When hearing about 'black fund', some might wonder, “How come the convent management have a black fund?” This stashed fund is due to the funds accumulated during the past few years. It is the earning from the rosaries the children made, along with savings, and also from contributions made from sponsors for each individual. It is called the 'black fund' because it is not accounted in the bookkeeping, due to it being solely as gifts for the children. However, management must be granted permission and approval to used.
The black fund is not much. It is only used during special occasion like New Year, birthdays, organizing picnics for the children after each semester exam, or just to relieves stress.
Since Mother is coming home, she had combined all of the events together to save and money for convenient. It is celebrating the 4 children whose birthdays falls in the month of July and August, celebrating our new home, celebrating Mother's Day for mother and Ms.Yen Thao, celebrate mother coming home, thanking Aunt Thom, thanking and welcoming the 2 new volunteers. One managing in account payable and the other one in receivables.
While I was in midway through parenting skills presentations in Soc Trang with other co-wokers, I received news that a child needed OBV help. Therefore, I went to the child's house together with a friend from the Women Association in order to verify the news.
Nearly past two months, OBV Vietnam focused on residency document and school transferring. It is the work that we have done for three years in every summer.
Due to lack of money, OBV had to rent house for children. Then a benefactor lent us a house for children, so we processed to transfer to new house.
The sisters from Vietnam and Cambodia attentively listened to one another
I took a two day trip to Vietnam for some "urgent business" – That doesn't mean that I didn't have time to visit our children – in both the Vietnam and Cambodia houses!
Ms. Linh Hà is seeing her children singing and dancing
Living is the continuous of sharing and sympathizing. On July 3rd, OBV family was so grateful to welcome Ms. Linh Hà, overseas Vietnamese committee from Australia. She is one of effective benefactresses of OBV organization.
The friendliness of Ms. Linh Hà is expressed through her light smile and her warm regard. She talked with each child, learned their names and gave them encouraging. Those are gifts for children souls. Besides that, Ms. Linh Hà also gave the children candies and instance noodles.
Children of OBV Cambodia
There was nothing new or special happened to our lives. However, I felt one thing and consider it as a grace of Mekong Mother. It was children who visit Mother after finishing school. I think Mother may feel touched when she sees her little children visit her everyday, so she gives grace for our family: all of the kids want to stay here. Ngoc Yen said: "I feel sorry for sister N.B, don't know how she is doing now."
With Mother's grace, we all feel warm in our famiy. We all pray and thank Mother everyday.
Translated by Tram Dang . Original version in Vietnamese entitled "Nhờ Ơn Mẹ Mêkông"
I felt sadness looking at the little girl. I feel resentment towards her mother and sisters.
M. lives in Arey-ksath, her family practice Buddhism, orphaned by her father at a young age. They are of Vietnamese origin and very poor. A year ago, she was still a little child with runny nose. But now she is a 14 year old developing girl.
Father Martino with A.T.
In the past when Father Martino wanted to bring me to OBV, I denied the suggestion because I did not want to be far away from my family, be separated and be in a different environment, because it would make me to remember the past. Furthermore, I did not want to receive too much help from others….Those were my thinking back then.
However, meeting with children from OBV house through various activities and events have changed my mind. Gradually, I have realized that the help and protection from Father, Sisters and OBV staffs are totally different from previous experiences.
OBV jus received a child through the introduction of Archdiocese Caritas Saigon.
When we talked with her mom, we got to know that her family situation was so tragical that the mom had intended to apostatize as the Cross God gave her was too heavy. She prayed to Mother Mary, if Mother Mary hadn't helped, she would apostatize and send her daughter to a house in a pagoda. Luckily, as Mr Huynh Truong, her catechist, knowing her situation, came to Caritas office to ask for help.
Ms Ngoc Phuong is now the manager of OBV Cambodia. Bellow is her sharing on Christmas Eve with OBV children
There was no need to sit beside fireplace, no need to bring many clothes, no need to wear beanie...
However, this Christmas I feft even warmer. Sitting beside me were children, they also felt the same with me: different from previous Chrismas
I missed all my friends and relatives...
OBV family is celebrating Christmas
Sunday: The first day of a week, the day that children were waiting for as they could rest and play
According to our program, tonight Sunday, December 12th, we took children to watch performances at church. We walked around to see rock shelter in the parish. Our children were prior to seat in front where was only for Priest and Seour. During the performances, when every performance ended, priest looked at our children and clapped his hands proudly, people in the church were watching, but only Priest clapped most loudly, clap even the performance was good or not, he gave soft drink to them and said "Drink to have energy to clap your hands". M found him happy and cheerful; she touched him and sang "I ask u why you became a Priest?" He could not answer, Mother N helped. He said: I know, this song is Father Thong's, right? It turned out that he knew Father Thong! He also said: When our Parish has performances, Seour will let you perform some, OK!!! After the performances, we walked back, two youngest children felt weary in their legs, so her sisters carry on their backs. What a happy day.
I have tried to write this article about K many times and have deleted many times because I do not have the courage to write about her because her memories contain too much pain.
During the 2012 mission trip that Fr. Martino organized, there was a presentation at St. Paul church; the staffs there informed us of K‘s situation. K’s situation was one of the situations that required our immediate attention. Two of our directors along with Dr. Sy Pham went to K’s house and it was quite a journey.
“This house is our house, the hardship that our father have found”
With the ambition to rescue the youth that have been forced into sex slavery, at the same time create the conditions to bring happiness to the children. Although in the hands of its founder has nothing, but he is now ready to roll up his sleeves for action. First off is to rent a house for the children, set a requirement so the children will continue to arrive at school, give a small amount of money for food and neccessities in the beginning phase, then…slowly figure out. The founder (Father Thong) often say: "I am not rich, but I don’t want my children suffer, because they have suffered enough”. Because of that, the children that live here are more stable materially and spiritually.
Father Martino and OBV children
Although being back to work in Vietnam for 3 short days, Father Thong has held a BBQ feast for OBV children in a land mass of 1300m2 in Cu Chi. This is the feeling of G. and D., both have recently return to the home of OBV for a month.
Suddenly, it is finally time for the entire household members to visit Cu Chi to hang out at the house where the children would soon reside in the future.