Monday, August 13, 2018

One of our sponsors had a get together with some of the students he sponsors

Manus is an amazing sponsor and was able to get together with some of the students he sponsors. They had a lovely time together.

Most of these girls live two hours from the CEF office, but were happy to come and meet up with Manus at the office. Some of them have met him several times and they love to meet him. It's special for a sponsored child to have the opportunity to meet their sponsor as they often wonder and ask where do they live, what are they like, do they celebrate new year and how, do they have pets and are they healthy. These questions they often ask when they write to them in their letters. 

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Annual June trip to Phuoc Son district ~ Guest blog By Graeme Burn, CEF's Manager in Australia

Every June we spend a couple of days in one of the westernmost districts of Quang Nam where the girls in CEF’s scholarship program live. For several years we have had a close relationship with a high school in that district about 20 kilometres from the border with Laos. About a quarter of the students in the school are from an ethic minority called the Gie Trieng and it is mostly these girls, in years 11 and 12, that CEF has been supporting for the past three years. They receive government help but this is never enough for all their education costs so many go without some essentials and some work to earn the extra they need.  The scholarship CEF gives to these girls aims to fill that gap and to provide some financial relief so that they can give more time to their studies and less to working after school. We recognise, too, the duty they feel to their families, so we give permission for some of the scholarship to be used in family emergencies. 

As a result of our last visit in early June we have made changes to this scholarship program. These changes were prompted by our improving understanding of what Gie Trieng people value most and more clarity around the assumptions we make about what would benefit the young women in the scholarship program. 

An example of this relates to extra tuition classes. These are commonplace in Vietnamese schools and in these classes students are able to learn more of the curriculum they will be tested on. Non- attendance at extra classes can disadvantage a student who may end up with lower marks. The Gie Trieng girls were not attending these extra classes because they felt uncomfortable going to them alongside Vietnamese girls. When we learnt this we decided to experiment by offering extra classes for Gie Trieng girls only in year 11 and consultation with the school headmaster and teachers, confirmed that this could be a good way to help them improve their results and do better in grade 12.  So for the 2018/19 school year all grade 11 Gie Trieng young women will be attend extra classes in maths, literature and English. 

Monday, June 11, 2018

Letter to her sponsor ~ Translated by CEF's Ms Thuy Tran

...Last time Linda visited she brought me and my sister your letters and your photos. It was the first time I received a letter from you and I was very happy. I now know something about my sponsor and how much you care about us as well. Your sister and you look very beautiful. And I think your city, Dubai, looks like a wonderful city to live in.

Today, I would like to write about the person who I love the most in this world, my mother. Thanks to her, I am alive and have this life and have become the person I am now. Since I was born, my mother has been the person looking after and taking care of me. She gives me her great love, forgives my mistakes and teaches me the difference between right and wrong. She works very hard to support me and my sister. Because of her, I study harder to have a better future and to make life easier for her

And I am very lucky to receive help from CEF, Linda and you. I will do my best in my studies to make you all happy. I wish you, Linda and CEF always have good health, happiness and success....

Monday, May 21, 2018

Wishes to be a psychologist ~ Guest blog by CEF's Ms Vy

I was very impressed and touched when reading a letter written by a student to her sponsor in which she talked about why she harbors a dream of being a psychologist. N is not your typical 18-year-old young Vietnamese woman as her thinking is unusual. But she also is concerned that she might not easily be employed after her university graduation.
“I want to be a psychologist, which is very strange for a girl of my age according to the opinion of my friends. At my school, it has never been mentioned by my teachers in the career’s advice sessions, so it is totally new to my friends. I heard about this job through an article in a newspaper when I was in grade 10. There was a story about a family having a son with serious depression. His family had not noticed their son’s problem. Then he committed suicide.
His family were very sad and regretted having not cared enough for their son. Since then, I have started reading more about psychology and gradually realized that I want to do something to help people with psychological problems. This job is essential in the field of mental health care. In fact, it is popular in developing countries, but in Viet Nam it is not mentioned a lot in daily life. Here they tend to care about their finances and physical health more than their mental health.
One month ago, I found out an interesting online forum called SOS – share our stories. It mainly talks about sexual abuse, how it happens and how the abused are helped. In this forum, there are many real-life cases in which the abused have kept their stories for many years because no one knew how to help them until this forum appeared.
At school, our lessons are almost only theory such as geography, history or numbers. It lacks life skills like how to protect ourselves from dangerous situations. So, I am very worried about my future if I graduate from psychology because whatever degree we graduate with should meet the requirements of the labor market of the time. I think I should have more ideas for my future just in case. I hope you will support me no matter what my plan is.”

