Wednesday, September 7, 2016

A new school year has just started ~ Guest blog by CEF's Ms Thuy

A new school year just started on Monday. Students have had to go to school for practicing their school opening ceremony since last Saturday which was also our last home visit day to see the CEF children in Hoi An.

Start of school year (photographer unknown)

All of our students feel excited about going back to school because they can meet their friends and teachers after nearly 3 months of summer holidays. It’s so nice to know all of them are already well prepared for their new academic year. They all look so nice in their school uniforms. Most of them have at least one new white shirt and blue trousers – the school uniform in primary and secondary school in Vietnam. Some have to have two pairs because last years’ no longer fit as they grow up so fast; especially the secondary school girls.  High school girls often have two or three pairs of white ‘ao dai’ (long dress with side splits to the waist and long loose trousers underneath) for the 3 years at high school.

One of our CEF students in her uniform

Some of our students can save a little of the money we give them thanks to their well-deserved school awards and gifts for being ‘Good’ student last year; such as notebooks, uniform fabrics and table lamps.

We wish all our students a happy and successful school year.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

CEF is pleased and proud of him for completing his college studies

Fortunately he won't read this as it would embarrass him....

I remember him as a shy and timid little boy shortly after he lost his remaining parent. At the time I visited him, he and his two sisters were in the family home; a tiny run down house that was urgently in need of upkeep and cleaning. He looks the same now as he did then but now he is obviously a lot taller.

His sisters decided to drop out of school and work. Soon after they married into the local farming community and have their own families. He was taken in by his uncle and his family. They have loved and cared for him as if he was their own.

He came to CEF this week to complete with us as he has finished his college lectures in engineering. We wondered if he ever would get through school, so we are proud of him for hanging in there and getting through both high school and college. He just has to work on one assignment now and then he gets his qualification!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Budgeting session for some high school students at CEF ~ Guest blog by CEF's Ms Kim Chi

I was very excited this morning to talk about budgeting at CEF with some children who used to live at Hoi An Children’s Home, which has now shut down.

It was essential for these young adults to learn this subject because now any family that they have has to pay everything for them while they are doing their high schooling and living away from home in shared accommodation. They have to help with accommodation, food, and other living costs now and for some they will need to cover some of their extra tuition too.

These young adults have to consider and choose what is cheap and reasonably priced and just choose essential foods and things, or they won’t have enough money for their studies and living costs.

We want to help them recognize how important budgeting is so they can do their own budgets. Fortunately they were serious about the session as well as confident to ask questions and share their thoughts.

The students worked on the monthly costs for their whole year. I gave them clues and guided them on how to balance their income and expenses, then I edited one of their example budgets to help them to understand what we had been talking about more clearly.

I was very thrilled as they not only learned about budgeting, but also know that they have to work really hard at school, understand their difficult situations and think of having a part time job to help them cover all their costs.

It will be very useful and important knowledge to share with them to help them in life now and also to help them to make realistic decisions about going to university in the future.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Some of the little CEF children on a recent home visit day

These are some of the little people CEF helps with an education sponsorship.
Three of them have a mother with mental illness, one has parents but mum has poor health as she just has one functioning kidney, and the little lad has no mother as she died when he was a few months old. He also has developmental problems as mum was very ill while pregnant with him. 
They are all doing well in kindergarten or school. The little boy is lucky to be in a special education center and is progressing and developing.

Friday, August 5, 2016

CEF child meets her sweet sponsor family

It was very touching to see the four girls together and to hear their laughter. For these four I am sure it will be a memory that will last.  How amazing for our CEF student to meet her caring sponsor family!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A horrible experience of illegal employment ~ Guest blog by CEF's My Vy

CEF's Ms Vy writes a powerful story about the every day abuse that can happen to girls from poor families who drop out of school.

During my first home-visit trip and meeting one of the CEF girls, 'L', I was left me with a lot of mixed feelings. 'L' had just returned home after 10 days of working as a waitress, without pay, in a popular restaurant in Da Nang. Having heard from a neighbor that she could earn lots of money when doing this job in Da Nang, she had decided to go to Da Nang without hesitating despite her mother’s advice to the contrary; however, everything was well under her expectations! During the time away, she was working far from home, with hard and severe working condition.

'L' had gradually realized her most important responsibilities are studying and obeying her parents and that realization made her stop working and come back home to say sorry to her parents. 

While her cheeks were bathed in tears, she said she had drawn the moral from those terrible days; she had better focus on studying than earn money, so that she can have a full education and full awareness to protect herself from the abuse of employers of young girls. 

