Saturday, February 6, 2010
Tet is new year in Vietnam. This week is the lead up to Tet, as the festival falls on the first new
moon of the lunar calender. It's a time of renewal and completion but also a time for reflections on the past year and what we created and received. It's also about the year to come and what we dream of and want to create.
This past year has been full of blessings with many kind people in Vietnam, the USA and Australia supporting Children's Education Foundation - Vietnam. This has enabled us to pay for the education and educational support for Vietnamese girls from very poor families. Education for females is important and something in the west we take for granted. Without an education the choices a female has are very limited in Vietnam keeping most of them in an endless poverty cycle.
I want all who have helped in some way to know that each little bit of help makes a difference. Without others my hands are tied and this is important to acknowledge as it is an example of our connectivity and how precious we all are to each other. I truly appreciate all of you for each thing you do and have done.
This year I have learnt so much more about human nature, Vietnamese people and their determination to better themselves and their families and more about how their their strong survival instincts work. I have learnt more about myself, my weaknesses and strengths, and my strong desire to see these girls we help complete their schooling and have a future with more choices and a better life. This has meaning to me as I feel I am so blessed with the choices I have each day and year. I just completed my schooling but never attended university. In Vietnam due to its cultural, religious and political restraints, the girls there may never have the freedom I have had and continue to have, but with a full education they have many more choices than they have if they drop out of school after their primary education which is common for country girls from poor families. With a university education a girl's work opportunities and income are greater. Their thinking and maturity also develop further making them even more useful members of their communities. If a girl has the intelligent and is hard working we continue to support her to have a college or university education. We have one girl who has completed this stage in her life and it is so encouraging to see how she has blossomed that I wish this for all the girls we help.
Below I want to mention just a few of the highlights for CEF over the year from Tet 2009 to Tet 2010.
In the USA:
Registration of CEF in the USA has taken place with the work kindly donated by Stephen
Gregory has kindly given ideas and advice
Richard and Robert have kindly offered to provide support and advice
Liz kindly donated a good second-hand computer for CEF's office
We have new sponsors and supporters
Help was raised for some emergency relief
Lyn and Cheryl helped CEF at Dai Loc Orphanage (their story is in another blog)
They provided toys & educational supplies & threw a party for the children
Cheryl helped me with CEF office work, including teaching me how to blog
She presented CEF with a printer-scanner and a camera to take project photos
Nadine and Robyn both shared their NGO experience
Shanti helped check on two of our projects in more distant areas of Vietnam
Shanti also created products in Vietnam which she sold in Australia to raise funds for CEF
Brian helped set up a better accounting system
Duyen, CEF's new part-time assistant, has been of invaluable help since she came on board
Duyen's wages for the last six months were provided by Derek
Derek also kindly provided auditing
Peter and Debra, two lovely new friends kindly donated a small compact lightweight laptop for travel
We have received donations and have new sponsors
Graeme has kindly continued to help manage CEF
Anna has endlessly raised funds for CEF
LTC has been very supportive
Sandy shared ideas from her vast experience of 20 plus years of NGO work
Help was raised for some emergency relief
I see how blessed we have been with loving care from many good souls and feel in awe at the wonder of how everything works out when we dream, focus, work on it all and trust. This year I would love to see us have further support for the girls we are supporting to receive an education.
Goals for this year:
Continued helping for the girls to receive an education
Create more systems and structures
Find new sponsors
A fund for emergency help for the children and families we help
Funds to continue to give Duyen a small salary to continue working for CEF in Vietnam
Funds to contribute towards an income for me to continue working full time on CEF
We will happily welcome volunteers in both the USA And Australia who can assist with:
Creating a fund raising team
Managing a fund raising team
Creating a new website
Creating a new business card and promotional leaflet
Assisting with CEF office work in the USA and Australia
My love and thanks to all who have shared in and continue to share in CEF's dreams, hopes and aspirations to provide the support needed for Vietnamese girls to receive an education, so they may have a better future with more choices as we do.