Friday, March 20, 2015

My first week at CEF ~ guest blog by new staff member Thuy

My name is Thuy. I have just joined the CEF team since the 4th of this March.  Although I am a very new CEF staff, CEF director and other staffs make me feel very comfortable and relaxed.  They are very friendly and helpful with sharing both their knowledge and experience with me. I am very happy to work with CEF.

I had the first three days in the office to get familiar with our office and office work. Kim Chi and Thu Ngoc not only introduced CEF to me clearly, but also helped me to do CEF work.

On my fourth CEF day, we had a home-visit trip to Hiep Duc, a mountainous area which belongs to Quang Nam province. Different to other NGOs, our home visits and events are often held on weekends because it’s the only time most of the children are free.  Linda - CEF's director, Stephen - CEF 's coordinator in the USA, Kim Chi - CEF staff, and me went on this trip. We visited 12 children that were supported by CEF to see how they were and to update their information. Children in mountain or rural areas, not only try their best at school, but also help their families to do housework or help parents earn more money to support their lives. Tra (her name has been changed here) is one of our examples. 

Tra is a grade 10 student and is quite a good student at school. Her mother has liver cancer and her father is often sick. Everyday she wakes up very early to help her mother prepare vegetable to sell in the market. She then comes home to do some housework, prepare the lunch and look after her young niece, the daughter of her older sister. In the afternoon, she goes to school. She also joins in on some extra classes in the evening. She comes home about 9pm and starts to do all her homework. Although she is very busy, she is still happy. She said she will attempt to do more study and to do better to make her mother pride of her and for her future. She wishes her mother can live a long time.

Each CEF child has a different situation but they all enjoy going to school and believe that education will help give them a chance to have a better future.

My first week ended with the bi-annual event – payment day. On this day we meet all the students that CEF helps with education and make payments for one term. I could see the happiness of the children and their parents on their faces. As everything was already prepared well by the other CEF staff before the trip, and with the good support of CEF local partners, the Vietnam Women's Union, the event was successful.

I was lucky to join CEF at a busy time so I could see many activities and learn more about CEF from my director and colleagues. I believe that CEF is a great place to work and I will try my best to make a positive impact and contribution to CEF.

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