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Wishing our CEF mothers a 'Happy Mother's Day'

They won't be celebrating Mother's Day, but I am thinking of them. I think of them often and highly respect them. They may not be educated, but they know how to work hard and do whatever they can to support their families. Besides being hard-working, they are caring and loving mothers and do the best they can. Sometimes they are in tears telling us about their stresses knowing they can't push their bodies any more to work any extra hours, yet can't make ends meet.  They often feel they are terrible mothers as they are working all the time and not home much, and are not available for their children much. Sadly they have no choice.  

When I hear their stories of their ongoing work and work hours it is hard to believe they can do it. I just don't know how they can day after day as I know I couldn't! Poverty and lack of education is the reason that keeps them working. They have no choice.  An education makes all the difference and gives choices!

This mother is a rice farmer and grows vegetables for the family. Her husband can't help due to a stroke, so she has to earn to support two children, herself and her husband. When she can get any extra work she takes it on, such as making chairs, working for other farmers, or doing some forestry work.

 This mother is a rice farmer, and grows vegetables to eat and sell. She has no husband to help with earning to support her mother and daughter.

This mother is a rice farmer and garbage collector. She has no husband to help with earning to support her mother and two daughters.

She is a rice farmer and peanut farmer. She also collects garbage to help earn enough to support her three children. Her husband died many years ago so she has no one else to help.

 Rice, peanut and corn farming and working in a factory full time keep this mother occupied 7 days a week and 14 hours a day. Her husband can't help with bringing in an income as he has serious back damage, but he can be home for the children.

She is a rice farmer and has some livestock in an effort to bring in enough income to support her three children and her mother. Dad died a few years ago.  

For these women it is impossible to pay for their children's education and one or two of their children are sponsored through CEF, removing some of the financial burden for these mothers.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Happiness = Quite a lot of children have been sponsored recently

Big thanks to Shalimar, Marina, Bruce and Cheryl, John and Serena and Kay and Bruce for taking sponsorships on recently. We at CEF are thrilled as are the girls and their families!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Her dream is that dad was still alive ~ Guest blog by CEF's Thuy Tran

Dad passed away last year from kidney failure after 12 years of dialysis. He was a fantastic, loving, gentle and caring dad. He helped his children with homework and to understand what being good children required.
She was lucky to have such an amazing father and consequently she misses him a lot and dreams that he is alive and the family can all go to the park together.

Monday, April 30, 2018

A need for bikes ~ Guest blog by CEF's Ms Ngoc


It is necessary for students to have a means of transport to get to school, as is the case with our CEF children. There are several children who are living far from school and it normally takes them about 30 minutes to cycle to school. However, they are too poor to afford good bikes. They sometimes go with their friends or use very old ones which takes them longer. When they arrive at school, they are totally exhausted. For young kids whose parents cannot take them to school, they usually stand on the edge of the road and ask for a lift from people they know and don’t know.  This is a dangerous situation because they may be kidnapped or abused by those people. CEF is raising funds for 25 girls urgently in need of bikes and we believe that US$100 for one bike, with security chain and lock, light, basket, bell and helmet, not only helps girls get to school much more effortlessly and safely, but also for some, they will be able to study better as they won’t be exhausted.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Art work by some of CEF's primary school children

Many of our young CEF students haven't learned to write a letter, so instead they do drawings
for their sponsors. 

The student who drew the pandas loves them and hope to see them one day.

 The student who drew the doctors working, really admires doctors. 

She drew her fellow students sweeping the school yard.

These are the artist's parents cleaning their front yard.