Tram with OBV children
It all started with an email from Cha Thong.
And there I am, nestled in the back of a Pandan-scented Vinasun taxi in the heart of a humid, grey Saigon, awaiting my arrival to the One Body Village home. The taxi pulls up to a seafoam-stained building in a narrow alleyway void of any signs or windows. My heart pounds against my ribcage, breaking the steady ambiance of the afternoon.
As I walk through the white gates, Loan, the one who coordinated my visit to the One Body Village home, approaches with arms ajar and a sunshine smile. The high building walls suddenly wash away. I am entering a place of love.
I want to share with you the people I met that day at the One Body Village home and what they have taught me. I hope that halfway across the world, this story will bring you closer to them as it has for me.
From: Angela Nguyen
To: Lm Martino Nguyễn Bá Thông
Subject: OBV Calgary Awareness Night May 4, 2012
Here are some pictures from Calgary's first awareness event on May 4, 2012! We joined the University of Calgary's Vietnamese Students' Association (VSA) and their year end gala called, "A New Beginning" to raise awareness about OBV and human trafficking. Their theme "A New Beginning" celebrated our parents' and grandparents' struggle to come to Canada to provide the new generation with opportunities for freedom and success. So fittingly, I made aware that not every one has this opportunity. It was a great success!
On the eve of Chicago May 20th event, we want to share with you this email from One of our Many organizers! She is a young professional – Neither OBV or Fr. Martino ever met her! But her heart is there for OBV’s Children! We are bless to have the people like her! The event ticket sold out in two weeks! 600 tickets!!! We will share with you more after the event – Pray for us and our children!
Doctor N and OBV children are in a tutoring session
I was really impressed with doctor N’s youthfulness, humility, friendliness and cheerfulness. When doctor visited the OBV children, she was so friendly that we felt her like our family member. Furthermore, she was really passionate and concerned with the children through various ways. Her spiritual medicine gift originated from her heart and social involvement. May I call her “spiritual doctor?”
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Good morning Cha Thong,
My dearest grandchildren,
Thank you for sending me your fishing trip pictures. It looked so delightful and positively envious. I wish I could join you for such an exciting outing. However, there's always next time. I promise you if chance permits, we will take a tour to the cloudy city of Da Lat.
My name is Huong Dao, and I am a 17 year old from Lafayette, Louisiana. I am a Junior who aspires to become a Pharmacist or an Anesthesiologist when I get out of high school. I first knew about One Body Village when I went to Marian Days in 2010 when Cha Thong (AKA Fr. Martino) talked about Sex/Suong and about Human trafficking.
Conference room of the course "Communicate to get success" at Tay Do University
Hello Uncle Thinh!
How are you? You probably don’t remember me because we have met only two times. It’s okay if you couldn’t and I won’t be offended because everyone’s memory has a limit, right? I can only blame myself for not leaving a better impression on you so you could remember me.
OBV children learned to make jewelry
She comes to meet us again after a long time apart. By the time K arrived in Vietnam, she already eagerly has plans for the children of OBV. With so much excitement and love as we saw each other, thank you K so much for still remembering each and every child of OBV’s names even when she has not seen them in a year.
As promised, each year K would come back and works closely with OBV for a month, a long month with hard and tough volunteer works. “You suddenly come and left… we all noticed”, but, as always, we can’t never avoid having a hard time of saying goodbye.
The girls was playing basket ball - a gift from Dr. Duong Hoang
Dr. Duong Hoang is a member of OBV's Board Director. In Mission trip 2012, he came to Vietnam and visited OBV children...
The children of OBV, as a whole, without much time and opportunity, did not get to spend a lot of time meeting with Dr. Duong Hoang. However, in the shortest time, Dr. Duong Hoang had left us with many memories and much unforgettable impressions. Unfortunately, we did not get to participate in his psychological “color-personality” assessment.
"Let's be avoice - Lend a hand - Make a difference"
We - One Body Village - want to share with all of you - one of our Volunteer - first time in VN. Thanks Kelly who introduced Angie to One Body Village!
"After 23 years, I finally made it back to the motherland. In all of its beauty and glory, I left Vietnam with bittersweet memories and haunted dreams. Amidst its vibrant landscape, eclectic culture, exquisite food, and the hustle and bustle of city life, Vietnam revealed a dark truth to me: theTRAFFICKING OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN for sexual exploitation. Protected beneath the power of the social umbrella of Canada, I was NAIVE and IGNORANT to the fact that not all children are immune to enslavement. Children as young as 6 years old are recruited or extracted from vulnerable communities and sold to "retail" sex shops.
From: Ainmee Nguyen
Subject: Volunteer Questions and Mission Fund
I have written to Cha Thong recently, but I'm afraid he is busy with his mission in Vietnam so I'll just forward my message to you in case he could not answer me.
Hien Thuc with children in Center of Handicap Children in An Thoi Dong Church
Bridge to Happiness had come to An Thoi Dong Can Gio so many times. Once we together with Priest Thong, founder of OBV, came and cooked for poor children who got disease of slow development. Other times we came for presentation, on field trips or volunteered... And they always left us with deep and unforgettable memory.