Wednesday, February 22, 2017

About a sweet and hard-working student in need of a sponsor ~ Guest blog by CEF's Ms Vy


She is a sweet girl with a nice smile who was born into a large poor farming family. With her maternal grandmother too old to work and her father suffering from multiple diseases her mother is the main breadwinner in her family.


Thinking about her family’s situation to save money she decided to study on her own at home instead of taking extra tuition classes and despite having no teacher she has always got very good results for all her subjects over the years with an average score between 9.0/10 to 9.2/10. English and history are her best subjects for which she has won prizes in excellent students contests in her district. She is an amazingly good student considering she takes no extra tuition classes at all.

Her skinny and exhausted mother although burdened by the costs of her daughter's education has never had a thought of stopping her schooling because she wants to give all her children a full education so that they can have a better future. Being aware of this, N.A. always takes her studies very seriously so that she can do really well, and is hoping and dreaming of going to university so she can get a good job after graduation.

We are looking for a committed sponsor to help her complete her education enabling her to have a better future with choices. If she is sponsored she can continue with her grade 8 studies. Her sponsorship for the 2016-2017academic year is US$280.

Please get in touch if you would like to sponsor her: c.e.f.vietnam@gmail.com

Monday, February 13, 2017

A CEF visit to two girls ~ Guest blog by Graeme, CEF's Australian manager


CEF's Australian manager is in Vietnam for some months and wrote about the visit to these two girls on Saturday.
I first met the two girls who are being cared for by their granny when CEF went to make an initial assessment of their situation last year. What a delightful change I found on this visit. N and N were more confident and relaxed and granny, though still suffering from arthritis in her knees, which made walking hard, was much more cheerful. She makes and sells tofu with a sweet syrup in the local hamlet carrying her cooking stove and everything else. She used to have to walk all the way with two baskets and a pole to carry them on over her shoulder, but a compassionate neighbour gave her an electric bike and asked that she pay them back when she can. She commented that business was slow at present as so many families went away to see their families and hadn't returned yet, but was positive that business would pick up very soon.
(Photo by Graeme)

Sunday, February 12, 2017

A CEF visit to a lovely and determined CEF student ~ Guest blog by CEF's Australian Manager

I recently went with one of our staff to visit children and their families. Several of them live in a local fishing hamlet at the mouth of the river. One of these was D. She was in good spirits doing very well at school and planning to do a hospitality training course locally when she finishes school next year so she can then study close to her family.

Over the Tet holidays she worked at a local restaurant earning good money. She enjoys earning as she then can help her mother who is very poor and has to support her children from a second marriage on her own. It was so good to see such a bright girl in difficult circumstances working so hard, having satisfaction from working, and having such clarity and determination regarding her future.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Recent fundraising has enabled CEF to provide Tet Food Parcels, Lucky Money, as well as educational sponsorships for two girls

Recent fundraising in Australia organized by Graeme, CEF's Australian manager, enabled CEF to provide many Tet (New Year) food parcels and 'Lucky Money' envelopes to children here in Vietnam. These children are from families that are too poor to afford any special foods as well as a sack of rice, which would allow them to enjoy their New Year celebrations. We also gave each child some 'Lucky Money' in a red envelope.




Besides this wonderful result, there were enough funds to help two girls stay in school by providing them with educational sponsorships.


This girl's mother died from breast cancer and dad who has back damage is challenged to work much. He is the sole care giver of his daughter and strongly believes in girls being educated so works hard until the pain is too much, then rests a few weeks, then works until he is in pain again. He can't work enough to cover all her education costs which now are very high as she is in her last year of high school. She deserves support as each year she is the best student in her year.


Sadly for this young girl and the family, mum is dying of breast cancer. Dad is struggling to support three children, one of whom has special needs. He also is supporting his elderly parents. This CEF educational support will help relieve some of the burden he has.

Thank you Graeme, your many friends, English language examiners and the administrators at examinations for this amazing support!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Tet Parcel Giving Day

Today we gave Tet Food Parcels and Lucky Money to the poorest of our CEF children. Over this week and before Tet the others who didn't receive theirs today will receive a Tet Food Parcel and Lucky Money.

Many thanks to CEF donors and sponsors, family, Graeme, Graeme's friends and English examiners who between them all raised the funds needed for Tet Food Parcels for the poorest of our children here in Quang Nam. It was a fantastic effort with wonderful results. Thank you to all of you!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Gift of beanies to keep some of our CEF students them warm this winter


CEF just received a most wonderful gift of lovingly hand-knitted beanies to help keep our children warm on their way to school in the crisp early mornings. We are very grateful for this caring gift.


Monday, December 12, 2016

CEF's fundraising event yesterday went well

Pam who is one of our board members, organized a small event at her home yesterday for CEF. It was very successful. We are most grateful to her family for opening up their home for this event, and to all her friends and family who helped to support it.

I did a presentation about CEF and there were some questions. There were a variety of ways to raise funds on the day and before. Several people had been selling raffle tickets to raise funds for Tet Food Parcels. These food parcels are for the very poorest of CEF's children who can't afford to celebrate at Tet (Vietnamese New Year).

Some of the funds raised will be used for the education of children we have interviewed who are in need of sponsorship. Pam had plants for sale too which helped to raise funds. Pam also makes creative, interesting and beautiful mosaics. Some of Pam's friends had ordered some and others she had for sale too were sold. The profits from them went to CEF.

Drew one of Pam's son's very kindly donated a second hand laptop and a mobile phone to CEF as well. The computer we will pass onto one of our tertiary students and the phone to a parent of one of our CEF student who has no phone and no other means for us to contact them.

