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.

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