Monday, January 28, 2013

Note 3 from Linda of Go Philanthropic - CEF Tet parcels

Yesterday, along with CEF team member Ngoc, I handed out TET packages to about 20 children at a local pagoda. The pagoda is beautiful and the nuns so kind to let us use the space.

Many of these children and their families got up very early and traveled long distances to pick up their New Year's gifts...1 sack of rice, a bag of treats and a little money for each child.

Each time we do this, I am struck by what a hard life many of these children lead and how lucky they are to have CEF and caring, supportive sponsors in their lives.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Note 2 from Linda of Go Philanthropic - Art with the children

 Today CEF sponsored an arts day and I was able to work with the children in two 1/2 day sessions along with staff.
The children did one painting on what they liked about TET and a collage about love. In both cases they mostly chose their families as the subject.

They got to work with different mediums like tempera paint and glitter and glue, which they enjoyed.
It was great and some of the children are really good little artists. 

We also gave TET packages out which pleased them.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Helping each other

I love it when charitable organizations are happy to help each other!

Today's meeting was a beautiful example of cooperation between four charitable parties. All four, including CEF came together for the purpose of sharing knowledge and helping CEF to be able to access books that are permitted by the authorities and books also at a reduced price, for CEF's new mobile library, which has just been providing books to CEF children throughout Quang Nam and in Da Nang for the last 3 months.

Bruce and Elaine of Journeys of the Heart made the suggestion to meet with Hung from Global Village Foundation to learn about their school library program and to find out about how we could access more reasonably priced books. Unfortunately I was flat on my back and couldn't go anywhere when it came to the meeting, so Ngoc, one of our CEF staff, and Linda from Go Philanthropic who is visiting and helping CEF, met with the other two to help us find out more about how to help our mutual desire to increase literacy materialize more, by getting more books, and getting them into the hands of the children.

Both Go Philanthropic and Journeys of the Heart are wonderful at helping find sponsors for CEF. Global Village Foundation shares our passion for literacy. Read more about the work of each:

It is very gratifying for us to know that these caring people are working together to serve the children of Vietnam.

Linda from Go Philanthropic unexpectedly had time with the girl she sponsors

Thuy Hang came to visit me in my prone position today and brought some lovely flowers; prone still due to my back injury.

Thuy Hang is a college student CEF been helping to stay in school for a few years, as her parents died, and her siblings couldn't afford her education.

Hang arrived totally unexpectedly just as Linda was leaving to go back to her accommodation today. It was most fortuitous timing, so they had some time together, with some translation help. It was lovely for Linda to have some time with dear Hang who she sponsors.

Hang will come and take part in the art day for the children that Linda is leading on Saturday, which will be lovely for both of them.

Note 1 from Linda of Go Philanthropic

As Linda said, I am Linda ( Linda 2) from Go Philanthropic Foundation in the U.S.
Our mission is to connect donors to a carefully selected group of grassroots organizations from around the world providing effective, creative and sustainable solutions to global issues.
We take the relationship a step further by bringing to life the people behind the programs. With that in mind, this is my second visit to CEF and how lucky I am to be working with such a wonderful partner organization and its people, doing such good work.
Today, I had the privilege of traveling to Da Nang with CEF staff member Ngoc to purchase many interesting books (with topics ranging from science to history to self esteem) for CEF's mobile library. It is a great joy to be able to be part of introducing books to children in the rural areas around Hoi An.


Many more interesting things to come during my 2 week stay.....

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Today Linda and Ngoc are purchasing books for the mobile library

Today I couldn't make the meeting or go book shopping due a back injury that has me flat on my back for maybe another week still. Arms and head still work fine, so I can still work and organize Ngoc and Linda from Go Philanthropic to take my place. How lucky is that; to still have full use of my arms and head and to have wonderful staff and CEF guests to take on some of my committments.

They have had the meeting and the result is we now know a bookshop with government approved books, that will give CEF a 25% book discount.

This will make a big difference to the amount of books we can buy for our mobile library. Thank you Bruce and Elaine for helping organize the meeting, and thank you Global Village
Foundation for sharing your contacts and thank you Ngoc and Linda for your valuable help today.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Linda from Go Philanthropic is visiting

Linda from Go Philanthropic has been amazingly supportive of CEF and has found sponsors for many children that we needed educational support for. Their stories vary greatly:

One child has blind parents
One child was abandoned and an aunt took them under her wing
Two children have folks who fish for a living but struggle to educate their children
The parents of one girl drowned
One girl is a novice nun
One girl has a single mother with poor health and little earning capacity

And so the stories vary, but the help needed is the same; educational support for these children to receive an education. And Linda has been invaluable in helping find them sponsors.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Thought Threads have been sponsoring little Dieu

Dieu's parents drowned when she was very young and her elderly grandparents, sister and brother took over bringing her up.

Life has been hard though as they live away from any town and employment is scarse. Granddad sells lottery tickets when well enough and her older sister collects twigs from the local woods to use as kindling and to sell in the market when not in school.

For over a year now granny hasn't been able to do anything as she has deteriorated a lot. It is hard for children to see their loved ones fade away, especially when this is her granny, who was a partial replacement for her mother.

It has been a huge encouragement for her to know that 'Thought Threads' has been sponsoring her and is there behind her, supporting her to have an education.

Thought Threads believes in the importance of education and not only collaborates with fashion brands but also with non-profits to bring dreams of being educated into
This is the link to a recent blog of theirs on the importance of education:

Below is the Thought Threads team

Monday, January 7, 2013

About our new mobile library

It is still early days for our mobile library, but we are thrilled with how the children love to choose books to read. We are finding that most children love to read. Some are overwhelmed with school work and say they couldn't fit in any time to read, although they would love to.

The purpose of our mobile library is to encourage literacy. We are also encouraging them to expand their knowledge about the world and learn about many new subjects. We have books on famous artists such as Matisse, explorers such as Christopher Columbus, books about animals and caring for them, books on astronomy, insects, ecology and many more subjects.

But we believe it is also important that the young learn about, and understand about their culture and their traditions. We carry many books of traditional stories, both historical and folk stories.

We are also encouraging them to cook. I know that sounds strange to some people, but many young people here no longer want to cook or help in the kitchen. So we are encouraging them by carrying some Vietnamese cook books too.

As English is the International language they are learning English at school so we are also providing some reading books with English on one page and Vietnamese on the other.  We are in the process of deciding on good dictionaries for each age group, so each child can use a comprehensive English-Vietnamese dictionary too.

We are also in the process of finding out all the government recommended reading books to help support their education, in the hope that it will help them do better at school.

If you would like to donate to support our mobile library we would appreciate it and so would the children we take books to in Quang Nam and Da Nang.

Please make checks out to (and specify that your donation is for the mobile library):
'Children's Education Foundation - Vietnam'
And send to: Stephen Jackel, 277 Broadway, Suite 1010, New York, NY 10007.

Payment can be made by Paypal. The link can be found on our USA website:
We have 501(c)(3) status

Any enquiries please email Linda or Stephen:
or at

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

While out and about on New Year's day doing home visits in Thang Binh district

When out and about visiting the children we travel on motorbikes along narrow muddy paths and around each corner is a new sight; children or buffalo frolicking in the fields, mother and calf going returning home after feeding on fresh grass.........