Friday, July 25, 2014

Luong receives a certificate and takes part in a fashion show at KIANH Foundation

Luong is one of the few boys CEF helps. He has some behavioural and learning disabilities and due to the help of a sponsor he has been able to attend a special school to help him with his challenges for the last term. The Kianh Foundation school has been wonderful for Luong and he has shown many changes just in one term.

I was away for the end of year celebrations that Luong took part in, but our staff member Ngoc was able to go along to the celebration and see Luong receive a certificate and take part in the fashion show.

Ngoc commented:
"This morning I joined in the end of year ceremony at KIANH Foundation. I am really impressed by the efforts of all the children and teachers there. Luong was really cute this morning. He joined in the fashion performance with his teacher and classmates. Then he was one of the students to receive an award."

Thursday, July 24, 2014

No charity work happens without many others helping and supporting

Often the founder or director gets all the credit for doing the charity work they do, but I just want to share that almost nothing can happen without all the others involved who help and support.

The list of all those who help is long. Just a couple of examples are the donors and sponsors; they make it possible to pay the education costs of the children and all the related costs. Staff do translations and paperwork for sponsors and government departments we work with and much more.

But today I want to honor someone who has helped and helps CEF - VN endlessly. Stephen Jackel has done so much to help that I can't even list it all. Stephen is our USA manager, but his passion for and belief in our work in Vietnam is a huge blessing as Children's Education Foundation - Vietnam would not even exist here in New York if it wasn't for him.

He has done paperwork to register CEF - VN in NY, then the paperwork to get 501(c)3 status. He keeps the books and writes thank you notes, does receipts for donors and sponsors, organizes and host events, and sponsors himself.

Stephen with the girl he has helped through university

He comes to Vietnam each year to catch up with our work with the girls in person, he comes to payment days and home visits.

Stephen making payments in Da Nang

Stephen on a home visit to a girl a friend of his sponsors

Stephen with myself and our full time staff

That is just a short section of the list of things he has done, and does, to support CEF to help impoverished Vietnamese girls receive an education.

Thank you very much for your passion, compassion, care, generosity and all the time and work you do to help Stephen.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A small fundraising event in Massachusetts for CEF

Over the weekend we had a small informal fundraising event in Massachusetts. It was so beautiful up there and all who came were very interested and asked intelligent and probing questions. It was like a reunion for me as many who came to our event had come to Vietnam on tours I had organized or partly led many years ago. Everyone had great suggestions to look into and offered help for CEF in many forms.

I am very grateful to my friends Jack and Anita for putting on this lovely event and for inviting their long term friends to come along.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Wise advise is always appreciated

The right conversation with the right person at the right time has the potential to support us to take the next steps we need to. 

I  was fortunate to have some meaningful and supportive conversations with Robert Heinzman from Growth River ( about CEF while I was in the States.  As Robert had worked with NGO's he was able to offer sound advice and information that gave me more confidence to take some steps needed for CEF. I am very grateful for the wise advice from Robert that he very kindly donated.

I would like to share the following about Growth River:
At Growth River we are experts at developing business leaders and teams. This work is critical because ultimately businesses grow at the speed their leaders develop. Our strength is a deep understanding of change leadership, which enables us to co-lead major change initiatives with business leaders, developing leaders and businesses at the same time.

We provide organizations effective and efficient tools to consciously forge an effective team culture. That’s the foundation for driving higher performance. We work at the intersection of the soft stuff and the hard stuff, providing a 360 view that integrates change across both leadership culture and business performance. And we always ensure that our conversations around the soft stuff result in hard commitments and tangible business results.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Fundraising event in New York

We were very lucky to have our dear friends and supporters Steve and Michele (Michele is also our most recent board member), put on an event at their home for CEF today. Their friends attended and were very interested in Vietnam and the need to support girls to receive an education there. They were thoughtful and generous in their support of our work of educating girls in Vietnam.

I did a presentation with the help of Stephen, our US manager and representative. I tried to cover all about CEF's work. Some of what I covered was why we work to help girls receive an education, what our programs and support programs are and where we work in Vietnam and covered the importance of having staff. I finished with some stories of some of the girls we help and have helped.

Children not in school and working (above)

Two sisters; the eldest we have helped to complete school and college, and the other is in school. Their parents drowned and their elderly grandparents care for them. The eldest is now employed and able to financially help her grandparents a little.

Two sisters we help; one is in her second year of university and the other has just done her university entrance exams. The eldest is volunteering with CEF this year. In two years when completes university we will employ her.

