Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A CEF student we are concerned about ~ Guest blog by CEF's Australian manager Graeme

Sometimes CEF does more than help a girl to finish school. M is 8. She has no parents. Her grandmother looks after her, sometimes, and when she can’t she’s left with her aunt and uncle. Uncle drinks and wants to ‘foster’ M to a male friend. Granny and auntie hit M. She doesn’t have proper meals and is afraid. Her carers don’t care for her.
CEF hopes that granny will let her go to a loving and caring situation instead of the one she is in of deprivation and abuse. We will work to find a solution and have help from others to make sure that M is safe and cared for.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Danger! Water! Guest blog by CEF's Australian manager Graeme

There are many ways in which the 35 children a day drown in Viet Nam: in rivers, lakes, the sea, fish ponds, canals, rice fields ... and wells. On a recent visit to minority families I saw this well just waiting for a baby, toddler or child to fall in. And the following day I saw one simple remedy of a cover on the well to reduce this tragic toll.

CEF runs water safety programs to raise awareness of the danger and to drown-proof the children whose schooling their sponsors support. 

Friday, June 2, 2017

Sponsorship program interviews in the mountains

Our sponsorship program is for students from very poor families whose homes are near the Laos border.

CEF staff are there in the mountains this weekend interviewing new children and their families who are in need of educational support. They also are re-assessing the girls we have been helping over the last year or two.

This scholarship program's goal is to help girls complete high school giving them more opportunities than many of their friends and relatives who didn't complete school, have married and started families while still of school age. Another important purpose is to help keep them safe and reducing their chances of being trafficked. Being in school makes a difference.

On top of helping keep them stay in school we also run educational programs including anti-trafficking, female health care and hygiene. We also cover contraception as unfortunately teenage pregnancies are not unusual here as the students board as their homes are so far away from school.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

CEF's annual Water Safety Day


CEF's Water Safety Day didn't happen exactly as we had hoped as it had been windy and rainy prior to the event. When we arrived at the beach the seas were a little rough, but the waves got bigger as the day progressed. We knew that only if the waves subsided would we be able to teach floating and swimming.

Unfortunately the waves didn't subside enough. Games in the ocean still were possible to help them experience the strength of the waves and learn how far they could enter.


All our other plans went ahead of a thorough session on water safety theory with many questions and answers, games on the beach, games under shelter, having a lovely lunch and taking them to the movies. The day was enjoyed by all students, volunteers and staff.

We are grateful to Pauline for her donation for this event and the grant from Go Philanthropic making this day possible. Also Swim Vietnam were crucial in making it a safe day as they are professional teachers of water safety. Our staff and volunteers were important to make it run well and to help care for and supervise our students.



Wednesday, May 17, 2017

CEF staff attended a day of training in Emergency Paediatric First Aid


CEF staff attended an important one day course on Emergency Paediatric First Aid. As we work with many children it is essential to be prepared as we never know when we will need to use this knowledge.
We are grateful to our teacher Graham Buckley for sharing his knowledge and experience.

(Photo of CEF staff, with Graeme CEF's Australian manager, and their teacher Graham and their translator Lieu as well as the dummies they worked with through the day)

Friday, May 12, 2017

Drowning: A silent killer ~ Guest blog by Graeme, CEF's Australian Manager


An editorial in the Lancet this month draws our attention to some shocking facts: ‘…more than 360 000 people are estimated to die from drowning worldwide. The young, poor, and marginalised are among the worst affected. Most of the world's drowning deaths occur in children, making drowning one of the leading causes of death for children and young people. Drowning incidences in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) are over three times higher than in high-income countries, where many people, including children, need to live and work near water to have livelihoods or go to school, but lack effective support to do so safely.’

