Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Guest blog by Linda of Go Philanthropic - Art session

One of the many great thing about working with CEF is the staff. They typically have a staff meeting once a week, sharing a meal and catching up before hand.

This week, while I was there, we did an arts training session in preparation for a children's art day. We had great fun talking about different art supplies and mediums and then test painting conical hats (as the children will do) and everyone did get into their "child" for sure....

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Guest blog by Linda from Go Philanthropic - on home visits

Some of the Go Philanthropic Foundation team and I have been here in Hoi An for a few days now. We feel so fortunate to have the chance to visit the children and work with the superb CEF staff.

On Sunday, we visited several sponsored children's homes and saw 'up close and personal' how each is doing. And it is a varied story,indeed.

This being the second year of visits for me, there has been much personal satisfaction in seeing the children and noting their progress. One young girl and her mother have moved from a unstable hut with a dirt floor to a real home; amazingly she is a shining star in school.

Another girl lives with a mentally ill uncle and granny; she cares lovingly for her ailing granny.

A third child, a boy, still experiences much upheaval in his home life as he has been moved from relative to relative in the hope of trying to find a suitable and stable base for him.

Whatever the circumstances, it is clear that CEF remains a steady constant in these children's lives and we at GoPhil are proud to be a partner and supporter of providing education and choices for these children.

Visit from the Go Philanthropic team

It has been a great time having some of the Go Philanthropic team here in Hoi An.

An evening session on the importance of assessment and some ideas on techniques that could be introduced was very helpful.

On Linda's first day she broke her foot, so now she has had a Vietnamese hospital experience. Nothing easily stops Linda when she wants to do something so she came on a day of home visits in Hoi An to see some of the children that Go Philanthropic has found sponsors for. She thoroughly enjoyed seeing the children again; some of whom she helped interview a year ago.

All have gone now except Linda. Since the others departed Linda also has done art training for CEF staff  in preparation for us to do creative art sessions with the children. Wonderful opportunity to be creative and have fun. Thanks Linda!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Guest blog - Stephen's thoughts about the Da Nang home visits

Home visits always bring up a mixture of emotions.

There is pride in the accomplishments of the children, whose families lead difficult lives due to poverty and often the absence of one or both parents. There is sadness, too, when, during the detailed interviews conducted by Linda and staff member Ngoc, we learn of new troubles and hardships.

The interviews cover the health of the children and their caregivers, as well as school issues, and the news is not always good. In two homes there were shrines to fathers who had recently died. And one girl, a beautiful, smart child, seemed quite depressed, which is a big problem in a place with no real opportunity for child therapy.

 The best part of the home visits is seeing the shy smiles of the children and their understanding that their lives can be dramatically changed for the better by their opportunity to pursue their education.

It also was inspiring to see parents, who generally have led dire lives, place importance on having their children complete school.  One mother, who has lost a leg to leprosy and dealt with a life of extreme poverty, was reluctant to smile for any photos, but she clearly was strongly committed to her daughter’s education and proud that she was one of the top students in her class.

By Stephen Jackel - Children's Education Foundation - Vietnam's US manager

Monday, April 7, 2014

Guest blog - Stephen writes about our trip to Da Nang on Sunday

I am in the midst of my visit to Hoi An and on Sunday with Linda, together with staff member and translator extraordinaire Ngoc, traveled to Danang to present awards to the top students, deliver certificates and payments to 15 of CEF’s children and do end of year home visits. 

For the first time we were accompanied at the award presentations and on the home visits by Ms. Minh, the Vice Chairwoman of Danang’s branch of the Vietnam Women’s Union, and her assistant, Ms. Kim Bang.  Ms. Minh, a 32-year-veteran with the Union, and her assistants proved to be interested in both CEF’s operations and in the children and their families.  She was visibly moved by the difficulties faced by the families, and our new relationship with the Union seems to be off to a good start.

They also treated us to a lovely vegetarian restaurant in Danang, which gave us the energy for our second round of home visits in the afternoon.

Blog by Stephen Jackel - Children's Education Foundation - Vietnam's US manager and coordinator

Sunday, April 6, 2014

About the day in Da Nang with Da Nang students and CEF's US manager who was visiting

Stephen who is CEF's US manager, was able to come on our Da Nang day; our term 2 day that was for making payments, honoring the best students from term 1, and visiting each of their homes. He also was able to meet up with two children his good friends are sponsoring.

 Stephen presenting to some of the children we saw in the afternoon

Stephen with the Sunday team and some of the Da Nang children

And presented a prize and certificate to the best two CEF students in Da Nang

He joined us on our  home visits to the homes of the 15 children we are helping in Da Nang. 

And was able to visit two girls that his friends in the States have been sponsoring for some years 

Stephen does so much to support us in the States and so far hasn't met many of the children; he only knows their faces from photos. It was wonderful that we could take him to meet all the Da Nang children and for him to see some of the conditions situations they live in, the new homes that have been built for them, and to see first hand the improvement in some of their conditions . He was also very helpful and made two inspiring speeches to the students in the morning and the students in the afternoon. 

Thank you for your ongoing efforts Stephen, from us all at CEF!

Guest blog - Stephen writes about two girls his friends sponsor

On my visit to the Danang children I had the chance to visit two girls who are sponsored by my friends in the U.S. 

My Hanh, now in the 10th grade, looked like she grew about 3 or 4 inches since her sponsor Paul’s visit to Danang last year, and seems more confident and less shy.  She lives in a block house with her mother and three younger sisters, including Diem Phuc, who is also sponsored by CEF. 

Bao Tram, sponsored by Richard and Gail, studies hard and is one of the top students in her class. She received one of the awards that we distributed this term.

Blog and photos by Stephen Jackel - Children's Education Foundation - Vietnam's manager in the US