Monday, July 27, 2015

Mai-Thi's time with CEF has come to an end

This summer Mai -Thi came over from the States to help us at CEF. We are very grateful for her gift to us as it really has helped and made a difference.

This young lady is quiet, with a gentle and peaceful presence, she is unassuming, but well-educated and knowledgeable.

She just jumped in and fulfilled any requests we passed her way and within days she felt just like one of the CEF family. She was a great help and her skills and knowledge were very much appreciated.

We are very grateful for all she contributed to CEF; the help with chores, with book shopping, covering books, helping at our 'Water Safety Day', with teaching English to both staff and our local tertiary students, helping them prepare their scripts for videos I planned to take of them, for the writing of blogs for CEF, with creating complex spreadsheets I needed, for sharing her accountancy skills and knowledge with the staff and all the other things she so willingly did for us at CEF.

We will miss her quiet presence, but it is wonderful to know we can stay on touch by email and skype and we are sure we will see her again!

The following are just a few photos from her last month with us at CEF.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

A thank you letter from a recent college graduate to CEF and her sponsor

This is a very touching letter from one of our very sweet recent CEF graduates, to both CEF and to her sponsor. 

Go Philanthropic organized a sponsor for her who has helped her through three years of college.  This sweet girl and CEF are very grateful that she has had the opportunity to study and train as a book keeper and now should be easily employable. 

"Dear Ms ........,

It may be the last letter that I write to you. I still remember the first time I met Linda and CEF staff. It was a summer day after I passed the college entrance examination. I also remember that I was very sad when I knew I passed that exam because my mother couldn’t afford my studies any more.

However, when I knew that I could receive your support through CEF, I was so terribly happy like the feeling if someone told me that I had passed the university entrance exam* (* University is a higher level than college).

Time flies so fast, doesn’t it? It has been already 3 years. Everything seems like it just happened yesterday. In 3 years, I have been very happy to be a part of the CEF family where I have been able to learn many good things from CEF staff and friends, make new friends with many other CEF students.

Linda, CEF staff and other sponsors are very nice and friendly and that makes me feel like this is my second family. Everybody is very humorous and are close to each other. CEF staff look like my older brother and sisters. They care so very much about us. Whenever CEF has any event or activities, they always let us know and don’t forget to remind us again too.  I will remember all of you, especially Linda who always gives us sweet smiles.

Thank you CEF very much for not only giving me a chance to continue my education over three years but also for giving me a large family. I will never forget the memories in this home. (She is referring to the CEF office, which is also Linda’s home)

After graduating from college I feel sad because I may not often write to you Ms ....... I wish you, Ms ........., Linda and CEF staff really good health to continue your great meaningful work and help for more disadvantaged children like me. I also promise to myself that I will try my best to find a job and work hard in order to not betray all of your help through the last 3 years.

Finally, I wish you all the best.

Your sincerely,

Friday, July 24, 2015

We are grateful for a donation just received for our 'Literacy Education Program'

We at CEF are thrilled to just received a generous donation for our 'Literacy Education Program'. We believe in doing what we can to encourage the CEF children and community children of the areas we work in to read and develop a love for reading and learning. 

To make it easy for them we take books to them when we visit. We also have a supply of books at the office that students can borrow from any time. 

More recently we have been creating book boxes filled with a variety of books for  each age group. These we take to the communities in which we work. Some are left in the homes of children in our sponsorship program and some in pagodas, but where ever they are, the books are available for the children to come and search through to find books they would love to borrow. 

If interested in contributing to this program US$200 provides a supply of books in book boxes for one community.  Linda:

One of our recent graduates wrote a thank you to CEF and to her sponsors

This recent CEF graduate has written a sweet thank you letter to us at CEF and to her sponsors expressing many of her feelings about being sponsored and having a college education.

Go Philanthropic found a sponsor for her which meant she was able to complete high school and receive a college education.  We are all very grateful for this help from Go Philanthropic which has enabling her to get a qualification that should make her easily employable.

"Dear Ms ................ and Mr .........,

Firstly, I would like to send my best wishes to you and your family.

It has been already 5 years since I have had the support from you and CEF. Thanks to that I could make my dream come true and have better conditions. I could have a chance to go to school and then college like some other students.

It would have been a long and a hard time if I hadn’t had your help to accomplish my dreams. I used to think about who I could be if I had to stop my education. I might be only an inferior girl who does not know about the real abilities that I have. I thought if I don’t have a chance to continue my studies I would learn to become a bartender because it takes only 3 months for learning and then I could earn money by working in a bar, hotel or resort. Fortunately it didn’t happen as I thought. Because I preferred to keep going to school like some other friends,  I was lucky to receive help to do this.

I still remember that CEF started to help me at the beginning of my grade 11. And now you and CEF have helped until now when I finished 3 years of college. I am so happy and grateful to you and CEF for that.

I realized that going to school brings many benefits to me, such as: having a good school education environment, having a chance to study and learn more, and making me more mature. Especially important I feel is the love I have for this life, and the care about other people that I have now more than I did before. It has motivated me to make more efforts in my studies and to help other people when they need help.

One of my significant changes is that I was proud of very much is that I won over 20 other students, to became one of the four students who represented our high school and was able to join in on the ‘Advanced History Exam’ for all high schools in my city. In three years at college, I also received some awards for being one of the top students in class.

I did have many good friends and good teachers who were willing to help me and looked after me during my student time. I did stumble and fall but then knew how to stand up again. I did also experience many interesting things that students experience in student life.

Thank you to you Ms .............and Mr ......., and to CEF, for all these things I have learned and accomplished in the past 5 years.

I can imagine how hard girls’ lives are without education is. If they are lucky they will find an unstable, low paid job and get married young and have children. If not, they will be less fortunate; they may end up meeting bad people, becoming factory or domestic slaves or prostitutes.

