Monday, August 31, 2015

Wonderful news that two girls have just been sponsored

We at CEF are so pleased that these two girls have sponsors as they are so deserving of this educational support. 'T' works hard at school and is an excellent student. Her father has part of his arm missing and mum has leprosy, although it is controlled by medications. Her parents ability to earn is very limited because of their disabilities.

'D' is also a very hard working student and does very well at school. Her mother has heart disease and although she has had cardiac surgery she is still not well enough to work. They have a large debt due to the high cost of her heart surgery. Although dad has a work-related back injury and moderate health, he doesn't let that stop him from working as much as he can to support his family. They are a very sweet family too.

We are very grateful to their new sponsors for helping them to stay in school and receive an education, enabling them to become educated with a future of possibility!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

School has started and more girls need scholarships such as these two

School has started! We need to let the girls in need of scholarships in the mountains know if they can continue their education. It's only US$150 for a scholarship for a year for one of the girls in this project.

This project's goal it to help get scholarships for girls in this mountainous area with the aim of keeping them safe, as well as educated giving them a future with choices. We don't work with trafficked girls, we work to avoid girls being trafficked.

This young lady wants to complete her last year of school.

She is of the Gie Trieng people. She has two brothers and one sister and sadly for the family their father died about 15 years ago. Her mother is a farmer who is often ill and when she has to stay in hospital, her daughter goes with her and looks after her. Like many ethnic minority people who are uneducated, her mother just goes to hospital when she feels really sick, and then goes back home when she feels well enough to leave, but without asking her doctor what her health problem is. When she goes to hospital she can use her medical insurance for 'poor people', however she has to pay for her own food and transport to and from hospital. The elder daughter can sometimes cover these fees.

The elder brother is married and lives with his own family in his own house and can’t support his mother, younger sister and little brother. The elder sister has married and has a daughter and lives with them. The younger brother dropped out of school in grade 5 as he was a terrible student and didn't like school.

She has free accommodation at the school dormitory as well as free lunch and dinner. Her mother sometimes gives her 25 cents for breakfast if she has money. Because this money is not enough to buy breakfast, she skips breakfast, and uses this money to buy education supplies she needs at the time. She is a very skinny girl because of skipping breakfast and working hard.

In the summer holiday and weekends she helps her family to do housework, collect wood and do the farming. Because people in her home area don’t have money to hire others to work on their farms they often work in exchange for someone else’s work. She asks her friends to come and work at her family’s farm and then she goes to her friend’s farms and works for them. Because most of the farms are in the forest and very far from their homes, they have to walk for a few hours to get there so they bring their cooking equipment, food and clothes to the farms so they can stay and work until all the work is completed.

Last school year, she had 'fair' results. English is her favorite subject while math is her most challenging one. Her dream is to be a primary school teacher.

Her passion is football and sports which she is very good at

She is from the Gie Trieng minority tribe and lives in the mountains about 20 kilometers from the closest town. She is one of 7 children and unfortunately her father died 15 years ago while her mother was pregnant with the youngest child . Since then her mother has had to work very hard to look after the 7 kids and consequently looks very thin and old, but she is strong still. She seems to be very proud of her children.

Her mother has a large debt. In 2010, her mother borrowed $1,200 from a Government Bank to buy 3 buffalo and unluckily all three buffalo were stolen a few years after that. Then two years ago she borrowed $750 for planting Acacia Mangium and supporting her children’s education.

Because they are so poor their neighbors are kind and give them things that don't need any more, such as secondhand clothes, an old TV, an old bicycle and a cabinet. Some of these things are broken but they still try to use them, like the bike and a table.

Poor children understand how difficult it is for their mothers so they help with housework and farming. During the summer holiday and weekends she often helps with these chores, but also does a part time job in the town to earn money. To get home she walks and if possible hitches a ride with someone.

