Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Visit and donation to support education of girls from minority tribes

Today I was able to meet the son of a lady who has set up a group in Italy who meet regularly to have English lessons with her, and they the students then make donations that go towards charity.

This is the second time they have donated to CEF. Her first donation went to scholarships for three minority tribe girls near the Laos border to enable them to complete their last year of high school.

This donation will be used towards the costs of tertiary education for the most hard working of the three; the girl with the highest standard of the three girls she has helped. For a girl from a poor minority tribe family to go to university is wonderful and unusual. This means she can have a very different future to her mother and grandmother. It is very exciting what donations can do and we are very grateful for these two donations!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Our first CEF visitors of the year ~ Guest blog by CEF's Thuy

Today, we had the great pleasure to welcome the first group of this year at our CEF office. They were Ms. Miriam,  and Ms. Aurora, from ‘Focus on Women’ (from Spain), and their tour guide.

Normally, Linda, our founding director, is the person who is responsible for talking about CEF to visitors. However, she is in Australia now, so we, the CEF staff, were very excited to take over. Thanks to Linda’s advice, we discussed, prepared and shared the work with each other. We also prepared a Power Point Presentation which made us all remember about our lectures at university. After the presentation and talks with them, we felt happy when they said that they were interested in CEF's work and commented that CEF was doing a great job. We are looking forward to hearing from them soon.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

About my maternity leave & returning to work ~ Guest blog by CEF's Kim Chi

I have come back to work after 5 months off work to have a baby.

Having a baby has changed my life a lot. The time off seems to have passed quickly. All my personal likes and habits have to stop to focus on taking care of my daughter. I only have a short time at night to read books and to do household chores when she sleeps.

My daughter always smiles even she sees people for the first time. Vietnamese people say she always smiles because I smiled a lot when I was pregnant. That seems true to me as I smiled every day when I worked at CEF during my pregnancy. I felt very happy every morning when I went to CEF for working, and with having humorous colleagues, I laughed a lot.

I was very eager to come back to work to see my co-workers. There is a lot of work I have to update even after a short time off work, but I will catch up quickly.

Leaving my daughter at home with my mother is quite hard for me as I miss her a lot, but I will adapt because I love work.

Why so many CEF students find English difficult ~ Guest blog by CEF staff Ms Ngoc

As we visit many CEF children we have a chance to talk to them about their schooling. I found out that 80% of them have challenges in learning English, especially with their listening and speaking skills.  In my opinion, the main reason is that they are from remote areas and they do not have many opportunities to work on, and improve their English.

First I think at school in rural areas, they do not have enough school equipment for students to practice their listening skill, so students just hear their Vietnamese teachers’ voices. Besides, students are poor so they also do not have computers at home to listen to English conversations every day. Therefore, their skills are not as good as that of other students who live in urban areas. Second, because they live in rural areas they do not have any chance to talk with foreigners, which students need to do. They need to practice speaking English as much as they can in order to improve their speaking skills.

It is interesting that some of CEF students are willing to talk whenever they see Linda or their sponsors. However most of them are very shy and do not want to communicate at all. They lack confidence in speaking in English. Last but not least, when learning another language, from my perspective, we have to take full advantages of our time to do English exercises and practice our skills every day. However, CEF students are from poor families so they spend most of their home time helping their families with household chores. They do not have much time to study, although they have lots of subjects and homework to do at home. Due to some of the above reasons, I think CEF students find English challenging.

English summer classes for CEF tertiary students

With CEF’s support, the children can have better conditions to study; especially opportunities to develop their English.  If they have good English, they are able to communicate with their sponsors whenever they see each other.