When I was asked to help at the Awareness Night, I never could have imagined how much I would be touched by Father Martino’s presentation. I had been made aware of the injustice and cruelty against children who are being forced into sex slavery in Cambodia before this Awareness Night, but at a very impersonal level.
At 8am on Saturday, May 1st 2010, I looked out my window and frowned. It was suppose to be a nice sunny day because the “Free Them 5K event to stop human sex trafficking” was to begin in an hour, but instead it was wet and sprinkles of rain started to come down. I began to doubt the number of people who would show up because it was so ugly out. I decided to say a little prayer to God to ask him for a nice day, or at least nice enough for us to run without getting wet!
“I can no longer hold back the agony in my heart. I need to shout out loud! Shout out to anyone who wants to hear the truth of those "frightening" and "disgusting" stories about how the young Vietnamese children are SOLD, KIDNAPPED, and FORCED into sex slavery in the brothels in Cambodia and Malaysia.”-Father Martino Nguyen
Dear Fr. Thong,
Thanks for responding to my email. I might briefly introduce myself to you again. I am one of the Dominican Sisters who had a vocation booth at Marian days. The Dominican booth was not very far away from the One Body Village booth which was also "your" booth.
As father Martino (Cha Thông) and I (representing One Body Village) left the US border, we took a quick nap on the plane on our way to another exciting awareness event. As soon as we arrived in Toronto and made it through customs, we were greeted enthusiastically by our beloved coordinator Kelly Le and our chauffeur Chris (After our experience with Kelly’s driving we decided to keep Chris as our chauffeur J). They quickly whisked us away to the church hall where mass was ending and the set up was already beginning.
Immediate Press Release
Atlanta, GA – July 30th, 2010
RE: Appointments of President and Vietnam Directors
The Board of Directors at their meeting on Friday July 9th, 2010 has decided on changes of OBV’s leadership. The Board would like to announce the new leadership changes.
As of August 1st, 2010:
The Board of Directors is confident that Mrs. Dương, Mr. Nguyễn, Ms. Đoàn have the knowledge, passion, and dedication to help OBV grow and succeed in its mission of helping children who have been sexually abused and/or forced into sex slavery.
We thank you for your support, and hope that you will continue to join us in combating child sex slavery.
Together, let us “Be Their Voice!”
Vũ Kim Nga, MD
OBV in San Diego: When Father Martino, Nga, Kim and I pulled up to the restaurant I wondered to myself "How many people are actually going to come? It's July 4th, and everyone is going to miss the fireworks!" When we entered the building we were greeted by a group of the most kind, and generous people. Ranging from young adults to those who may have grandkids, the planning committee wore white One Body Village polos as they hustled and bustled about making sure everything ran smoothly. I peeked into the dining room, and I see many empty tables. I shouldn't have worried; by the time the program was in full swing the tables were brimming with people. The program kicked off with a duet by an adorable young brother-sister duo, both of which are younger than ten years old! A smile spread across my face as I see little ones running around, playing and dancing to the music in their Stop Child Sex Slavery shirts they had bought last year. That's one way to be a voice for the children!
That's the powerpoint that we did our presentation on.
It started out as looking at cambodia and like all the pretty places people can goo then we focus more on what's beneath those places and what's happening in buildings that people just walk by.
Then we gave stories of people although they aren't from Cambodia they give a general outlook on these situation then we told them how kids in Cambodia isn't as fortunate as these stories are and how they're more trapped and stuff and yeah then stats and the organization.
Dear OBV friends,
God, please help me, ignite me and give me wisdom what to say here! I'm a doer not a talker nor a writer. I had been through the student's life in college and understand the difficulty about budget. I only had enough money to live in a 15 x 25 sqft appartment with one of my best friend. However, I never regret it, but also student's time gave me a great time and unforgetable memories with many big dreams. Now, I'm working on my dreams and missing my student's time :) The Mission Trip Summer 2010 in VietNam may cost a lot of money for you: air ticket + trip fee + personal usage. I guess most of you are students or youth with great heart. So I would like to help you out a little bit by reimbursing each one of you $100.00 for the trip fee. You only need to pay $900.00 for the trip fee. I heard Fr. Thong said that there are still spaces available now.
I wish that you have a great, fun and unforgetable trip, Thank God for what I have now.
Who have nothing but only a heart.
Here are some short reflection from the youth after attending the “be their voice” dinner in Seattle – April 18, 2010!
A few years ago when I first learned about human trafficking, I was disgusted. I was shocked at the world. Why? Why would people stoop so low as to sell their kids as young as 4 or 5 for sex? And what do they get in return? Money. This green piece of nothing. It means nothing. It has no value. Yet it is worth more than a human life. It's egregious.
When I heard that One Body Village was our CSP this year, I was beyond excited. I was ecstatic. Finally, I could do something to help. This past year, all I did was try to grasp the concept of human trafficking. I tried to understand why people even started this system.
When I saw the video in Anh Loc's presentation, I wanted to cry. I wanted to jump into that video and save those kids. I wanted to take action. In a way, I was willing to give up my life for theirs. Not saying I wanted to be in their position, but I just really wanted to protect them from that kind of lifestyle, even if it meant making me live their life. But I couldn't. The project was to raise money and raise awareness.
I guess you could say I "used" my key club to advertise One Body Village. We had a whole meeting dedicated to making posters, flyers, and discussions all revolving around human trafficking. It felt amazing. Although I couldn't directly help these kids, I was spreading the word. I told someone, and it started a chain reaction. This massive spread will eventually reach enough people to create a change. Although we didn't make a lot of money, I felt that spreading awareness was more important.
In fact, my friend liked our project so much that she made One Body Village into her CBA. I'm currently working with her to make more sex shirts to sell and raise $$. (:
Trang D., Seattle, WA
These are sample of many posters that the youth in Seattle put together before Father Martino arrived for
To be the VOICE for the Children! There will be many more pictures posted!!!
My name is Khiem Ton Nguyen, and I think I speak for all the youth in Seattle when I say Father Martino’s awareness dinner (April 18-2010) made a big impact on us.
One Body Village joyfully announces that as of November 17, 2008, we are officially a "Non-Profit Organization" under US Law. Below is the excerpt from the Internal Revenue Service letter granting us this status.