Saturday, October 29, 2011

My Duyen is now sponsored

My Duyen who is a very bright young lady, now has a sponsor to support her complete her education. She grew up in a leper community as her father has had leprosy and is a registered leper.

We have 14 children from this leper community in our education support program who are receiving an education beyond primary school, which is all that was available in their community. 

Thank you Heather for giving My Duyen a far better future with many more possibilities!

New medical fund

It's nothing new that our charity has needs; but it is always wonderful and feels like such a blessing when there is a response to a need!

Two lovely ladies have responded to the need for funds for medical care for the children in our educational sponsorship programs. Some of the children come from such poor families that they have health problems due to malnutrition or parasites. Sometimes there are other reasons for their ailments.

They have started off the medical fund with $200. That will be enough to provide medical examinations, blood tests, x'rays, scans (if needed), and the opinion of an expert for My Hang.

My Hang is painfully thin, malnourished and has pain and inflammation in her joints. Her local doctor just says she has joint pain and inflammation and left it at that. We want to find out what is wrong and do what we can to help this sweet young girl. Now we can do this, thanks to Linda and Mary Jo!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

CEF - Vietnam filed for tax purposes

I met Greg and his wife Vivian a few years back. We found we had a lot in common: a love of Vietnam, of Vietnamese food, food generally, dogs, cycling and charity work. Greg works for Cause Effective, a non-profit that provides management consulting services to nonprofits and help clients develop critical resources they need (

Greg has been very helpful over the years with ideas, editing, helping fund raise and last year putting us in touch with Andra Moss, Volunteer and Communications Coordinator at International Senior Lawyers Project.The International Senior Lawyers Project provides the pro bono services of skilled and experienced lawyers to promote human rights, equitable and sustainable economic development and the rule of law worldwide. ISLP assists governments and non-governmental organizations working to advance the rights and well-being of their citizens and helps build the capacity of the legal profession to meet the needs of their communities(

Andra then put us in touch with Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP who assigned us three associates who would help make it all happen; Saima, Todd and Andrew. These three worked for free to help Children's Education Foundation - Vietnam prepare and submit our 501(c)(3) tax exemption papers. (

    Saima Majid - Business Finance and Restructuring Associate

Todd Moore - Corporate associate

Andrew C. Pelzer -Tax benefits, and Executive Compensation Associate

Stephen Jackel, CEF - Vietnam's USA coordinator and director, oversaw all the various stages of the work and helped lodge all the paperwork at each stage as well as donating the expenses. If it hadn't been for Stephen's generosity and determination for CEF - Vietnam to have tax exempt status it would not all have been possible.

"Investing in girls is the right thing to do. It is also the smart thing to do."

    "Investing in girls is the right thing to do.
      It is also the smart thing to do."

   — Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Managing Director, World Bank

In many parts of the world, women are routinely beaten, raped or sold into prostitution. They are denied access to medical care and education. Sadly, only 43 per cent of girls in developing regions attend secondary school and in sub-Saharan Africa only 83 girls are enrolled in school for every 100 boys.
According to the World Bank, an extra year of school can increase a girl's future earnings by 10 to 20 per cent and girls who attend secondary school have the power to make $2000 more per year than those who only attend primary school – now multiply that by all of the out of school girls and the impact on development is enormous. is home to the G(irls)20 Summit and a movement for empowering girls and women around the world.
Founded in 2008, The Belinda Stronach Foundation (TBSF) along with over 70 partners are working with the private sector and a number of national and international organizations to encourage G8 and G20 leaders to elevate the importance of political empowerment and economic freedom for girls and women in developed and developing nations. At the Clinton Global Initiative in September of 2009, TBSF made a commitment to Promoting Development in the G8/G20 Summit Process. TBSF committed to create a platform that aims to provide greater coordination of global advocacy efforts for the 2010 G8/G20 Summits and to promote and educate the Canadian public on development issues. As an engaged Canadian charitable organization with a track record on global development issues and a strong capacity in policy management and public communications, we are working with strategic partners to champion key issues affecting girls and women and provide opportunities for the public to lend their support to their advancement worldwide.

"The health of adolescent girls is everyone's business. We all need to step up to the plate to embrace this ambitious agenda."

— Melinda Gates

"Women and girls are not the problem; they are the solution."

— Nicholas Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn

"If young women had better access to farming land, fertilizers, credit and agricultural training there would be more food available for more people, and the nutritional status of children would improve. When women receive the same levels of education, experience and farm inputs as men they can increase yields of some crops by 22%."

— International Labour Organization, 2009

"Out of the world's 130 million out-of-school youth, 70 percent are girls."

— UN Foundation

"Adolescent pregnancies cost Kenya's economy US $500 million per year, while investing in girls would potentially add US $3.2 billion to the economy."

— NIKE Foundation, 2009, Girl Effect

"There's a growing recognition among everyone from the World Bank to the U.S. military's Joint Chiefs of Staff to aid organizations like CARE that focusing on women and girls is the most effective way to fight global poverty and extremism."

