Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A horrible experience of illegal employment ~ Guest blog by CEF's My Vy

CEF's Ms Vy writes a powerful story about the every day abuse that can happen to girls from poor families who drop out of school.

During my first home-visit trip and meeting one of the CEF girls, 'L', I was left me with a lot of mixed feelings. 'L' had just returned home after 10 days of working as a waitress, without pay, in a popular restaurant in Da Nang. Having heard from a neighbor that she could earn lots of money when doing this job in Da Nang, she had decided to go to Da Nang without hesitating despite her mother’s advice to the contrary; however, everything was well under her expectations! During the time away, she was working far from home, with hard and severe working condition.

'L' had gradually realized her most important responsibilities are studying and obeying her parents and that realization made her stop working and come back home to say sorry to her parents. 

While her cheeks were bathed in tears, she said she had drawn the moral from those terrible days; she had better focus on studying than earn money, so that she can have a full education and full awareness to protect herself from the abuse of employers of young girls. 

Learning from her situation, I strongly affirm that it is only a full education that helps girls avoid being victims of illegal employment, and worse and dangerous situations like trafficking, physical abuse or sexual abuse. 

Linda's comment:
Time to mature and develop some wisdom is needed and keeping a girl in school gives her that time. We are pleased she had enough wisdom to know this terrible experience was not acceptable and leave.

Friday, July 15, 2016

CEF's Dental Care ~ Guest blog by CEF's Ms Vy

Being aware of the significant importance of dental care for children, CEF has been organizing Dental Care Day for CEF children for some years now. This year was the first time I attended. I was responsible for taking children from Hoi An to Da Nang to check their dental health, and be available to translate or talk to the children about what was taking place in the dental room. This is also the first time I have witnessed how a dentist worked, and what a dental room looked like and I was very impressed.


 Some of children had problems with their teeth because of their lack of good oral health. After each dental check-up and treatment, all the children was instructed by dental specialists from East Meets West Dental Clinic on how to practice good oral hygiene like brushing their teeth twice a day with toothpaste, gargling with clean water after eating and avoiding eating sugar.
I hope all the children will be well aware of oral health now because our mouths are windows to the health of our bodies.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Beng sponsored and in school is crucial for this little girl affected by HIV

Little 'T' who is now sponsored

 It's wonderful to have this little angel sponsored! Sadly her mother became infected with HIV from dad, who passed away a few years ago, and the two youngest children became infected from mum, including this little one. 

Fortunately, because of good medications being available, and which she is on, she is healthy. Her mother is very conscientious about taking her medications as well as making sure her two children affected do as well. And thanks to a couple who are able to sponsor her, she can go into grade 3 and have support for the remainder of her schooling! What a blessing!

Her art work

Sunday, July 10, 2016

One of the girls from Phuoc Son in need of a scholarship ~ Guest blog by CEF's Ms Vy

She is a nice girl with sad eyes and a meek smile. She has been living in a small house made of low quality wood, rattan and roofed with corrugated iron with her maternal grandfather, her mother and her youngest sister since the day her father went away when she was only 8 months old. Up until now, all the difficulties and burdens have been placed on her mother’s shoulders. However, a fall many years ago causes regular dizziness and nausea for her mother as well as making her health decrease; therefore, her mother cannot work as much as before to give full support for her family.
Despite many difficulties, she is always encouraged to continue her education by her illiterate mother because her mother believes that it is only literacy and education that will give her daughter a better and happier life in the future, and not like her mother’s life in the present.

Having understood thoroughly her family’s circumstance and mother’s expectations, she concentrates on her studying as much as possible. As a result, she got ‘fair’ school results with a 7.4/10 average in the 2015-2016 academic year although she does not attend any extra tuition classes. This summer holiday, she is going to move to KonTum to attend extra tuition classes in math and help her auntie with some farming work to earn money for this classes. 
Never has she stopped making great efforts to make it possible to become a policewoman to help protect her community and her nation.
With a scholarship for the next two years this will give her support to complete high school and help motivate her further to make her dream come true.

She needs a scholarship for 2 years to help her complete high school: US$150 a year.
If you would like to help her please contact us: c.e.f.vietnam@gmail.com

One of the girls in need of a scholarship ~ Guest blog by CEF's Ms Vy

This young lady comes from one of the poor communes in Phuoc Son District.  All five family members live in a small house made of bricks with a corrugated iron roof. Currently her father works as a farmer to feed the family because her mother has recently given birth. She will work again as a food seller when her new child is old enough to go to infant care.  She said her parents worked very hard with planting paper trees on their poor quality field on the mountain and they raise chickens. However, bad weather conditions and slow growth of the trees mean her family have an unstable income. Moreover, her father has not yet paid off the bank loan of US$1,500. The father has to work not only to support the family and but also to pay interest every month.
No matter how difficult life is her father is very happy and feels lucky to have a good and obedient daughter like her. Not only is she a fair student with a 7.9/10 average, but she also saves money for buying her study materials. During the school year she lives away from home and near her school. She works as a tutor for her host’s daughter in exchange for free accommodation. In addition, she is very creative as she likes making some simple toys with plastic bottles, paper and dried flowers in her free time.
She hopes she will receive a scholarship as she wishes to have money to buy books and attend extra tuition classes in her worst subjects. She has a dream of being a Primary School Teacher, and she optimistically believes that she will pass the entrance exams into a Pedagogy University.

A scholarship for two years will be supportive in leading her to the stage of applying to university and making her dream come true.

US$150 a year scholarship
Contact: c.e.f.vietnam@gmail.com

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Reflections on making a difference ~ Guest blog by a CEF board member - Brian

There is an old cliché along the lines “every little bit helps”.   And I believe that to be a truism it can be applied to things we can do to assist the development of living standards for those in countries less fortunate than our own.

Few of us have the resources to be able to make a massive impact on “changing the world for the better”.   However, it does not take a lot to “make a difference” for an individual in parts of the world where sheer survival can be a daily struggle.

Many words have been written on the benefits that flow from education.  It is demonstrated that not only does improved education enhance the economic prospects of a nation, but also, and particularly in the case of girls, it has an enormous impact on social and political development.

To quote UNICEF:  “There is vast evidence suggesting that countries with better gender equality and less gender disparity in primary and secondary education are more likely to have higher economic growth. Some countries lose more than $1 billion a year by failing to educate girls to the same level as boys.

An educated female population increases a country's productivity and fuels economic growth.
More educated women tend to be healthier, work and earn more income, have fewer children, and provide better health care and education to their children. Girls' education literally saves millions of lives.”

During the course of my many visits for Linda to the village of Phuc Le in northern Vietnam over the past ten years, I have been blessed to be able to observe the emergence of a whole new generation of young women.  Shy young girls of nine years have, as a result of being supported over ten years of schooling, developed into articulate, confident young women; ready to pursue higher studies or take their place in the work force in jobs their mothers could not have dreamed of.

CEF’s Graeme, who accompanied me on my most recent visit, took to exploring the level of education attained by the various generations of women represented in each family; in many cases three.   As could be expected, most of our girls’ mothers had not progressed beyond primary school levels, and many of the grandmothers had never had any schooling.  Their lives have generally involved years of hard work growing rice to feed the large families they have borne.

It is most gratifying to realize that due to the efforts of those who support Linda and the CEF team, the next generation of these families can aspire to a better all round lifestyle.  And the obvious delight of the mothers and grandmothers at the improved future that awaits their daughters / granddaughters is quite wonderful to see.

So, congratulations to all you out there who are “making a difference”