The above aptly describes the reality in Viet Nam where up to 15 children drown every day. CEF has over 250 children in it’s education programs and they all live close to water of some sort be it the sea, a river, a fish pond or lake. Every year we bring as many of these young people as we can to the beach for a water safety day. We work with Swim Vietnam to help them understand the dangers they face when they get in the water and they are taught how to float and when they can do this the basics of swimming. It’s a fun day too with games on the beach, lunch and then a trip to the cinema. We know of one case when a young man who attended the day several times got into trouble in water and didn’t drown because he knew what to do.

If you’d like to volunteer to help us at the beach this year on Sunday May 28 do email us.

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(17)31269-2/fulltext?dgcid=etoc-edschoice_email_13May

Photo from the article

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A CEF university student studied child sexual abuse ~ Guest blog by CEF's Ms Kim Chi


Child sexual abuse is more common than we like to think. It's an uncomfortable subject to think about and talk about, but is very important to discuss and educate children about. This year CEF started introducing this subject to our students. Below Kim Chi wrote about the experience of one of our students learning about this subject.

L is in her third year at Hue University of Economics and also volunteers for an NGO in Hue. She has attended a lot of training sessions with them and recently one called ’Child sexual abuse’ impressed her. She shared her experience with me in our monthly mentoring session and here is an extract from our conversation:
‘I was very lucky to have the opportunity to take part in a training session called “How to prevent child sexual abuse” which was organized by the NGO I volunteer for. Although I am 21, I’m still embarrassed to talk about topics to do with sex. The training gave me more confidence and taught me more about this issue. I also heard real stories from the children about child sexual abuse which they thought was normal. Most of the children participating in the session were aged six to fifteen and knew very little about the topic. I thought the parents should take part in this training as well so they have greater awareness of child sexual abuse and can help to prevent it.’

Friday, May 5, 2017

CEF photography project to run through June for our local CEF students


Here at CEF we do what we can to encourage creativity when we can get enough students with free time. Each year we have an art day when we have a volunteer art teacher. Throughout June, while the students are on holiday we are planning to run a photographic project.

We still need some help. We need funds for small point and shoot cameras, for developing the photos, for photo frames and for prizes.

The photos are of some of the CEF children taking photos.

If you can help please get in touch: c.e.f.vietnam@gmail.com

Monday, April 17, 2017

Budgeting sesison for our local high school students ~ Guest blog by CEF's Ms Kim Chi

I was very excited to talk about budgeting at CEF on Sunday with grade 12 students who may be freshmen this coming academic year. We wanted to help them recognise how important budgeting is so they can do their own budgets. They were serious about learning budgeting as well as confident enough to ask questions and share their thoughts.

It is essential for these young adults to learn about this subject because their families along with CEF will pay all their expenses while they are at university and living away from home in shared accommodation. They will need help with accommodation, food and other living costs and some will need to cover some of their extra tuition too, so these young adults have to learn to choose foods and personal items carefully always considering the cost or they won’t have enough money for their studies and living costs.

The students worked in two groups on their anticipated monthly costs and then presented their budgets. They now know what it costs to go to university and that they have to talk to their parents about how they are going to make their money last.

I was thrilled with the outcome of the workshop as the students not only learned about budgeting, but also know that they have to work really hard at school, understand their challenges and poor family circumstances and think about finding a part time job to help them cover all their costs.

What they learnt on Sunday will help them in the immediate future and when they are at university this coming academic year.

Friday, March 31, 2017

About a budgeting session coming up ~ Guest blog by CEF's Ms Kim Chi


It is essential for the children CEF supports who are in grade 12 and at university, to learn how to budget. Their families have to pay all their expenses while they are at university and living away from home in shared accommodation. We want to help them understand how important budgeting is so they can budget properly.

We did a session last year for local children at the CEF office and they are did well with their budgets. We would like to run another one at CEF this April for those students who were unable to attend the last one. The students will work on their monthly and yearly costs with my support. The activities we do together will be useful for them and will also help them to make realistic decisions about going to university in the future.

US$59 will cover the transport costs for nine grade 12 students. You can help them take part in the session so that they feel more confident about managing their money when they become university students.

Please get in touch if you want to help with this cost: c.e.f.vietnam@gmail.com