— Education Economics

"An extra year of secondary schooling has been demonstrated to increase women's future wages by 10-20 percent."

— Amazing Women Rock Website

"Female education is a key source of support for long-term economic growth. It has been linked to higher productivity; higher returns to investment; higher agricultural yields; and a more favourable demographic structure."

— Goldman Sachs, 2008

"Countries with the lowest number of girls in education lie at the bottom of the human development tables."


The above information is from

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

How to make a donation

Donations are always appreciated and make a big difference to the life of a child in Vietnam!

Your donation will help the work of Children's Education Foundation - Vietnam in many ways. Donating will help a child to receive what we think of as a basic right - an education. Education is a valuable gift for life.

Funds help us to continue sending young girls to school so that they become educated women better able to contribute to their family and wider community. They are then more likely to earn a much greater income, be knowledgeable mothers better able to care for their children’s health, and they are less likely to be abused.

And your donation will substantially reduce the risk of a girl being trafficked for prostitution or sweat shop labour, because she’s at school.

Here are a few specific examples of what your money can do:
$100 - annual food supplement for a child in our sponsorship program who hasn't got enough to eat
$150 - education per anum for child in primary school  - grade 1-5
$200 - education per anum for a child in grade 6-9
(for a child who doesn't need extra food or accommodation costs covered)

$300 - high school costs for each year of high school (with food or accommodation assistance)
$400-$500 - vocational training for a school graduate or for the basic fees for a college education for a yr
$800-$1000 - university cost per anum

Donations are needed for the medical needs of the children in our education programs: to pay for medical examinations, x'rays, eye tests and eye glasses, medicine and nutritional supplementation, and transport to doctors or hospitals.

 Some non-specific donations go towards education related costs and administration. Some examples of the use of funds are: bicycles for children to get to school, and winter clothes and winter bedding for a child in our education program who can't afford bedding or winter clothing. Some funds are needed to pay for my assistant to check on the children on a regular basis, write reports, translate letters, transcribe, do bi-annual local, district, provincial and national government paperwork, and also for transport to visit families, and many other things.

When you make a donation please specify if you wish your funds to be used for a specific purpose.

The quickest and easiest way to make a donation at present is:
Make a check out to ‘Children’s Education Foundation – Vietnam’
Post it to our USA Coordinator - Stephen Jackel
277 Broadway, Suite 1010, New York, NY 10007.
If you want more information or have questions contact Stephen or Linda:
Also do not forget that all donations will come under our 501 (c)(3) status which will be through any day and all donations from the last 18 months also.

Donations are always appreciated and make a big difference to the life of a child in Vietnam!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

CEF- Vietnam has been able to give Nam a place at STEC to study English

Nam who is being helped by CEF - Vietnam is a bright boy who I have known for about five years now. I have seen him grow up from a little and very shy lad to a much more confident and sweet teenager. Yes, even though he is a teenager he is sweet; he helps his mother around the home, runs errands for her and helps her with her paid work when she needs extra help.

Over the years I have been speaking to him in English when I see him as has been studying English at school for the last four years and likes to practice. When I have been away his mother has kept an eye on my home and when I have had house-sitters she has done some cleaning for them. Bruce and Elaine kindly house-dog-cat and fish sat for me once while I was away and spent quite a bit of time talking to him and helping him with his English. They also have paid for Nams' extra tuition this year, which without, he would only receive part of his education as the remainder is learnt in extra tuition sessions, if they can be afforded. Last year after I broke my leg, Leslie stayed at the house and helped me with the dog and cat, taking Zen the Doberman-Rottweiler for long walks. She also spent time talking to Nam and helping him with his English when he came around.

His English is now very good for a lad his age in comparison to others who are learning English at school, as they all have little opportunity to practice. Most English teachers have excellent grammar and writing skills, but still most have very poor speaking skills, resulting in many teenagers with English that can't be understood by English-speaking people.

Yesterday I was thrilled that STEC offered CEF - Vietnam yet another free place for  one of our students. I have given this place to Nam so he can improve his English even more, giving him an advantage which will allow him to excel in English at school and improve his overall results as well.

STEC 'Smart Tutoring English Centre' www.
Is supported by:
The scholarship funds come through 'Educational International Foundation' ( and through 'Global Literacy Foundation' (

Second-hand bikes for two of the CEF - Vietnam children

Children's Education Foundation - Vietnam was given two second-hand bikes in good condition by Tom and Louise who had been volunteers in Hoi An for over a year. We happened to have children in our education program in need of bikes at the time they left, so this gift was perfect timing.

So Nam received Toms' bike and Bao Tram received Louises' bike. I had given my old bike to Nam about three years ago when I realized I wasn't using it much. With Hoi An having very wet winters and with the salt in the air from the ocean, the bike I had given him was in need of constant repairs over the last year, so now Nam is thrilled to have a good second-hand bike and can reliably cycle to his high school which is about 12 miles from his home.

Nam's father can work very little as he has severe back pain due to injuries resulting from many years of heavy labor.  His mother is a housekeeper. He has help with his extra tuition through CEF - Vietnam.

