Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year & Birthday Presents to Create Change in Vietnam

I have reached a stage in life where I only really want presents that are meaningful to me,ones that have the potential to create change in my life or in the world. Some examples for me are a yoga teacher training course, spiritual retreats, or knowing I am putting a child through school who otherwise could not have an education. Maybe you are like me and the meaningful is important.

A very powerful thing to create change is to sponsor a child or co-share a sponsorship. Educating a child from an impoverished or marginalized family in Vietnam makes a difference not just for the child, but for their family and their community as well. The child has a more stable childhood and is more secure in their community and no longer vulnerable to traffickers. They have greater choice in careers as adults, bringing in a better income and are more useful members of their community.

The future looks bleak for many poor parents with children they can't afford to educate; it's a burden as nothing much can change as they still feel they will have a poor future. Out of desperation parents might abandon their children who are then at risk of being trafficked, or the parents realize they can make money by selling them to traffickers.

I hope you can help create change by buying some meaningful presents for your close friends and family this Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year and for forthcoming birthdays.

$20 for a beautiful CEF 2011 Calendar (see the 3 black framed photos in this blog from the calendar)

We have some CEF calendars left and as 2011 is nearly here we have reduced them to $20. The lovely photos have been taken by Shanti, my eldest daughter who has an artistic eye. They are of our northern project in Phuc Le. Profits will be used to buy desks, chairs and lamps for children who are doing homework on the floor in Phuc Le. This simple measure reduces their time off school due to chills.

Ongoing sponsorship is needed for 5 children (2 boys and 3 girls)at $150 each (at present)

Next year it will still be $150, but will rise for secondary and high school
Photos of 4 of these children I have added - Bi, the little boy, Loan with side bangs, Trinh with a touch of orange on her jacket and Y with a touch of yellow on hers.

Ongoing sponsorships for 7 children at $250 each
We have 7 children(2 boys and 5 girls)who each need a sponsor to pay $250 for them to go to school this year and each year until they complete school. Some finish this year,some in one, some in two and some in three years. Sponsorships can be shared.

University / College or Career Training $400-$1500
Each year we have children finish school who need sponsors to pay for their occupational training or college studies. This can be a shared cost by sponsors. Prices vary according to what they study and where they study. Each year it varies from $400-$500 for training and $800-$1500 for university. Training is usually complete in a year and university in 4-6 years.

I hope you are like me and want to make a difference even though a little one. I believe a little one is better than none especially if it means a child is safe from traffickers.

May you enjoy your end of year celebrations with those dear to you and wishing you all a meaningful 2011.


Our New Volunteer has an Endearing Smile and a Good Heart

Miriam has taken a year out of her life for travel, adventure and volunteering for Children's Education Foundation. Originally she just intended helping for a short period, but has found herself a nice Hoi An home and has decided to stay and help for a year.

Children's Education Foundation raises funds for education,especially for girls from impoverished families, but we also do believe in doing what we can to reduce the suffering of the families we help if possible. We had a straightforward situation. We needed funds to move a family to dry ground in the rainy season when their home easily becomes submerged and for the monthly medications the mother needs for her heart and thyroid condition for a year. I reached out to Miriam and asked if she felt she and her friends might be able to help. Before Miriam left to come to Vietnam she raised the funds required to help this family. The family were thrilled and you could see their anxiety drop away with the news.

Our new volunteer is a social worker with a big heart and winning smile. We have taken her to meet some of the families and children we are sponsoring, or are about to sponsor, and she is very good with them all; winning their trust and friendship. Her advice and ideas are helpful and makes one realize how in the west we are so fortunate to have a variety of valuable services available, but in Vietnam there are very few of these services, and very few social workers, although they truly are needed.

Her enthusiasm and passion for making change is moving. Her passion is readily expressed and easily conjures up sponsors for the children. She is already deeply engrossed in Internet conversations with a good friend of hers in Australia working on a project that will involve some of the children CEF helps and at the same time raise funds for them.

She is a true blessing for Children's Education Foundation and the children.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

2011 Calendars can turn into desks

How do calendars turn into desks? It's simple. Buy three calendars and there is enough money to make a desk!

CEF Calendars are for sale and profits from three will provide a desk for a child who does homework on a cold floor in the north of Vietnam. Getting the children off the floor will help them have less chills through the winter and give them ultimately better school results due to better school attendance.

Very poor children sometimes don't have a choice and have to do their homework on the floor, while others do it on the family bed and some have floor-level desks and some a desk. Some children do homework at the family table and sometimes desks have to double up as storage facility too. Most of the children we help are very organized and neat.

The photos are of some of the children sponsored by CEF working at their desks or it's a photo of their desk which they wanted us to take. These photos are not from the calendar.

The pictures in the calendar are both interesting, colorful and lovely and were taken by Shanti my eldest on visits she did to Phuc Le to help with assessments. See another blog PROFITS TURN INTO CALENDARS FROM THE SALE OF THE CEF 2011 CALENDAR which has several photos from the calendar.

Supplies of calendars are available for you to buy for family and friends. They can be posted to you.

Graeme has some in Sydney: / or or Graeme's mobile is 0416 177 012

Stephen has a supply in New York: or 917 402 1249

You can buy them as birthday, Christmas or New Year presents and turn them into desks!