Friday, October 30, 2015

About one of the CEF families in the mountains ~ Guest blog by Thuy

Once again last month I had a chance to visit CEF children and their families in a mountainous area we work in, as my colleague who takes responsibility in this area was on maternity leave. This is also my favorite area to work because the families are so poor but still positive and keep working hard.

The home-visits not only help us to find out about the changes in their families, but also to understand more about their children that we help, as well as help build closer relationships with children and their families.

It was 6 months since my first visit and it was enough time to see the changes in the families and children. They don't feel embarrassed when talking to me, even the first time. Most of the children freely share their feelings, their news at school and at home, their hobbies and dreams. Most of families have changed very little. Some families are a little better off, but some are worse off. Among those families.

I was very touched with T's family story. T's family is an extremely poor household and because of their poverty the 17 years old daughter decided to quit school when she was 16 years old to earn money and help the family. The mother agreed with her decision. However, she couldn’t find a good job at her age, so she worked in a coffee shop for a year. She met someone and got pregnant and had to get married after that. The mother was so depressed because she used to believe that T's sister was a smart and good girl and could help the family out financially if she went to work. Now she is also very worried because her daughter is too young to be a mother, and to be good daughter-in-law for her husband’s family. She also realized that this was a valuable experience about the importance of education. She cried and said ‘If my family gets any poorer then I will have to sell everything I own. I won’t let my other daughters stop their studies because I now know that their futures could end up the same as their older sister’. We were very sad when we heard about their story. However, it is still good in another way as the mother has realized the importance of keeping girls in school.


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A visit to beautiful Hanoi to see some of our tertiary students there

We recently visited beautiful Hanoi on our way to Thai Binh to see all our students there. This stop enabled us to catch up with CEF's tertiary students in Hanoi. The new students have adjusted well to their student life and we are pleased to say our more established students are all doing well. It was lovely to see them and observe how they have grown into such lovely young adults. I felt like a proud mother.

We caught up with each of them at a coffee shop, then took them to dinner. After dinner we walked around Hoan Kiem Lake and had ice cream. What a lovely and special time it was. 

(Photo of Hoan Kiem Lake)