During the school year, she mainly boards but comes home to help her mother on the weekends and holidays. As with other poor students in her area she receives free accommodation at as well as free lunches and dinners. She skips breakfast as she can't afford it.

She is very good at playing football and other sports too. Last school year, she was a 'fair' student. We hope we can keep her in school for her last year.

Scholarships are only US$150 for a girl to have the chance to complete her high school education!

You can contact us at or use Paypal on (for US or Canadians) or Paypal on this blog on the front page. 

These scholarships make a big difference to the opportunities of employment they will have when they complete school. The girls live in an area near the border and like most countries the borders are porous and an excellent place for trafficking to take place. Keeping them safe is important. Our work is to keep them safe and to help them become educated women with choices. 
Thank you for your interest and support,

Thursday, August 20, 2015

CEF has a wonderful team here in the States

Last night we had our AGM in New York and I caught myself thinking during the meeting that we had a very caring, intelligent, proactive board, and on top of that I really like each of them.

Among the many subjects we discussed was adding two specific people to our board who have an incredible work history, multiple skills and a fountain of knowledge. We could learn so much from them both, so it was very exciting to know both of them wanted to be on the CEF board.

Prior to the meeting I had a call from a fundraising adviser who encouraged me to treat him like one of the board and ask questions any time I needed to. Such a generous spirit!

During the week I had been communicating with a very dear caring couple who are business advisers for CEF as they both have a business background, as well as NGO experience in Vietnam. We were discussing when to meet on their next two trips to Vietnam and what meetings, home visits and training with the staff was possible.

Also during the week a partner organization we have here in the States emailed me to inform me of sponsorships that have been renewed for this coming academic year. They have found sponsors for many of our CEF children and also help by keeping in touch with these sponsors.

These are just some of the wonderful people helping us.  I feel so blessed to have these selfless, caring, big-hearted friends supporting CEF to assist girls in Vietnam receive an education.

Monday, August 17, 2015

The CEF grannies

In each community CEF is working in there are many grannies with crucial roles. Some are the only source of love and care for the child, as well as providing a roof over their heads. Without these wonderful ladies, many children would be in orphanages.

CEF helps by ensuring the child's education costs are covered, sometimes provides food support and in some cases provides medical support for the grannies.

She has cared for her granddaughter since the girl's father died and mum left to find work in a large city, and ended up remarrying and has never returned home. Granddad sells lottery tickets when he is well enough, which helps to support the three of them. 

Granny who is a happy and warm lady has been the main care giver of many of her grandchildren while their parents work away from home in other towns, or locally. Often when we visited there were 5 or more children in her care. Fairly recently she had a stroke, but fortunately she has recovered.  A sponsor provides a medical supplement for granny's health care. 

Her father died, mum remarried, and she could no longer afford to care for her first daughter and so she now lives with her fathers' parents in the countryside. They love her greatly, but she still misses her mother a lot, but sometimes she gets to stay with her on weekends which makes both of them happy. The grandparents are lovely happy people and work hard as farmers, although granny can't work so hard any more as she has a serious lung condition.

Granny and granddad have cared for their three grandchildren since the children's parents drowned when the youngest was only a baby at the time. They find it hard work, but clearly love their grandchildren. They have done a wonderful job as all three children are sweet, caring and gentle. The grandparents are farmers and as they age are less capable of doing much farming. 
CEF has helped all three with their education and now the eldest granddaughter is employed and she is now able to help her grandparents a little financially. 

She lives with her caring granny in the countryside.  As the children get older they are able to reciprocate in some way. The grandparents have someone in the house to help with some of the chores.

This granny is at home when the children come home from school and mum is out working. Dad died and mum works to support her three children and her in-laws. Sadly granddad died recently.

Her granny helped to raise her along with her single mother and elderly aunt. She is very loved by her granddaughter who now studies away from home, but comes home often to spend time with her and her mother and elderly aunt.

She lives next door to her grandchildren. This has allowed mum to find work, while dad stays at home. Dad has suffered with hearing and mental health issues for about five years and granny is always there for them. 

