Tuesday, February 10, 2015

'Tet' is the time of year for each individual personally and at home to refresh, renew, repair, forgive; to start anew

'Tet' (Vietnamese New Year) is the time of year in Vietnam when each person does what they can personally and at home to refresh, renew, repair, forgive and to stat anew. Even the poorest will buy a gold or yellow colored plant (also red and purple colored plants are considered auspicious) to bring prosperity to them and their family. These are placed outside the house and some hang their plants. 

They also will buy something new to wear at Tet; maybe if they are poor it will only be a new hair tie or clip, or a new shirt. And their home and garden may only get a thorough spring clean and some broken hinges repaired. Those with more money will repaint the whole house, both inside and outside, buy new furniture, pay off any debts and buy some gold jewelry and clothing. 

At CEF the staff take a long Tet holiday to prepare their homes, do the required cleaning, repairing and shopping and spend time with their families and friends. They love this long holiday as it is a chance to see some of the family they can only see once a year and to see some dear friends who may have married and moved away to another city, but come back to visit family and good friends. 

For the poor it is a stressful time of year as they can only afford Tet if they borrow further funds. Before the staff take their long Tet holiday CEF buys rice and various staples and treats for our families to try and relieve a little of the burden and to help them celebrate. This brings us joy to prepare these parcels for them and to give them knowing we have been able to help bring some joy to them.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Rice and food Parcels for CEF families at 'Tet'

Each Vietnamese New Year  (Tet) we give sacks of rice, food parcels and 'Good Luck' New Year money to the CEF children and their families. 

This holiday is the most important in Vietnam and it is also the most expensive. It is considered crucial to start the new year clean and fresh in every way.  Families try to pay off debts, as well as buy new flowers plants, new clothes for everyone in the family, and renovate and decorate the home and entertain the stream of friends and family who visit over this holiday. As most of the families CEF helps are struggling to even survive each day they can't afford what is expected of them, so we help by giving them a sack of rice and a food parcel made up of essentials and some treats for their holiday. We give some money to the children so they can buy themselves a little treat.  These simple gifts make them very happy and relieves some of their financial stress.

Quan loading up the boot with sacks of rice and food parcels to deliver to some of the CEF families

           One of our girls with her sack of  rice and her food parcel. she lives with her grandmother as her parents have divorced and have new families and can't look after her as well.

Another one of our girls with her food parcel and rice and her aunt. Her parents have died and she lives with elderly grandparents.