Therefore if I have children in the future I will try my best to give them a good education, and give them a hand to make their dreams coming true.

I wish that CEF could continue to grow strongly to help more disadvantaged children like me and give them chances to have ongoing education. Dear Ms...... and Mr ....., I haven’t sent you any gift, like a painting, or a picture, and haven’t made something else. I can’t do those things because I don’t have any hand craft skills.  However, I have good communication skills so that if you have a chance to go to Hoi An, I can be your tour guide and talk to you all day.

Finally, I wish you, your family and CEF staff good health and success in both your lives and your work. Thank you again for all your help. I appreciate it very much.

Yours sincerely,

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Scholarships help these girls stay in school and safe from traffickers

We have many girls in need of scholarships. A scholarship will mean they will stay in school, not just giving them a better future with choices, but in this area it keeps them safe from traffickers. Trafficking mainly takes place along the boarders of Vietnam and it mainly happens to girls form very poor families. These girls live near the border and are all from very poor families and without doubt are vulnerable.

A scholarship: Only US$150 for a child for a year.
Each person who takes on a scholarship will receive an update on the program and some photos at the end of the academic year.
Please contact me to arrange one: Linda

(These are a few of the girls in need of scholarships.Staff photos)

A beautiful description of the summer by one of CEF's students

Time passes. 
A year of study goes by and here is the summer. 
Cicadas happily sing their own loud songs everywhere. 
The sky seems to be covered by the red color of flamboyant flowers.
It’s the time to turn back the paddy fields, kites and traditional games for kids.
Every afternoon the paddy fields are full of children’s laughter.
Kites bring along little dreams of children up into the sky.
In early morning cocks wake everyone up by their songs.
Farmers go to the fields to plow the land with his hard working water buffalo.
The sun is rising and has a happy smile for everyone.
The sky has become much brighter.
Ground dew hasn’t dispersed yet by the morning sun at all.
Dew-drops are on leaves.
A new day begins!
In the middle of the day, the sun is directly overhead and shines hot upon the ground.
All activities will stop during this time.
Farmers come back home to have a short nap after lunch.
In the afternoon the temperature is slightly cooler and it becomes more comfortable.
It is considered as the busiest time.
Farmers try to complete all their works.
White storks are currently seen everywhere on the rice fields.
The sunset is beautiful.
The sun goes down.
Everyone come back after having a hard working day.
Now the day is over.
The stars come out.
I love the rice paddies.
What about you?

Friday, July 17, 2015

Some photos of the scenery and homes near the border

This areas is very beautiful, but it is isolated and therefore there isn't any other work around except farming work. Consequently many families struggle to make ends meet, let alone send their children to school. These are the families that traffickers target; isolated, vulnerable, very poor with a very limited future. Here are staff photos showing some homes and the landscape to help you know what it is like there.

A scholarship to keep one of their teenage daughters in high school and safe is only $150 for the year.

Children's Education Foundation ~ Vietnam has a new website

I am thrilled to announce that Children's Education Foundation ~Vietnam has a new USA website.

Please have a look and share our work in Vietnam with your friends:

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Dental care for CEF children this week at 'East Meets West Dental Clinic'

Each summer we take quite a few of our CEF children to the dentist. Many of them are terrified as most have never been to a dentist. 

'East Meets West Dental Clinic' in Da Nang has been wonderfully supportive and has provided basic dental care for the children for the last three years free of charge. This support for the children of NGO's in the area is wonderful and hugely appreciated by us all. The children appreciate this help too, although they might not like it. 

Our administration costs to be able to run these days, for example the transport for the children to get to the dentist and home again is covered by our medical fund 'Healthy Kids', that was set up by Go Philanthropic for the CEF children's medical support. Without their support we could not run these dental care days.

Big thanks to both 'East Meets West' and to 'Go Philanthropic' for their wonderful support. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Dental work gives a child a new smile

We are thrilled that one little girl has had help to repair her teeth. She is thrilled. 'East Meets West Dental Clinic' did work on her teeth at a reduced cost and her sponsor paid for the work, and our 'Healthy Kids Fund' from Go Philanthropic covered her local transport costs. Thanks to all involved she now has a lovely smile.

Before dental work

After some preparation and some dental work 

 The lovely smile after the dental work

Monday, July 13, 2015

The CEF Community ~ Guest blog by Mai-Thi

As an outside foreigner coming to Vietnam, I didn't know what to expect from CEF. But over the month that I've been volunteering with this charity, I've learned about all of the hard work that goes into giving these girls an education for a better life. I've learned that it is a team effort at the CEF office, that constant communication and meetings take place for efficiency and organization. But not only that, I've learned about the strong community within CEF.

                                         Dinner at the beach with Linda, Ngoc and Kim Chi

Though small, CEF is indeed a community - one of the most welcoming ones I have ever been a part of. Linda, Lien and the staff - Thuy, Kim Chi, Quan, and Ngoc are not only helpful regarding my questions about CEF, but warm and open. I have been invited to multiple staff dinners where conversations aren't strictly business, but about our lives and interests. Linda and the staff have given me countless advice, not only about my work regarding CEF, but about living in Hoi An, where to eat and things to do here.

Everyday I go to CEF is one to look forward to because the smiles and greetings from the people at CEF are genuine, as are our conversations.

I would even say that CEF is more than simply a community - it is a family. But instead of being bound by blood, the CEF family is bound by the passion and motivation to help these girls and empower them to have a better future. The friendship and teamwork present at CEF is evident, as is the amicable and open nature of the people at CEF.

I came to Vietnam to do some volunteer work for CEF, but am getting so much more than that. By getting to know Linda, the staff, as well as my students here, I am also getting a taste of just how kind and nurturing people within CEF are.