Monday, April 30, 2012

Our Children's Education Foundation - Vietnam Newsletter

Last week after a huge tropical storm that suddenly came through locally many discovered it had left their rice crops damaged, their peanuts destroyed and some of their corn too. That means poverty here will be worse as many now have much less food to sell or rice to eat. The price of rice will go up affecting all those who are struggling already.

To me it was an amazing storm, but to most in this area it was a life-changing storm. I feel for those we help here; they are trying so hard to make ends meet, but now they have added challenges.

Enjoy our newsletter which is not filled with storms; but is filled with good news. Please share it with your work associates and your friends who would be interested in hearing about how CEF - Vietnam is helping children receive an education in Vietnam.

In sharing it with one person it might mean another girl or two will receive an education and have the ability to help their whole family and community in the future. Or it could mean that a child with poor health who is bright, but exhausted from school due to her poor health, will be able to have the required medical care and be able to enjoy her schooling and do even better.

The link to our CEF - Vietnam Newsletter:

Thank you, Linda

Linda Burn
Founding Director
In-Country Manager - Vietnam
Children's Education Foundation - Vietnam

'Helping Girls Grow to be Women with Choices'

US website:

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Linda from Go Philanthropic Foundation shares more about her visit

A special part of GoPhilanthropic Foundation’s recent visit to CEF was visiting some girls and their families from the leper community outside DaNang. I was a bit nervous about this as, despite my health care background, I know relatively little about leprosy. Again, normalcy prevailed as all were so genuinely happy to see us and, giggling appreciatively, received the rice and other goodies we offered them in their New Years TET baskets. Unfortunately, leprosy still exists and lepers are still shunned in Vietnam and are not allowed to integrate, though more recently the government has apparently become more interested in integration so perhaps things will change.

Things will also change because of the medical fund CEF has in place for the children (at least one severely malnourished little girl had been helped so far) and because of the fledgling new entrepreneurial microloan program, supporting self-sufficiency.

All in all, we can hardly wait to return next year to see our CEF friends and learn more about the advances being made because of their dedication and hard work. This kind of experience reaffirms that everyone can help in some way and that it is truly a small world!

Linda DeWolf
GoPhilanthropic Foundation

About GoPhilanthropic:

GOPhilanthropic’s goal is to connect donors with a small, carefully selected group of NGO’s around the world, striving to provide effective, creative and sustainable solutions to the global issues. And, we found that Linda’s program offers those solutions in spades through its school sponsorship program.

Linda of Go Philanthropic writes about her visit to CEF

Recently, my colleagues (Tracey and Mary Jo) and I from U.S. based GoPhilanthropic Foundation had the extraordinary pleasure of visiting CEF. We were so warmly welcomed and moved by the children we met as well as by their stories… a boy living with his grandmother who was so painfully shy he could do nothing but avoid our eye contact and hide in a corner, a young girl who had previously been forced to work in the fish industry and who now was gaining increasing confidence as she did well in school.

Sitting down to chat with Linda Burn, CEF director, in her office and looking out over the lush, green that is Vietnam, we were quickly brought to harsh reality as she described the horrifying reality of trafficking problems in Vietnam. She states emphatically that every girl in school is one less trafficked and we couldn’t agree more! One thing that can help with this problem is to sponsor a young girl so that she can attend school. We learned that over 130 children (mostly girls but a few boys too), often in the most desperate of situations, have been given hope through educational sponsorship. Our Foundation has, in fact, found sponsors for 13 children so far.

Linda provided us with the great opportunity of connecting with some of the children our donors have sponsored. We played games with them, did an art project and enjoyed a meal together. We could have been anywhere at that moment in time.

Linda DeWolf GoPhilanthropic Foundation

About GoPhilanthropic:
GOPhilanthropic’s goal is to connect donors with a small, carefully selected group of NGO’s around the world, striving to provide effective, creative and sustainable solutions to the global issues. And, we found that Linda’s program offers those solutions in spades through its school sponsorship program.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Shopping for one of our families new homes

Trinh's single mum earns around 75 cents a day but sometimes more. As she was listed as one of the poorest in her community the government gave her a contribution towards building a small home. It is finished now and they are blissfully happy to live in a solid structure!

Debbie, Trinh's sponsor, sent money for them to purchase things they needed for their new home. They went from living in a tiny room made of bamboo, matting and metal sheeting to living in a solid small home. They are thrilled to have more space, but of course they couldn't afford any new furniture or kitchen equipment.

Please see photos that tell the story of old to new. What a special morning to be able to help make Debbie's wish come true. Quan had lots of fun bargaining at the market too!!! We left so so happy to see how all these new purchases made Trinh's mother so happy (although rather overwhelmed that she has so many new things; wardrobe, hangers, stools, bowls and cutlery, pots and pans, kettle and rice cooker!)

