Saturday, September 5, 2009

Children's Education Foundation - Vietnam, First Blog

Children's Education Foundation - Vietnam
First Blog
September 5th, 2009

One morning in Vietnam

There is so much to write about and yet little time for such things, but my new Australian volunteer who I started to work with this week, is a modern non-technophobic woman and she tells me a blog is a good way to share the work Children's Education Foundation - Vietnam does. So after a lesson from her, here goes with the first attempt to share what we at CEF get up to!

I now have had a part-time assistant for 2 months. She is wonderful; conscientious and compassionate, as well as being fluent in English. What a blessing she is!

I now have had my new Australian volunteer for less than a week and wow it's hard to keep up with her! I am doubly blessed!

'Visits to the non-existent poor'
I say this as the area we visited has no listed poor according to those in higher places, so any requests from the poor in this area are ignored.

We went to visit a sweet, sweet family with two little girls that CEF is giving educational support to (due to the help from a recent CEF volunteer and his wife and extended family.Thank you to you all!). The mother in this family we visited had polio while quite young and can't use her legs, and is also terminally ill. Dad earns money taking people on his motorbike. He can't always work due to his wife's fluctuating health. We went to see if there were any more educational costs due soon, which there were: we were only too happy to help this humble family. The mum is taking natural herbs and her tumor is not growing; her health has stabilized.

Their home felt cold and damp in the early morning after 12 hours of torrential rains. They showed us where the rain had forced its way through the matting. They were cheerful about having caught most of the rain in buckets they had placed strategically on the wooden platform bed, where the 5 of them slept.

Still needed:
a.Funds for them to make some solid walls. Their walls at present are made from matting and layers of newspapers.

Next we went to visit a fishing family, who lived on a little fishing boat until recently but now it's not in good condition. We found them under their partial tent made of corrugated metal sheeting on some borrowed land. I had met beautiful little P once before at the school teachers' home where she went for private tuition. She had gone along and asked for private tuition for free as she wanted to learn, as her dream was to go to school. I wanted to meet the mum to discuss why they still weren't able to get land to live on after 2 years of making requests to those in higher places. Also I wanted to find out more about the mothers heart condition and health and what help she had received and what she needed.

As they live in this area of 'no poor', no one officially needs help, so no one receives help. She has had thyroid surgery, and is on drugs to see if it helps her heart condition. If it doesn't then she needs an operation she can't afford and if she doesn't have this operation she will die young. The 20 month old son and their daughter were sniffling the whole time we was there due to the chills they got in their 'tent' during the last 12 hour session of heavy rains. All their bedding and clothing, except what they were wearing, was hanging around the 'tent' drying out. We felt for them as this is just the beginning of the rainy season! After the visit we went off to pay the remainder of P's school fees.

Still needed:
a. A sponsor to support little P's educational needs until she finishes her education. We payed them anyway as how can one refuse to support a child who has the guts to ask for free private tuition!
b. A sponsor to pay for kindergarten for the little boy. I didn't say that they lost one son not long ago as he drowned in the nearby river and they are petrified of losing their other son and want him in kindergarten so he is safe.
c. A sponsor to pay for some accommodation for the family until they are granted some land to use.
d. Later maybe we will need contacts of organizations that will help with heart surgery for mum. She will be on drugs for some months still.

As this is a way to share our work, I would also love any questions, thoughts or replies at
For those in the USA please do get in touch with me through

For privacy and confidentiality: I have tried to be 'discreet' . I won't use the names of Vietnamese children and their parents or others. They are all real people though!

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