Learning from her situation, I strongly affirm that it is only a full education that helps girls avoid being victims of illegal employment, and worse and dangerous situations like trafficking, physical abuse or sexual abuse. 

Linda's comment:
Time to mature and develop some wisdom is needed and keeping a girl in school gives her that time. We are pleased she had enough wisdom to know this terrible experience was not acceptable and leave.

Friday, July 15, 2016

CEF's Dental Care ~ Guest blog by CEF's Ms Vy

Being aware of the significant importance of dental care for children, CEF has been organizing Dental Care Day for CEF children for some years now. This year was the first time I attended. I was responsible for taking children from Hoi An to Da Nang to check their dental health, and be available to translate or talk to the children about what was taking place in the dental room. This is also the first time I have witnessed how a dentist worked, and what a dental room looked like and I was very impressed.


 Some of children had problems with their teeth because of their lack of good oral health. After each dental check-up and treatment, all the children was instructed by dental specialists from East Meets West Dental Clinic on how to practice good oral hygiene like brushing their teeth twice a day with toothpaste, gargling with clean water after eating and avoiding eating sugar.
I hope all the children will be well aware of oral health now because our mouths are windows to the health of our bodies.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Beng sponsored and in school is crucial for this little girl affected by HIV

Little 'T' who is now sponsored

 It's wonderful to have this little angel sponsored! Sadly her mother became infected with HIV from dad, who passed away a few years ago, and the two youngest children became infected from mum, including this little one. 

Fortunately, because of good medications being available, and which she is on, she is healthy. Her mother is very conscientious about taking her medications as well as making sure her two children affected do as well. And thanks to a couple who are able to sponsor her, she can go into grade 3 and have support for the remainder of her schooling! What a blessing!

Her art work

Sunday, July 10, 2016

One of the girls from Phuoc Son in need of a scholarship ~ Guest blog by CEF's Ms Vy

She is a nice girl with sad eyes and a meek smile. She has been living in a small house made of low quality wood, rattan and roofed with corrugated iron with her maternal grandfather, her mother and her youngest sister since the day her father went away when she was only 8 months old. Up until now, all the difficulties and burdens have been placed on her mother’s shoulders. However, a fall many years ago causes regular dizziness and nausea for her mother as well as making her health decrease; therefore, her mother cannot work as much as before to give full support for her family.
Despite many difficulties, she is always encouraged to continue her education by her illiterate mother because her mother believes that it is only literacy and education that will give her daughter a better and happier life in the future, and not like her mother’s life in the present.

Having understood thoroughly her family’s circumstance and mother’s expectations, she concentrates on her studying as much as possible. As a result, she got ‘fair’ school results with a 7.4/10 average in the 2015-2016 academic year although she does not attend any extra tuition classes. This summer holiday, she is going to move to KonTum to attend extra tuition classes in math and help her auntie with some farming work to earn money for this classes. 
Never has she stopped making great efforts to make it possible to become a policewoman to help protect her community and her nation.
With a scholarship for the next two years this will give her support to complete high school and help motivate her further to make her dream come true.

She needs a scholarship for 2 years to help her complete high school: US$150 a year.
If you would like to help her please contact us:

One of the girls in need of a scholarship ~ Guest blog by CEF's Ms Vy

This young lady comes from one of the poor communes in Phuoc Son District.  All five family members live in a small house made of bricks with a corrugated iron roof. Currently her father works as a farmer to feed the family because her mother has recently given birth. She will work again as a food seller when her new child is old enough to go to infant care.  She said her parents worked very hard with planting paper trees on their poor quality field on the mountain and they raise chickens. However, bad weather conditions and slow growth of the trees mean her family have an unstable income. Moreover, her father has not yet paid off the bank loan of US$1,500. The father has to work not only to support the family and but also to pay interest every month.
No matter how difficult life is her father is very happy and feels lucky to have a good and obedient daughter like her. Not only is she a fair student with a 7.9/10 average, but she also saves money for buying her study materials. During the school year she lives away from home and near her school. She works as a tutor for her host’s daughter in exchange for free accommodation. In addition, she is very creative as she likes making some simple toys with plastic bottles, paper and dried flowers in her free time.
She hopes she will receive a scholarship as she wishes to have money to buy books and attend extra tuition classes in her worst subjects. She has a dream of being a Primary School Teacher, and she optimistically believes that she will pass the entrance exams into a Pedagogy University.

A scholarship for two years will be supportive in leading her to the stage of applying to university and making her dream come true.

US$150 a year scholarship