A gift of healthcare from one granny to another

A donor gave us funds just for granny, not for all the others she cares for on a daily basis. When we visited her and told her this she was really quite overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness of the donor and donation for her and her well being.

After talking to granny which was both a humorous and sad conversation we came to the conclusion that dental care was off the list. She said it wasn't worthwhile going to the dentist as it would cost a fortune and it wasn't important to her. As you can see in the picture she hasn't many teeth left.

The conclusion was to use the funds for traditional herbs. So we are giving the funds in small amounts at a time. The funds should give her about 5-7 months of herbal medicine treatment. She was thrilled with that help. We are thrilled too as it means her health will be that bit better and it won't be so hard for her to look after all the grandchildren and her severally disabled daughter, her mentally unstable son and his ill wife.

Before leaving we told granny that "the donation is from one granny in Canada to one granny here in Vietnam and that it is important granny's looked after themselves very well." She loved that!

It was a real treat for us to do this 'work'. It made for a special morning!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Nam's most recent drawings

Now loves doing cartoon-like pictures. Please don't believe my dog Zen looks this vicious. The other is Nam drawing his mum; that is a typical Lien pose.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Children's Education Foundation - Vietnam April Newsletter

It's always a pleasure to share our good news. Without the many good-hearted and generous donors and sponsors we have, we would not be able to do our work here in Vietnam helping impoverished and vulnerable girls to receive an education.

Please share our good news with friends and family as in sharing this newsletter it may mean another girl or two will receive an education! Thank you.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Trinh's art work

Trinh lives with her single mother who sells betel leaves and makes a pittance. I have no idea how her mother has managed to feed both of them and send her to school. But her mother can't manage to send her to school any longer and so we have just found her a sponsor.

I wanted to share some of her art work as it is her passion and she is a good little artist. The first picture was done when she was in grade 3. The others were last year and this year. She loves color and cheerful pictures and that is how she is, although she has a challenging life.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Some of the children in our Quan Nam education sponsorship program

These are some of our sponsored children who we visited recently in Nui Thanh, Tam Ky, Que Son and Nong Son.

It's always a treat to see them as they are lovely children. When we arrived to see nun Vy she was having her head shaved, which is done every new moon and full moon. This time when we visited we had guests and one guest was Linh from Platinum Global who gave a bag of gifts from their social club. One of the special treats was a book; most do not own a book.

My Duyen's drawing

My Duyen did a lovely drawing. She is in the Danang Education Support Program; an education program for children whose parents or grandparents have leprosy and have a parent or parents who can't afford to educate them. Her father has leprosy.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Vy having her head shaved

Yesterday we were out and about visiting 14 of the children in one of our sponsorship programs. We also visited another girl we plan to help.

When we arrived to see Vy, who is 10 years old and a Buddhist novice, she was in the process of having her head shaved. Buddhist nuns shave their heads every full and new moon. In Vietnam the Mahayana novices keep a little hair, a reminder that they are still partly of the world.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Journeys of the Heart: Connections

Journeys of the Heart: Connections: Just look at this smile! This gentleman is Kim Anh's Dad. his leprosy has been arrested but he was so happy to receive the bandages tha...

Journeys of the Heart: Keeping Children In School

Journeys of the Heart: Keeping Children In School: - Lately we have been working with the Children's Education Foundation's  founder Linda Hutchinson-Burn in Hoi An and her colleague in ...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Thuy is sponsored thank goodness

Thuy is one of the many children granny is caring for. Granny is too old to work, but has a dilapidated home that she can at least share with them all. Granny also has an adult daughter who is severely physically and mentally handicapped who just lives in bed. Her life is hard at a stage when Vietnamese hope someone else will look after them.

Thuy's dad died and mum has remarried and has children with her new husband so she can't look after Thuy. Thuy is warm and friendly and a real sweetie and a very good student too. So I am thrilled she is now sponsored thanks to Elaine finding a caring friend who was happy to sponsor her!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Trinh's mother sells betel nuts and tobacco

Trinh loves art and music at school most. However for her to have an education is a challenge as her mother has poor health and only earns $1.50-$2 a day selling tobacco and betel nuts.

Fortunately the local government raised money towards the construction of a new house so they have a safe home. Their present home made of matting and bamboo floods in winter and is at risk of being washed away as they live near the bank of a river. Unfortunately the government couldn't raise enough for all the construction and the mother has borrowed $400 to complete the construction. Trinh and her mother are very excited that they will be living in a brick and cement home in a few weeks.

Trinh has always been a good student although she has always lived in a challenging environment. As one of her favourite subjects is art she showed us many beautiful pictures which she had drawn over the last few years.

Thanks to Debbie Trinh now knows she will be staying in school and will have support to complete her education.