The role of grandparents in Vietnam is still very important. I hugely admire these women who are often not in good health themselves, but they take their roles seriously and work hard to care for their grandchildren. We appreciate their selflessness as it means the child still feels loved and cared for creating much more stability in challenging circumstances.

(All are staff photos)

Friday, August 14, 2015

These girls can be kept safe from traffickers just by keeping them in school

We believe one way to help keep girls safe from traffickers, is to keep them in school.

We have many girls in need of scholarships in the mountains near the Vietnam-Laos border. 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 borders of Vietnam and the victims are mainly girls from very poor families.

A scholarship for one of these girls who is vulnerable to traffickers is only US$150 for a child for a year.
Each person who takes on a scholarship will receive an annual update on the program and some photos at the end of the academic year.

Please contact me to arrange a scholarship: Linda


Update on CEF's 'Literacy Education Program'

July 2014 Update 
This important program not only gives the CEF students great joy and the opportunity for knowledge, stimulation and growth, but we also experience happiness and satisfaction as we  love to see the expressions of discovery and  joy on their faces when searching through books to make their choices. The staff love supporting this program. This year we have made a wonderful additional change and have created the opportunity for all the children in the communities we work in in Quang Nam to borrow books.

About each aspect of our work:
Book Delivery
When doing home visits books were taken to CEF students in Da Nang and the books were borrowed by all of the students. 

Books to Share / Boxes of Books
We started to create Boxes of Books to take to share with communities in which we work in Quang Nam enabling the whole community to have access to books. We have a box of books for each age group and these boxes of books have gone to two pagodas so far and to one home where they are available to the local children to come and borrow. Next month (August) we will be placing more Book Boxes in a community in which we work. One person in each community is responsible for lending them, making sure the children understand about caring for the books, signing them out and making sure they are returned. Adults can borrow the books, but so far few have. We suspect this is because many are illiterate.  

Borrowing Books from the CEF Office Library in Hoi An
The local tertiary students were encouraged to borrow books from the library at CEF’s office. They have done so and are enjoying having the opportunity to borrow books whenever they want. 

Staffing to Care for the Library / Books
We have two staff members sharing the ongoing responsibility for this program as we feel  it works best and is more efficient to have two of them working on this program together.   They travel to Da Nang City to a large government registered book shop so they can purchase books that are permitted by the government. They also purchase book boxes, plastic for covering the books and Ziploc bags. They prepare the books for lending by cleaning the books, covering them, inserting ‘Care of Books’ information, stamping them, and putting them into Ziploc bags, transporting them to, and collecting them from the children, as well as organizing the books and book boxes to take to communities and the delivery of them by car. 

Below are plans for 2015-2016 and photos 
Photos ~ shopping for books, covering, some books bought on a trip, and two tertiary students with books they borrowed ~


‘Literacy Education Program’ Plans for 2015-2016
If you would like to support this important program please email us at

Books to Share / Books Boxes in 4 more communities       US$920
We wish to create book boxes for 4 more communities at US$200 per community. Transport and a driver to be able to purchase the books, books boxes, plastic for covering and bags is US$120 for the 4 trips.

Borrowing Books from the CEF Office Library       US$150
We wish to Increase selection of books for our tertiary students and continue to encourage them to borrow.So far we have books suitable for children from 7-18, but haven’t started to develop a selection of books for the 19-23 age group. We anticipate the cost to be about US$150.

Staffing for our ‘Literacy Education Program’        US$700 
Staffing is needed to carry out this important work that gives the opportunity not just for gaining knowledge, but also for encouraging thinking and refection, and the personal development of those who thirst to read. We use volunteers when we can to help with the preparation the books for book covering, the book covering and preparing for sending them out as this is a time consuming process.

Big thanks to all donors who support this program,

Linda Burn
Founding Director and In-country Manager 
Children's Education Foundation - Vietnam