We are very grateful for such wonderful support.

Photo above is of myself, Graeme, Pam and her family. Photos below are some of the wonderful mosaics Pam has made, which have been sold, or are for sale.







Friday, December 2, 2016

CEF wish list for 2017

As with all NGO's there is always a wish list. As it is the time of year when many consider giving to charities we want to share some of our wishes that would help our families, but also help all of us here who work to make our work at CEF possible.

For our families:
Sponsorships:
US$225 spoonsorships of primary school children
US$280 sponsorships of secondary school children
US$335 sponsorships of high school children
US$400-$800 a year for university education. Most courses are 4 years. The costs vary dramatically as it depends on what they are studying and where.

US$200 for a year, for food support for one of our very poor families who are struggling to feed their families. We have 10 families in need of this support at present.

US$100 for two book boxes. We have a Literacy Encouragement Program and have a library at our office, take books to some of our children and have book boxes in some easily accessible places for the children in communities to come to read, or borrow books. Ideally we would love to receive US$200 to be able to create 4 boxes of books. the books are a mixture of pictorial educational books and materials useful for their studies as well as traditional stories and books by famous Vietnamese authors. We do not provide any comics, political or religious materials. We educate the children on how to care for books.

US$250 for the materials for a small bathroom with toilet. Each family will do the building of their own toilet / bathroom. We have many families who have no bathroom or toilet what so ever and just use the back yard for washing themselves and going to the toilet. Using the back yard is unhygienic, smelly, messy and embarrassing for the young girls we work. We have many families in need of a toilet in a small bathroom and will prioritize them as funds are donated.

US$100 donations towards our Water Safety Day. Drowning is a major cause of death of children in Vietnam. Each summer we teach our CEF children all about water safety. We have games in the water and on the beach and they all learn how to float and swim. We have both professional trainers and volunteer support. The day ends with a treat of a trip to the cinema to see a movie. The total cost will be around US$1300.

For CEF:
US$650 for a staff computer. One staff has an old slow computer, so we need to purchase a good new Vietnamese computer.

US$100 for excellent reference books for CEF staff to use. For example one of our needs is a doctor's Vietnamese - English Medical dictionary as we have many families with serous medical problems and no online or simple dictionaries can help us to translate their problems. Another is a medical book on gynaecological problems, and also a highly informative book (medical probably) on female health and hygiene.

US$1000 a year for CEF training to ensure our staff develop and grow as individuals and increase their skills.

Frequent flyer points please for my travel to Australia and America for fundraising.

Donations are always gratefully received and are not wasted. Please contact us at cef.vn.usa@gmail.com or at c.e.f.vietnam@gmail.com.

Thanks you,
Linda

Linda Burn
Founding Director and In-Country Manager - Vietnam

Games for children ~ Guest blog by CEF's Ms Kim Chi


Children now rely on modern technology such as TV, internet, video games, ipads and cell phones for the majority of their play. It is a known fact that it limits their creativity and imagination, as well as limiting the necessary sensory and motor development.

Besides studying and helping their family with household chores, we are happy to say there still are some traditional games which our CEF children play in their spare time.


These are some photos we took on a home visit day of CEF children playing Vietnamese marbles. This game is very popular, but also interesting and attracts both boys and girls in rural areas of Viet Nam. It’s rare to see children in cities playing this game as they like to use modern technology to entertain themselves. The marbles don’t cost much, don’t need modern technology or parental supervision. It contributes to making children more creative and sociable because they have to play in a group.


Childhood will be more lively and memorable and filled with smiles if we preserve traditional games like this one.

Friday, November 25, 2016

About our CEF students adjusting to life far from home ~ Guest blog by CEF's Ms Vy

Living far from home to study is not easy for teenagers who are still in high school. Besides the experience having advantages such as helping them improve their confidence and create more self-awareness, there are challenges and disadvantages, like missing home, balancing budgets and their personal safety.

‘H’ is one of the children in our education program living far away from her home to be able to study. She shares a small room with another friend to be able to attend an advanced high school in Hoi An city. She was cared for by her father while her mother died of cancer over several years, but sadly he left before she died and never returned and 'H' was then taken care of by her granny. She can manage to live away from home thanks to her sponsorship that helps her with her costs, and on top of that she does a part-time job in her free time to help herself.

On the first days of living on her own balancing her budget was the most challenging thing she faced. Accommodation, food, school fees, stationery, personal costs and other related costs needed calculating and the small amount of money she had needed to be dividing carefully. In the beginning she always spent more than she had estimated; therefore, she had to skip breakfast and cut remaining expenses as much as possible at the end of the month. Gradually, she learned many things to help control her life, and her spending, making living and studying away from home much easier and less stressful.

Another CEF sponsored child is ‘Ha’, who is a freshman at Da Nang University of Foreign Languages. She was only familiar with a countryside life and had a very close and caring family; therefore, she felt depressed and stressed in the process of adjusting to her new life and environment. On the first day, she enjoyed her new life, but day by day, she missed her family and her friends a lot. In addition, she had to say goodbye to the carefree life and step into a responsible life with a lot of duties. She has to do things by herself now, from big things like managing her budget to smaller ones like doing her own housework and washing, which used to be done with her family’s help. It took her nearly two months to adapt to this new life and environment. Currently, she returns home twice or three times a month instead of once a week as she did at the beginning of term. This reduces her expenses as well as providing her with more time for her studies.

In general, facing and overcoming a diverse range of challenges in this life is not easy; however, once they can do it, their lives are much better, less stressful and they are able to be more successful. I hope that each child in our program can do like ‘H’ and ‘Ha’ have been doing and consider the challenges just as a part of adult life.