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Our Family Stories

Odom Torn / John O'Neill

Odom Torn's Story (in his own words)

Aloha! My name is Torn Odom. I am 18 years old and I am studying in grade 10. I ride a bicycle to school which is 3 kilometers far from FLO. I am living peacefully at FLO.

I have been living in FLO since 2003 when I was very thin and small. Before I came to FLO, my parents had divorced. I and my 2 other sisters, Meta and Mealea were taken by my father. I have never heard about my mother until nowadays. My father died when I was 6 years old. I had no more parents, so my aunt took care of me for a year and then she sent me to an organization in Phnom Penh because she wanted me to have a good knowledge and live happily. It was not a good reason. The main reason was that she could not have enough ability to take care of me anymore because she had to raise her own family. I and my sisters lived at that organization for a year, and my grandpa thought that FLO was better so he decided to bring me and my sisters to FLO.

The first day at FLO, I felt nervous and frightened. But, after I was motivated by teachers, given advice and taken good care from them and other FLO kids, it made me warmth, and self-confidence. Moreover, I could get 3 meals a day, hygiene supplies every month, and I could go to study at state school. There were also English class, computer class and art class which I know how to play Khmer traditional music. In addition, I was very lucky to be considered by Man’s Group who are now my foster parents. They all are from Hawaii and always write letters to me, send me gifts and spend their wonderful time visiting me at FLO. By writing letters to them and conversing with them when they came, it also improves my English.

Nowadays, I am selected as leader in my room which has 19 members. I have a meeting with them in our room for more than 2 times a month to talk about our living. That is a big responsibly for me because I have so many people under my control and the main thing is that I have to make sure that my room is clean and tidy and no one loses from my room at night. I am happy to do this job because I am voted by the children here and being trusted and trained by FLO staff. I can cooperate well with FLO staff and request something that my room does not have to make my room better. I have also requested a whiteboard for teaching the little kids in my room in the evening. I used to teach about 10 students at the dining area, but now I stopped. I am teaching the kids who know English a little at my room. I enjoy helping them because when I was a child, I wanted to be an English teacher.

I found out that I am improving a lot. My English is good. I can talk to foreigners, write in English and read English very well. I had finished Ms. Word 2007. I am now taking Ms. Excel and will finish it in September. I know Japanese a little because I used to learn it at FLO. I am also taking French at state school. I love all of these languages. I hope one day in my future I can get a very good job with these languages.

Finally, I would love to express my deep thanks to FLO and my foster parents who always support me, help me, and advice me to be a good person. To repay what FLO and my foster parents have done to me, I promise that I will try to study hard, be a good person, and have a good future.


Aloha from


The Foster Parent experience (as written by John O'Neill, Odom's eFoster Dad)

I think Odom and his two sisters came to FLO around 2002-2003. His Mother disappeared in 1996 and his Father died in 2002.

Odom is sponsored by the Wednesday Morning Men’s Breakfast Group. He is lucky he has 9 foster Dad's: (Rob Hail, John O'Neill, Joe Ferraro, Tim Ryan, Jerry Comcowich, Doug Carlson, Carlo Priska, Steve Ceasar and Jim Didion).

Odom was going to school part time before he came to FLO. The Men’s Group became Odom's foster Dad around the time he first came to FLO.

I first met Odom on my trip to FLO in 2010. We were both very happy to meet after exchanging emails for almost 7 years.

He stayed by my side the whole time I was at FLO. At that time his English was good enough that we could communicate but with some difficulty. He likes school and playing in the band that accompanies the FLO dancers.

In the years that I have been Odom's foster Dad I have watch him develop his English and computer skills. He sent me an audio/video Christmas card last year that was very well done and showed a high level of technical expertise. Odom is a very talented boy and very open to sharing with the other children at FLO. He is always polite to everyone and is very protective of the younger children at FLO. For the last couple of years he has been helping teach English to the other children at FLO. He is always willing to help the teaching staff at FLO.

It has been a delight to see Odom grow up. His English is very good. He is one of the FLO kids that are appreciative of the opportunity he has been given by FLO and wants to give back anyway he can.

Right now Odom is in his last year of high school and will be going on to the eGlobal Family Advanced Education program.

Although I had been involved as a foster parent since 2001 my first trip to FLO was in 2010. I was completely taken by everything I saw at FLO. It was a most pleasant experience to spend some time with the children, especially Torn Odom.

The children were all so happy to see me and to spend some time together. I too was happy to be able to just sit around, at times, and chat with the children. I was impressed with how well organized FLO operated and the loving care the staff gave to the children. It was obvious that the children were thriving in this protected and loving environment.

I left FLO feeling very lucky to be a part of the support of the children and already planning my next trip.

I can say that I was so moved by my initial visit that I decided to devote more of my time supporting FLO in any way I could. I would recommend to any of the foster parents that they plan a trip to FLO to visit their foster child.

Odom in 2012

Odom Torn in 2012

Young Odom

Odom when he first arrived at FLO in 2003

Odom playing Cambodian Gongs

Odom in 2010, performing traditional Cambodian music

Odom's Graduation

John O'Neill attending Odom's high school graduation in 2012