Wednesday, September 7, 2016

A new school year has just started ~ Guest blog by CEF's Ms Thuy

A new school year just started on Monday. Students have had to go to school for practicing their school opening ceremony since last Saturday which was also our last home visit day to see the CEF children in Hoi An.

Start of school year (photographer unknown)

All of our students feel excited about going back to school because they can meet their friends and teachers after nearly 3 months of summer holidays. It’s so nice to know all of them are already well prepared for their new academic year. They all look so nice in their school uniforms. Most of them have at least one new white shirt and blue trousers – the school uniform in primary and secondary school in Vietnam. Some have to have two pairs because last years’ no longer fit as they grow up so fast; especially the secondary school girls.  High school girls often have two or three pairs of white ‘ao dai’ (long dress with side splits to the waist and long loose trousers underneath) for the 3 years at high school.

One of our CEF students in her uniform

Some of our students can save a little of the money we give them thanks to their well-deserved school awards and gifts for being ‘Good’ student last year; such as notebooks, uniform fabrics and table lamps.

We wish all our students a happy and successful school year.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

CEF is pleased and proud of him for completing his college studies

Fortunately he won't read this as it would embarrass him....

I remember him as a shy and timid little boy shortly after he lost his remaining parent. At the time I visited him, he and his two sisters were in the family home; a tiny run down house that was urgently in need of upkeep and cleaning. He looks the same now as he did then but now he is obviously a lot taller.

His sisters decided to drop out of school and work. Soon after they married into the local farming community and have their own families. He was taken in by his uncle and his family. They have loved and cared for him as if he was their own.

He came to CEF this week to complete with us as he has finished his college lectures in engineering. We wondered if he ever would get through school, so we are proud of him for hanging in there and getting through both high school and college. He just has to work on one assignment now and then he gets his qualification!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Budgeting session for some high school students at CEF ~ Guest blog by CEF's Ms Kim Chi

I was very excited this morning to talk about budgeting at CEF with some children who used to live at Hoi An Children’s Home, which has now shut down.

It was essential for these young adults to learn this subject because now any family that they have has to pay everything for them while they are doing their high schooling and living away from home in shared accommodation. They have to help with accommodation, food, and other living costs now and for some they will need to cover some of their extra tuition too.

These young adults have to consider and choose what is cheap and reasonably priced and just choose essential foods and things, or they won’t have enough money for their studies and living costs.

We want to help them recognize how important budgeting is so they can do their own budgets. Fortunately they were serious about the session as well as confident to ask questions and share their thoughts.

The students worked on the monthly costs for their whole year. I gave them clues and guided them on how to balance their income and expenses, then I edited one of their example budgets to help them to understand what we had been talking about more clearly.

I was very thrilled as they not only learned about budgeting, but also know that they have to work really hard at school, understand their difficult situations and think of having a part time job to help them cover all their costs.

It will be very useful and important knowledge to share with them to help them in life now and also to help them to make realistic decisions about going to university in the future.