind the bars, some were on the left, some were on the right, some above and some were below...Crowded and all are Vietnamese, so am I, I felt so ashamed! Suddenly I stopped, didn't want to go further but I did not allow myself to do so. So I took a deep breath, set beside my pride and shamefulness in front of the native warden.
You have a beautiful smile, the kind that is like an angel's smile. Looking at you smile, probably no one could tell that you have suffered a great deal. The deep wounds on your tiny body caused me great pain
The child was born into a very poor family. Her parents are illiterate. After two sessions at school, she helps her parents sell lottery tickets at night. Her school lunches are her classmate's leftover meals. All her school expenses are paid for by her neighbors. The child and her mother do not have a home, so they usually sleep in the shelter of their grandparents' homes. The first time I met the child, she just returned from bathing in the river.
Ms. Thy Hang and her husband Mr. Kinh visited our children at OBV Cambodia one year ago. This time, she made an appointment to meet our children again when she visited her motherland.
When coming, she brought some presents with her, such as a packet of rice, two boxes of instant noodles, a box of milk, and some packets of candy.
The 11-hour bus ride made us pretty tired. It was dark when we arrived, so we rented a room and spent the night. The next morning, we rented the motorbike and began our journey to visit the children as we had arranged with the local ladies.
On this trip, I traveled with Sr. N, the mother of OBV home, and a person who wished to involve herself in the work of OBV. She wished to experience and gain a better understanding of the OBV's mission and its next steps.
By the time you read this news, our OBV family has operated in Malaysia. I would like to share a little background behind the work that led to our presence in Malaysia.
From Singapore... Almost every time the "undercover team" went "to work" in Singapore, we would stop over in Malaysia. It's like "a rest stop" or "a waiting post" to avoid being monitored by the opposition group. Fearing the team members would "feel inconveniently idle," I always supported and encouraged their "tourist outing" trips there. Consequently, OBV knows quite well the sex trafficking situation in Malaysia. However, we didn't have any plan to operate there because we didn't have the resources and money!
A phone call that changed everything... Around October, 2014, Fr. HC Nguyen called me: "Bá Thông – Need your help rescuing the children sold as sex slaves in Malaysia." He introduced me to a Vietnamese ("person") living in Malaysia, who was visiting family in Orange County, California.
As I was completing my year-end tasks and runnning some errands on the days leading up to the Lunar New Year (Tết), the OBV HOTLINE rang. I picked up the phone and answered, "Hello, this is OBV."
On the other end, there was a bit of silence before they replied, "Is this Fr. Martino Thông's phone number?"
At this joyous time of the Lunar New Year of the Goat, we would like to express our sincere appreciation to our beloved benefactors, partners, volunteers, staff and children. 2014 was a very suc-cessful year for OBV: We were able to exceed our goals and expand our services to combat child sex exploitation and trafficking. Our achievements show the generosity and commitment of people like you. In addition to expanding services in Cambodia, Laos, Singapore and Vietnam, we are getting ready to establish a new OBV home in Malaysia in early 2015.
We wish you ABUNDANCE, HAPPINESS, and PEACE in this Christmas, and a New Year filled with HOPE and PROSPERITY.
One Body Village
Trong niềm vui mừng Tết Ất Mùi, chúng tôi xin chân thành tri ân quý vị ân nhân, các cộng tác viên, thiện nguyện viên, nhân viên và các con. Năm 2014 quả thật là một năm thành công mỹ mãn cho gia đình Một Thân Hình: chúng tôi đã có thể vượt quá chỉ tiêu trong năm và mở rộng thêm những dịch vụ trợ giúp các trẻ em là nạn nhân của tệ nạn buôn bán / khai thác tình dục. Ngoài việc mở rộng hoạt động tại 4 quốc gia Cam-bodia, Laos, Singapore và Vietnam, chúng tôi đang chuẩn bị để mở thêm gia đình Một Thân Hình mới tại Malaysia vào đầu năm 2015.
Chúng tôi kính chúc quý vị một mùa Giáng Sinh tràn đầy HẠNH PHÚC và BÌNH AN, và một năm mới AN KHANG THỊNH VƯỢNG.
Gia Đình Một Thân Hình
Ash Wednesday – Also the last day of the year for the Vietnamese Calendar! Tomorrow "we" (Vietnamese) begin our new year! I am taking a little times out of this very busy day to thanks:
1. The Almighty God – who has wonderfully created me and blessed and continued to protect me!
2. My parents who always support of my calling to serve others – that also means no one will take care of them in their old age!
3. The benefactors of OBV family – I do not know what to do without you!
To speak true, the OBV family didn't expect to receive special praise like that. However, two employees from Suka Society in Malaysia still paid a visit to the family to express admiration for them. The visits also shows gratitude and acknowledgement to the two guests, who are preparing to join the OBV family in their meaningful work in Malaysia.
Even though Miss Cecil and Miss Sara stayed with our family for only one day, our children still had a chance to practice their English a little bit. Moreover, in such a limited time, Cecil and Sara still gave our family some positive feedback for our future enhancement:
It's Saturday, and the Embassy is closed; however, because of some incidents happended by misunderstanding after our previous trip to Malaysia, the chief security officer of the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia had arranged time to meet with Fr. Martino Ba-Thong Nguyen (OBV Founder), Dr. John Duy-An Nguyen (OBV President), and OBV Malaysia repreesentative at 9:00am January 30th, 2105. We are grateful for the opportunity to present OBV mission and works in different countries in Southeast Asia, and the possibility to work with the US authority in different countries on human trafficking. We also learned how to be properly protected by the US Government while working in foreign countries, how to efficiently work with international agencies as well as different governements through proper channels.