Friday, July 7, 2017

Some of CEF's Creative Photography students at Hoi An's Precious Heritage Museum

Recently some of our Creative Photography students visited a wonderful Museum in Hoi An ~  the Hoi An Precious Heritage Museum in which hang photos by internationally known photographer Rehahn and the clothing of many Vietnamese ethnic minority communities. They thoroughly enjoyed the visit and we hope the photos inspired them as well.   

 Photo of one of Rehahn's photos

 Photo of one of Rehahn's photos

Photo of one of Rehahn's photos

New increase in CEF sponsorships and scholarships

Children's Education Foundation has just put up sponsorships and scholarships for the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 years.

The increase in sponsorships covers inflation from the last year and covers the estimated inflation for the next two years. If inflation is lower than the estimation we will be able to keep the sponsorships the same for another year after that.

Our scholarships have gone up as we wish to include funds to give further support to the high school students from this predominantly ethnic community we work with near the Vietnam-Laos border, but also to be in a position to give some annual support to the parents. Some of the children have been passing over part of their scholarship to their family due to family health issues and ongoing grinding poverty.

We hope this change in payment will mean that the children will now use all funds given to them for their education. They are from such poor families that we understand why they have been doing this although we asked them not to do that, and explained that the funds were for their education only.

They are such honest children that they told us they had given some funds and explained why. All reasons were totally valid and acceptable as many have very sad, challenging family situations.

From 7th July 2017:
Scholarships are now:US$200

Sponsorships are now:
US$260 for primary school students
US$320 for secondary school students
US$385 for high school students

Thank you for your interest in CEF and your support,

Saturday, July 1, 2017

CEF Creative Photography Sesssions

Over the summer holidays our local students who are interested in photography attended sessions on Creative Photography with four photographers in four different areas in and around Hoi An.

We believe creativity is important especially for our students who all come from poor backgrounds. The ability to think creatively allows them to resolve challenges creatively.

At the end of the sessions the best three photos from each student were printed and put on exhibition at Dingo Deli in Hoi An.

Prize giving is 3pm on Saturday 15th July at Dingo Deli.

(Photos above are some of the final photos on exhibition)    

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Time up in the mountains near the Laos border

The trip into the mountains to interview new students and to update students in our scholarship program went well. The countryside was stunning as usual and the weather was kind as it was cooler than in Hoi An and there was a gentle breeze most of the time.

Students who lived too far away for us to visit came to their school for their interviews. Some of them live a few hours away with a few only being able to walk the last kilometres through the mountains to their homes.

Most homes are basic structures made of a mixture of materials, with only some of the wooden structures having cement or cement and tiled floors.  

Most families share their stories openly making it easy to see who needs help in most situations. Some parents although uneducated want their children to complete high school. Sometimes it is hard to decide who to help as some students are unfocused and unclear about what to concentrate on to do well at school and about what to do after graduation although it is just a year away. Unfortunately the system here requires them to be focused for their last three years of schooling. Some parents don't want their children in school and there is a battle going on between them. In those last two situations unfortunately there are few we can support.   

Saturday, June 3, 2017

CEF's 2017 Water Safety Day was possible due to Go Philanthropic's support

We are most grateful to Go Philanthropic and one specific Go Philanthropic donor for their wonderful support making our 2017 Water Safety Day possible.

The time at the beach was a mixture of  learning the life-saving theory about the dangers of water, how to be safe around it, including how to save yourself in the water and how to safely save others. There were fun games on the beach and in the water, lunch at the beach and then relaxation by the waters edge afterwards with yoghurts. We finished the day with a movie which was very touching and humorous about a child and her mentally ill mother. It was about caring for others, being thoughtful and not selfish.

The children had a wonderful time and everyone was very grateful for this opportunity and they look forward to the event next year.

Friday, June 2, 2017

This weekend CEF are doing new interviews and re-assessments of girls near the Laos border

Up in this area of Quang Nam near the Laos border there is a lot of poverty as there is no industry and few work opportunities. 

 This weekend four of CEF's staff are up in the mountains re-interviewing girls we have been helping one of two years and also interviewing new families asking for help for their girls education.

