Monday, October 26, 2015

CEF mum supporting herself and her daughter by making and selling soy milk and tofu

Each morning one of our CEF mums makes fresh soy milk and tofu. Then she goes off on her bike selling her home-made products door to door to people in her local community. 

This is how this single mum has supported herself and her daughter since she was born. Mum still produces and sells and CEF started helping with her daughter's education once it became too expensive for her to afford 6 years ago.

Sometimes it is not easy to see what is the most appropriate care for a child

I wish to share a challenging subject and those of you who work in care, in orphanages, with orphans, or with very poor families, you are most welcome to share your experience as it would be helpful. My email address is at the end.

Here in Vietnam children who have been orphaned often move in with a living relative if the relative thinks they can afford to look after them. Sometimes they think they can, but they can't, and then they ask for help elsewhere; from local pagodas, the local community groups, neighbors and sometimes the media get involved and ask for help for them.

There are twins we are helping with their education and the media helped raise some money for them and their care. Their uncle cares for them and is a sincerely humble and kind man. He was an orphan and their mother helped care for him when he was young and so he wants to help care for them. He loves them and cares for them like his own children. But he is poor, so the initial help he received through the media has helped with initial costs such as their mothers funeral, but most of it has gone into the bank into accounts set up for the twins for their future.

Sometimes the children are a means to obtain money and the minimal care is given to them, and sometimes they suffer abuse. These carers can end up receiving regular funds from various sources, as everyone feels so sorry for the children. This is true of some orphanages here and carers of orphaned children.

We have a little girl whose parents died from AIDS, but she is unaffected. Granny who is a little 'unstable' is 'caring' for her. Granny is also not completely honest and we do not trust her. She lives in a one room house she had built, which is always dirty, messy and has all the garbage around it that she collects and recycles. The little girl is usually dirty and in filthy clothes. Granny also hits her as we have seen red welts on her. We felt although it is a horrible situation it was better than an orphanage and she is with family, but sometimes after we visit we wonder......

One of the pagodas that refers local families to us has said they would take her and look after her, after they heard this story, but they could only afford to do that if CEF paid for her education. A Vietnamese friend said she would also be happy to bring her up if CEF could pay for her education.

This is a granny who is benefiting from having this child in her care. But is the child benefiting? Should she stay with a granny who uses her and abuses her or should she go some where, where she will be cared for, and not used or abused? We work to keep families together and we have never contemplated taking a child away from their family, so we are torn.

Even if we decide she should be with someone, or people who care for her, respect her and nourish her, granny is unlikely to let go of her as she would lose her benefits.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Today on International Women's Day we are looking for sponsors so that these girls can become women with choices

Today on International Women's Day we at CEF are please to know we are helping many girls to have an education; to have a future with more choices than their parents. We also know they are safe if they are in school, as it is a known fact that children in school are trafficked less.

These are three of the girls in need of sponsors, but we also have more girls who need sponsors. Some girls can be visited as they are within an hour or so from the office, but some the sponsors wouldn't be able to visit as the girls are too far from the CEF office; some even a flight and a long drive away.

Please consider sponsoring and let us know if you wish to sponsor a primary school child, secondary, high school girl or a young lady in tertiary education. Do you need to see her or are you happy to support a girl you won't meet?

All sponsors receive an annual update, photos, school results and a letter or two, or a drawing, depending on the age of the child.

Please sponsor a child, a child who really needs help to stay in school, so she is safe and will have a future with choices.


Sunday, October 11, 2015

International Day of the Girl Child and Why an Education is Important for Girls

It is wonderful to see that worldwide many organizations are making a stand to make the life of girls better.

Children's Education Foundation is passionate about educating girls here in Vietnam. All of us at CEF want to help impoverished and marginalized girls stay in school and complete their education to support their hopes and dreams of being educated as well as having the tools to reach their full potential.

There are many vital reasons to support females to be educated as the impact of giving a girl in a developing country a quality education can be felt in families, communities and in future generations. Below are a few:

Reducing Fertility Rates
The World Bank's research shows that when girls receive an education, they’ll have “fewer and healthier” babies.  One year of formal education can result in a 10% decrease in fertility due to being better informed about family planning, and are also more likely to marry later.

Lower Maternal and Child Mortality Rates
Girls who receive an education are less likely to contract HIV & AIDS, and thus, less likely to pass it onto their children.  The Comparative & International Education Society writes that their children are more likely to be vaccinated, and that educated mothers will be better informed about proper nutrition and health practices.

Future Educated Generations
By sending a girl to school, she is far more likely to ensure that her children also receive an education. As many claim, investing in a girl’s education is investing in a nation.

Higher Wages
The Girl Effect states that if a girl attends an additional year of primary school she’ll see her wages increase up to 20%.
Furthermore if she attends an additional year of secondary school, her wages could increase by 25%!

Investing in the Family
With these additional wages research shows that women are more likely to invest in their family.  In fact the Basic Education Coalition claims that women will reserve 90% of their income to better their families.  This economic savings will result in the betterment of not only individual families, but entire communities.

Thousands of girls, some as young as 7, will become a child bride.

Only 30% of girls in the world are enrolled in secondary school.       

One in seven girls in developing countries is married off before age 15.                                         

Women only hold 15.7% of top leadership positions in Fortune 500 companies.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Good news to share with Australians: CEF has GDR status!

Good news to share with Australians! Children's Education Foundation has been given GDR status. This means that from September 24, 2015, financial donations made in Australia over $2 can be claimed against tax you have paid.