Friday, August 24, 2018

My apologies for the delay in communicating and getting information out to you

Hello dear supporters, donors, sponsors, partner organizations, friends and readers,

Due to unexpected travel due to my mother being unwell over the last year and now due to her death, I am behind with some work which includes getting updates to you, newsletters out and staying in touch with you as much as I would like.

I will do all this as soon as I can and ask for further patience.

Thank you so much,

(Founding Director and In-Country Manager - Vietnam)

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

CEF has several ways for you to be able to follow us ~ a website, blog, Instagram and Facebook

People like different ways to follow NGO's with some just looking at the website, while others are on every form of social media.

We are trying to make it possible for everyone to follow us, our children and our activities. The following are CEF links:

and Instagram:

And if you have any unanswered questions please get in touch:

Monday, August 13, 2018

CEF sponsor Manus met up with some of the girls he sponsors

I am pleased that it worked for Manus, one of our wonderful CEF sponsors to meet up with six of the girls he sponsors. 

They had a wonderful time together. For our sponsored children to meet up with their sponsors is very special. It means they can put a face to the person who cares about them, who pays for their education and the person that they write to twice a year. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Free dental care for CEF students

Thanks to both East meets West Dental and Go Philanthropic some of the CEF students had dental care with no costs involved. East Meets West provides free dental care for CEF students each summer. Their teeth are examined and treated and they learn about dental hygiene and receive free toothpaste and a toothbrush. 

Go Philanthropic provides CEF with our Healthy Kids Fund which provides us with funds to take care of our students health and that enables us to provide transport for the students to get to the dentists and home to receive dental care. 

When Vietnamese are poor they do not go to the dentist for check ups and only go after they have suffered dental pain for some time, or if the child has missed more than a day or two of schooling.

We hope that over the years there will be less and less of our CEF students in need of dental care and that they will take more care of their teeth.   

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.