Homes are usually wood with tins roofs, with most having a compact dirt floor. Families are large with girls marrying younger than is legally allowed. This is what is normal.

As most grandparents and parents haven't been to school their children are vulnerable and many children end up working hard at a very young age and some go off to work in the illegal mines.

Children leave to do work they have been told about in a big city with a good income and are never heard of again. Trafficking of children from this area is so easy to do and we want this to change.

We want to protect them by making sure more finish high school, but also provide workshops for the girls to teach them about trafficking, health and hygiene, and help them develop social skills.

At present we have 32 of the girls up here in our scholarship program and run yearly workshops for them and the other girls in high school in this area.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

CEF's annual Water Safety Day was on May 28th

We at CEF believe that understanding water safety is crucial and is life-saving knowledge with 32 children drowning each day in Vietnam (WHO statistics). Each year we have a Water Safety Day where the students learn about water safety. It's a fun day too as there are games in the water, on the sand, under shelter and then we end the day with a movie.

Thank you all who helped with the preparation, at the beach, and who supported this day in various ways.  An especially big thank you to Go Philanthropic for giving us a grant so we could run this important day.

 When we arrived the no swimming sign was up. We half expected this as it had been raining on and off for a couple of days and the seas had been rough.

When the students arrived they smothered themselves in sun screen.

Covering water safety theory is crucial as they then understand the possible dangers of water and how to avoid them as well as how to rescue people in the water.

 To get the students comfortable in the ocean we play games at the edge of the beach but in the ocean. They quickly learn the strength of the waves.

We played many games on the sand too.

Only the brave went in the water to learn floating as the waves were quite frightening for most of the students.

Then it was time for  showering and many more games and singing under shelter from the sun.


Watching the ocean after lunch

Then we finished with a movie at the cinema and they then headed off home with a photo of them all from the day.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Eleven girls are in school due to the generous support of Tamara

Most CEF sponsors just sponsor one child, some two and a few three as we ask for a commitment to see the child through their education whether they start sponsoring the student in grade 4 or in grade 7, and that's a big commitment one we all really appreciate.

We are thrilled to hear from someone who wants to sponsor as it means they will be able to help that child stay in school, support them being educated, therefore giving them a very different future to the life of a child who has to stop their education at 10 or 13.

Sometimes we are blessed to have donations, that are non-specific allowing us to use those funds for CEF activities, workshops or even to be able to contribute to staffing costs as without staff we can't do anything. Even though these donations don't come with stipulations we love to see their funds helping some of  the children in need of sponsorship or scholarship as well.    

These eleven children have their education funded by Tamara's monthly donations enabling them to continue their education. As she is a committed donor we know that we can commit to helping these girls complete their education.

When poor and an education is unaffordable it is devastating for children to be removed from school, to know their future may well end up being the same as their mother who collects garbage to bring in funds for food each day.

Some have sad situations that mean they just can't afford their living costs. The mother of the girl above had a nervous breakdown after the birth of her last child and since hasn't been able to work leaving dad to be responsible for the care and support of his four daughters and his wife.

Her parents have poor health as well as living where there is no work limiting their income to support four children.   Dad has to go away for months at a time to work in large cities just to feed his family.

 Her mother has such debilitating migraines that nothing seems to relieve and the most she can manage is to look after the home and the four girls. Dad's income is seasonal as he is a deep sea fisherman and they have months on end with no income.

Her parents are divorced and she is cared for by her granny who has terrible health and an income of about $3 a day, just enough to feed her but not support her education.

 Her mother is uneducated and 'simple'. She manages to farm rice to feed them, but she has no income as she is not employable.

 Her parents died from HIV and her only sibling is unwell too. She lives with an old and ill granny and is not well cared for. Fortunately her teachers care about her.

Her parents divorced when she was very young and she now lives with her granny whose income is too small to send her to school.

These girls have a future now and their family members are hugely relieved to have this educational support. Most parents and grandparents want to see them be educated but when they haven't enough income no matter how much they want that it is just not possible.

Sponsorships, scholarships, funding of programs and non-specific donations are so appreciated that we can't easily express how much they mean to us at CEF and to the families.