L has dark skin and looks healthy. She’s 10 year old but can easily be mistaken for a 6 – 7 year old.
Since L entered the OBV Cambodia, she seemed sad, hardly talk or laugh. Lots of enticements required to get a yes or no out of L. Eventhough she refused to talk but other children at the home gathered around trying to engage L in their conversations or to play with her. All the older children, after returning home from school, always inquired and greeted L with a smile.
I headed out from Phnom Penh to Compung Thum after I read about L in the newspaper. I met up with the local police and L’s mother to inform them about the services OBV offers. L’s mother asked for time to think things over. Two days later, L’s mother contacted me and signed the agreement for L to come and stay at the OBV home. L is 10 year-old and currently in 3rd grade. She was raped and her brother interenved after he heard her cry. Her parents are divorced and both have been remarried with new family of their own.
These days the children are competing for good grade and earning points for good conducts. For example, a child who earned 9.5 out of 10 on Khmer subject or 8 out of 10 in English class would have a negative mark removed from his/her record. At the same time, if a child noticed a dirty floor and voluntary picked up the broom to sweep the floor; or cleaned up his/her room or doing the dishes without being asked to do so also got a negative mark removed from his/her record. After the program was introduced, the children became more aware, well behaved and self-motivated.
In spite of summer, the children still learn English in the morning everyday. They are studying and exchanging views each other.
These are their activities as usual in the morning as well as in the afternoon of summer. Until October 10 the children come back to school and new school year will start.
Today, 5:30pm, I took the kids around and went to the KFC restaurant in the area near the night market of Phnom Penh to eat by Tuk Tuk.
Summer ended! The children competed and worked hard to earn good grades. All had stride with great effort in learning English, Khmer, martial arts, and obeying house's rules and schedules, even doing chores.
Now that the new school year began, the children's day will be filled with learning. There are 2 sessions each day – morning and afternoon with English and Khmer subjects. Nevertheless, they continue to stride and compete.
If you've been following the stories on our OBV website, you'll remember the story of one of our little girl published in: A Fate Like Weed.
After many visits and dialogue exchanged with C's family, I persuaded her family to let C comes and stays at OBV home. C's family is not in a situation to provide proper care for her. C's dad is mentally ill. C's mom and her grandparents are busy making end meets. C was often found wondering the streets and highways barefeet from Can Tho to Soc Trang. The chance of C facing abused and kidnapped for sex trafficking was pretty high. Thus, I felt a great sense of relief after I brought C to live in OBV home.
Extracurricular activities for the children of OBV have been finished, but the images of them running, jumping, laughing, somehow are still in my heart. What impressed me most was the moments when in the end of the day, the children were sitting in a circle to think about themselves.
In the circle, the silence, the melody, the heartfelt spoken words... all of that made the children and me think. To help us forget all about the world outside uncle Sy told us to close our eyes, relax and reminded us to think about our families, about our beloved ones, about the time that we made the others sad and disappointed. And just like that, the melody, the silence, the sentiments, the questions were repeated over and over again in our heads, and stuck in our mind.
Hi everybody, today I have a story about a girl that was enticed by a boy.
Late one afternoon, TA (the girl's name) was used to going to Church. One day, she went to the church as usual, but unlike the other day, she still didn't come back home yet even darkish night. Her mother worried about her missing daughter so she went near the church where all the lights were turned off already to look for the girl. The mother kept running to girl's friends house to find her but the girl still wasn't there. TA's friends said that she had gone around the church so the mother immediately came back. She found the girl in the back yard and heard the kids' talk in low tone. Turing on the flash light and she saw her daughter was standing with the boy (neighbor) in the bushes.
October 1 St.Therese as a Feast Day of aunt T and 3 kids in the house.
Unlike previous times, this time mother N wanted to make a surprise so she scratched at herself -from buying flowers, gifts even cooking.
Ms.T: let me give aunt T a present.
Ms.H: Mom, have you brought any things yet? I have got the perfect gift to give to ...
In 6 months (from Jan-Jun 2016), the OBV Cambodia family had 5 old children and 3 new children. Actually, we adopted 8 new children but 5 children weren't in the OBV Cambodia family anymore. The first one came back and joined in the OBV in Vietnam (Huong's case). The others were 14-15 years-old. Because of the loss of basic in grade 2 so they weren't interest in schooling. They just liked apprentice.
Unfortunately, the OBV doesn't have any training center for apprentices, so they just lived in the OBV for a short time and came back to their home.
The OBV children planting trees
The OBV-VN family members regularly carry out weekend work projects. At times we work in the garden, at others we do house-cleaning. Generally we work for two hours. Afterwards, we can rest, entertain ourselves or read books. During the weekend, in the evening, we watch the movies or take part in karaoke sessions.
Teacher Jessie after the farewell party at OBV-Vietnam, has made a cash contribution to help the OBV-Cambodia children to buy the needed textbooks, school supplies or story books. He gave the money to Sister Ngọc who then forwarded it to OBV-Cambodia several days ago.
New school year 2014
During the summer, although the children only got 1 month off and then resumed again in summer school and the new school year. But every year, on Semtemper 5th, all school across the country are opening and their school is no exception.
A ceremony to welcome the new school year
Unlike the other days, today, mother N woke up early because the house assistants were busy in Cambodia. Mother made breakfast and reminded the kids to dress up in order to attend start of the school year.
The children of OBV House are equipped with weapons
1. Mommy, help us
Sitting in the office, looking at the clock sometimes, I was waiting for the children for dinner. I suddenly heard someone scream: "Mommy, open the gate, help me." I didn't have time to wear flip flop, rushed out the gate, 3 children took the bicycles into the house, panted and pointed to the street "Mommy, two sisters are still out there." I asked, "What happened?" – "A pervert guy keeps following us". I rushed into the house and told Aunt T to take motobike to find other children. But when we just got out of the house, we saw "him" standing there. At that time, our 2 children panic-stricken rushed home with pale faces. Danger was over to them. I was also scared, but took all the courage to "face".
- Hey you, why did you follow my children and make them scared?
The two girls, their grandparents and mother.
Dear Readers! I am glad to be able to write this article about my first task since joining OBV, namely to take care of two girls. They are sisters, both very cute and lovable. The fatherless house – due to the parents' divorce – consisted of a mother and her two daughters. While the father left to live with another woman, the girls lived with the mother, who was always drunk and shouting profanities, known in the neighborhood for wandering off on the streets and regularly beating the children.