A child in high school needs many hours of extra tuition each week to make sure they get all the knowledge they need to pass exams. In their school hours they only get some the knowledge they need. Just the extra tuition can cost $100-$150 in each year of high school. As most families have very low incomes they not only borrow to pay the basic school costs each year, but also to pay the cost of this essential extra tuition.

Bao Tram lives a long way from Hoi An, but her uncle who she lives with brought her to Hoi An to pick up the bike. She has been walking the 5 miles to school each day, but in our rainy season with three to four months of torrential rains that equals being soaked by the time you get to school, even with if you use an umbrella and wear a waterproof. So they were both more than happy to come to Hoi An to get the bike!

Tram has no father and her mother is classified as a 'leper' although she had leprosy while young and has been treated. She has poor health and recently one of her feet got severely infected resulting in it having to be amputated. She is still recovering from the surgery and won't be able to do any work for some time. Tram now lives with her uncle and his family. Tram has a sponsor who pays all her education costs.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The challenges of one the girls Children's Education - Vietnam helps

When we first met Tram's mother she had socks on that still showed she had no toes, she hid her hands as she only had some of her fingers remaining. Her facial color was uneven, her skin rough and lumpy. Now in her 40's, she looks about 60 years old.

She had leprosy while a young woman. She is blessed with a beautiful daughter, Tram. With the help of her sponsors Tram has received educational support for the last two years allowing her to continue her education beyond primary school. Without that help she would be out working already to support her mother and herself. 

As Tram's mother is not able to work much or look after Tram easily, Tram moved to live with caring relatives far from her mother. She speaks to her mother on the phone but rarely sees her as it is expensive to get from where she lives to her mother.

Tram nearly left school a few months ago as she was so distressed that her mother was in hospital for months, while they tried to fight the bad infection in her mothers foot. She hadn't realized it was so infected as she had almost no sensation in her feet. In the end gangrene started to set in and she had to have the leg amputated. So she had months in hospital with little care and then months recovering at home with little care. Tram's mother made a surprising stand and said she did not want her daughter to look after her, but wanted her to become an educated person and have a better life than she has had.

Tram's relatives are aware Tram is distressed and struggling to concentrate on her work. Besides this stress Tram has thyroid problems which are controlled moderately well by medicine but she probably will need to have surgery in the next few years.  For such a young girl it's a lot of stress to bare.

Tram is being brave and trying to study hard and do well at school to please her sponsors and her mother. Her mother should have healed soon and will then have a new leg fitted. Once she is used to that we hope she will be able to get around and have some quality of life and perhaps be able to get some work once she is more able bodied, which would help reduce Tram's worries and reduce the stress for Tram's relatives.

Hoi An my home town

As most of my friends can't imagine what Hoi An is like I have added a few photos. It's a historic UNESCO protected site. It has Chinese, Japanese and French architecture. I live in the countryside, about 30 minutes from the township by bike. I do not live in a straw hut as some imagine, but in a small semi-Vietnamese style house with running water and an indoor kitchen and bathroom, unlike many Vietnamese. I sometimes don't have electricity, or running water, but generally speaking I live a life not too dissimilar to many western people living a simple life.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Three more girls will have a full education

It rapidly became a very satisfying morning upon opening the computer and finding out one more girl has a sponsor. Last night two girls received sponsors, making it three girls who will now will have an education and have a future with many more opportunities.

Hanh lives with her little brother and grandmother. Granny has poor health but she is the only family member who can look after them. Her father is mentally unwell and her mother is rarely home as she collects garbage full time. Her income is so little that she can't afford to take a break from her work. Hanh will now have a full education as Nathalie is sponsoring her.

Ha lives with her sister and granny, who has poor health. Ha's mother sells bread in Ho Chi Minh City so granny is the only person who can care for her.  Go Philanthropic ( have organized a sponsor for her; the Bond family will now help Ha have an education. They will be coming to Vietnam in December and will spend some time with Ha which will be a treat for all. 

Trinh is a student Buddhist nun now as her parents could not afford to look after her so she went to the pagoda to live. The nun who looks after her can't afford to educate her as she has no income, just the occasional donations from her community, which is a poor farming commuity. Trinh is now guaranteed an education as Steve and Michele have taken on her sponsorship.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Three children in need of sponsors

Hoa is lucky to have two parents. He lives in a tiny hut with his parents,baby sister and granny. They all share a bed, have no bathroom or kitchen, or what we would call one. They cook outdoors and toilet outdoors. They can hardly afford to eat, let alone pay for Hoa to go to school. 
Phuoc has two parents, but both have very poor health. They grow rice and have just enough for the family and sometimes have extra to sell. They are paying for one of their children to go to school but that is all they can manage, so Phuoc needs a sponsor to receive an education.
  Binh was abandoned by his alcoholic father and his mother couldn’t manage to care for him and work as well, so she left him with an aunt who now sees Binh as her son. She can just afford to feed him as she earns so little.