Monday, July 17, 2017

Nearly new and in very good condition

When it's time to move on from Hoi An, we do appreciate anything that is high quality and in very good condition still, such as footwear and clothing for our students whose age range is from 5-22.

Benjamin handed on his shoes recently. He had been growing too quickly to be able to wear them for long and they really were hardly worn. Two lads in our education sponsorship program were able to receive a pair of shoes each. It's such a simple gift, yet it made them both so happy.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Another challenging experience ~ Guest blog by Graeme CEF's Australian manager

We do all we can at CEF to keep girls living with their parents or relatives and in their communities, but sometimes this is a poor outcome for the girl. 7 year old M is a case in point. Last week her aunt was caught by police using her to beg and M is in fear of violence from this aunt, her alcoholic uncle and her granny, who is her carer. We visited her yesterday and granny agreed to let her go to live in the SOS village in Da Nang. We were very relieved knowing that this will bring to an end M’s fear of family violence and give her good care and education.

(Photo of M, granny and CEF's Ms Vy by Graeme)

New increase in CEF scholarships and sponsorships

Children's Education Foundation has just put up sponsorships and scholarships for the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 years.

The increase in sponsorships covers inflation from the last year and covers the estimated inflation for the next two years. If inflation is lower than the estimation we will be able to keep the sponsorships the same for another year after that.

Our scholarships have gone up as we wish to include funds to give further support to the high school students from this predominantly ethnic community we work with near the Vietnam-Laos border, but also to be in a position to give some annual support to the parents. Some of the children have been passing over part of their scholarship to their family due to family health issues and ongoing grinding poverty.

We hope this change in payment will mean that the children will now use all funds given to them for their education. They are from such poor families that we understand why they have been doing this although we asked them not to do that, and explained that the funds were for their education only. They are such honest children that they told us they had given some funds and explained why. All reasons were totally valid and acceptable as many have very sad, challenging family situations.

From 7th July 2017:
Scholarships are now:US$200

Sponsorships are now:
US$260 for primary school students
US$320 for secondary school students
US$385 for high school students

Thank you for your support and interest in CEF,

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

A new challenging situation for us at CEF ~ Guest blog by Graeme, CEF's Australia Manager

V is seven and lives with her grandad in a beautiful countryside setting two hours from CEF’s office. She has HIV and grandad is the only family member who is willing to look after her. Fearing the possibility of infection, granny refuses to and V’s parents are dead. Grandad tries his best to care for V but he is in poor health, recently had an operation on his spine and has a gambling habit. Previously, he had refused to give her up into care but on our last visit, realising that he could no longer look after her well he agreed for her to be looked after in a special home for children with HIV. Vy will receive proper medication and no longer be stigmatised by her disease.

(Photo by Graeme of V and granddad)

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.

Photo from the article