Michele prepared a wonderful brunch feast with a large selection of delicious food for everyone, that was enjoyed both before and after the presentation. Thank you very much Steve and Michele for your generous and enthusiastic support of CEF's work in Vietnam to help girls receive an education.

Six girls from our northern education program are in need of sponsors

We are looking for long term education sponsors for the following girls.  They were referred to CEF two years ago and a year ago we started to give them partial support with the condition that we continue to support their education if they worked hard at school. Some stepped up and we now would like to find those girls a committed sponsor each.

I suggest that anyone who may want to visit the child they sponsor does not sponsor one of these children though. Sorry to say they live too far away from CEF's office to take sponsors there; it's a 1 hour flight and a 5 hour drive away from us.

All sponsors will receive an initial bio on the child. At the end of  each academic year they will receive an end of year report with school results with photos of the child.

Bui Thi Tuoi (below)
She has worked hard this year and has brought her standard up considerably, so we have agreed to continue to help her.
She is from a farming family. They have many children and are challenged to cover all the school costs.
She will be in grade 8 this August for the 2014-2015 school year.
Her sponsorship will US$250 for the year.

Doan Thi Tra My (below)
Tra My is from a large family; they are farmers.
She is bright young girl and is an excellent student.
She will be in grade 6 this coming 2014-2015 school year.
Her sponsorship will be US$250 for the year.

Nguyen Thi Van Anh (below)
Has worked hard and has improved her standard this last year and deserves further support.
Her family are farming family and are challenged to make ends meet due to her older siblings education costs. 
She will be in grade 9 this coming 2014-2015 academic year.
Her sponsorship will be US$250 for the year.

Nguyen Thi Dieu (below)
Her parents are rice farmers and mum works in a shoe factory as they can't make ends meet with their income from farming. 
She is a bright young girl who is doing well at school.
She will be in grade 6 this 2014-2015 academic year starting in August.
Her sponsorship for the year will be US$250.

Nguyen Thi Hoa (below)
Hoa is a good student and tries hard at school.
Her parents are farmers but also have a small fish pond in an effort to increase their income. 
She will be in grade 9 this August, for the 2014-2015 academic year.
Her sponsorship will be $250 for this academic year.

Nguyen Thi Luu (below)
Her parents are struggling financially. Their meager income from farming isn't sufficient to support their family; they have a small fish pond in the hope that will help supplement their income. 
Luu is an excellent student and this academic year 2014-2015 Luu will be in grade 6.
Her sponsorship for this year starting in August is US$250.

We hope to find sponsors for these girls to help them complete their education. If any one can any questions please get in touch:
Payment can be made using PayPal on this blog site, or a check can be sent to Stephen Jackel. The address for Stephen is also on this site.

Thank you very much,

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Children in need of sponsorship for the remainder of their education starting August 2014

Each year we are asked to help many girls from impoverished families with their education costs. Each year we say no to some and yes to most. The no's are often because there are gaps in their story and they aren't willing to tell us the whole truth, or the father may be an alcoholic. There are many reasons for saying no, but if someone is clearly very poor or poor and has a terrible situation we do what we can to help them.

The following four girls we interviewed recently; they are all from poor households and need a sponsor starting with the 2014-2015 academic year which starts in August 2014.

Vo Thanh Truc will be in grade 4 this year (below in pink top)
She is a good student.
Truc's parents are both dead and she lives with her siblings and granny.
Her sponsorship is US$200 for grade 4 this 2014-2015 academic year

Le Thi Thanh Ha will be in grade 7 this year (below in red and white jacket)
She is a very good student.
Her parents are rice farmers, but with 4 children it is hard to afford their education. Two are high school students with high education costs. Mum works as a maid in Da Nang and dad cares for the children and does the farming.
Her sponsorship is US$250 for grade 7 this 2014-2015 academic year

Hoang Van Thu will be in grade 2 this year (below in orange jacket).
She is a good student.
She has a single mum who also is responsible for her grandmother who has had a stroke.
Her sponsorship is US$200 for grade 2 this 2014-2015 academic year

Do Thi Thu Ha will be in grade 6 this year (below in blue and white t-shirt)
She is an excellent student.
She has a single mum.
Mum owns no land nor home. She borrows land to farm and gets some of the produce she grows in exchange for rental. She put up a temporary shack on some government land, but could be asked to remove it any time as it is illegal to do this.  
Her sponsorship is US$250 for grade 6 this 2014-2015 academic year