Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Living with HIV


Some of the CEF children in our sponsorship program are living with HIV.

For some it is a very sad situation.  One doesn't have anyone who loves her or cares for her. Her grandfather cares the most, but not enough for her to get the care or educational support she needs. In another case her carers are elderly grandparents who haven't been able to tend to her needs or help with her education requirements sufficiently, so she is failing most subjects in primary school. Fortunately an aunt has returned to the area and is now able to help out a little. Another girl has a loving grandmother but granny is no longer young and under terrible stress as she is caring not just for her granddaughter, but also for the children of another son who has HIV and is in prison. His wife died from HIV. 

Some of the children face discrimination at school, with one girl having to leave her school and she could only find one that would accept her a long way from home.

The girl in these photos is very fortunate to have an intelligent and caring mother, even though she also has HIV. The mother is considered unemployable because of being infected and decided to develop work at home and is keeping and breeding chickens. She is so caring that they are doing really well and she is earning a satisfactory income for many of their needs, but unfortunately not enough to pay for the education costs of her four children, therefore CEF has found a sponsor for one of them. They are most grateful for that support and we at CEF are most grateful that she is sponsored and has educational support.

Vietnamese resilience

The Vietnamese have a reputation for resilience and I believe it is true. I wish to talk about one child who has bounced back and is doing well in life and school.

Her parents both died from HIV. One was in prison a long time and then soon after being released died. The other parent died soon afterwards. Her school kicked her out once they found out she was infected. Her neighbours including neighbourhood children rejected her.

She is healthy, strong, energetic, humorous and happy. She has a loving grandmother, relatives who care about her and a school she loves going to that unfortunately is far from home, but is doing well there. Her joy and humour lighten our spirit when we spend time with her. She is an amazingly resilient lovely little girl

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Completion and goodbye

After TH being in CEF's sponsorship program for 7 years it was hard to say goodbye this weekend although thrilled she had completed high school, college and recently completed another degree. When a student has been in our program a long time we grow to care for them a lot and they talk to us about their challenges and successes and share their happiness with us. 

As she started in the program a very sad and depressed girl in poor health we had to give her that bit more TLC. Her parents had both recently drowned and understandably she couldn't speak of them without bursting into tears and crying for some time.

We and her sponsor Linda D are very proud of her accomplishments. She is now employed and supporting herself, although struggling on the low income of her first job after graduation.

Friday, May 5, 2017

The impact of hand written letters ~ Guest blog by CEF's Ms Thuy

Do you still write letters by hand? I haven’t written or received any handwritten letters for such a long time since most of my friends, my relatives and I myself use emails or make phone calls or video calls when we want to communicate with one another. It’s a faster and more convenient way for all of us but I’m missing that familiar feeling that I used to have in the past. Yesterday I rediscovered that feeling when one of our children on receiving a letter from her donor gave a big smile and asked if it was ok to write a third letter in reply. Of course my answer was yes and I felt a little bit jealous of her. So now I am thinking of writing letters by hand to my friends who live faraway.

CEF photography project to run through June for our local CEF students

Summer is coming and to encourage creativity and to have fun, we are running a photographic project for a month. They will be trained to take photos of scenery, beaches, rivers, markets, rice fields and people.

The number of students we can do it with will depend on the number of point and shoot cameras that can be donated or funds donated to buy them.

We are still in need of donations for the point and shoot cameras, small memory cards, for printing the photos and photo frames for our exhibition that we will complete the training with.

Training will start on the 1st June. Photos are of some of the children taking photos when we were doing home visits.

If you can help please get in touch: