Children's Education Foundation - Vietnam aims to support females from impoverished or marginalized Vietnamese families to receive a full education. We believe that an educated female can make a difference that matters.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
About Phuc Le Education Program - Guest blog by Brian
At first glance the village of Phuc Le resembles a picture postcard of Vietnam. Lying, as it does, among lush green rice fields, on the soil rich floodplains of the Red River and its tributaries, the village presents an idyllic picture.
And it is indeed a picturesque place. Mostly small brick and mortar cottages, nestled among the many fruit trees planted by residents, intersected with meandering narrow concrete pathways. Dotted throughout are many small ponds, often covered with colourful water lilies; and a haven for the fish, being nurtured as an important food source for the villagers.
However, as is often the case, appearances can be deceiving. Behind this picture and that presented by the personal cleanliness and neatness of the residents, lies a story of a constant struggle by many against poverty. The majority of families eke out a living from the small rice plot they lease from the Government (average 1,000 Sq Metre – about the size of the average house block in Australia or US). After setting aside enough grain for the family’s own use, the remainder is sold to realise a small cash income, about $US300 annually.
Where circumstances and opportunity allow, families attempt to supplement their farming activities with other sources of cash income. Some get casual labouring work on local building sites. Others opt for one parent to leave and take work in a factory near one of the big cities. But then there are those who, because of broken relationships, poor health and other reasons are unable to avail themselves of such opportunities.
Bui Chu is a young man from Phuc Le, who has a strong desire to the children in his village get the same opportunities in life through education that he has had. Chu has for some years assisted CEF in identifying those families in greatest need, in terms of providing an education for their children.
As a part-time (infrequent) assistant to Linda and the CEF team, it has been a great pleasure, indeed a privilege, for me to be able to accompany Chu on five occasions as part of the annual monitoring of students in receipt of CEF support. It is so humbling to sit with these families, who despite their impoverished dwellings and the very hard and difficult lives they lead, are so welcoming and hospitable; and so appreciative of the help.
Above all, I delight in having, over the years, been able to watch our students grow and change, many now showing the benefits of their education in their emerging assertiveness and self-confidence. I can only say that all of you who have contributed to giving these kids a chance of a better life can be assured that it is appreciated. A new generation of young people is emerging that, unlike their forebears, will not be sentenced to a life of slaving in the rice fields. On behalf of the kids of Phuc Le - A GREAT BIG THANK YOU.
As from September 24, 2015, financial donations made in Australia over $2 can be claimed against tax you have paid.
For Australians and all other donors (except Americans and Canadians) To pay by PayPal:~Or donations from Australians (& everyone else except Americans & Canadians)~ Deposit funds into ‘Children’s Education Foundation’ account Commonwealth Bank, Bondi Junction, NSW 2022. Account: 10955621, BSB: 062-124 Australian contact: Graeme firstname.lastname@example.org
Mail please send to:Children's Education Foundation (Vietnam) PO Box 232, Newport Beach, NSW 2106
~Donations from Americans & Canadians~ Please make a check out to ‘Children’s Education Foundation – Vietnam’ Post it to the USA Coordinator - Stephen Jackel 277 Broadway, Suite 1010, New York, NY 10007. American contact: Stephen email@example.com
Or go to USA website or USA blog to pay by PayPal:www.cef-vietnam-usa.org / http://cef-vietnam-usa.blogspot.com
I am living in Vietnam because I feel I need to really understand Vietnamese people to be able to trully help them in a meaningful and appropriate way. I feel I and many other westerners are arrogant as we generally believe we know what's best for those more challenged and less fortunate; but we don't. There is so much to learn and understand to trully be of service.