Sunday, March 27, 2016

About one of CEF's tertiary students ~ Guest blog by CEF's Ms Kim Chi which was written with pride

February 2016

CEF helps girls to be a woman with choices, but we also help a few boys who come from extremely poor families or who are orphans. There is a boy who we at CEF considered worthwhile to give aid to. It was unbelievable to us that he passed the university entrance exams, as he had struggled to complete high school, but he did. Since he passed university and started his studies to become a History teacher, he has made much progress with his studies as well as in his life.

He used to be a very shy and quiet boy but now he is more sociable and thoughtful. His grandparents are very poor, and have to work really hard to help contribute to his personal costs while at university. Therefore, he has found a part-time job to pay for some of his personal costs. He works as a guard to looking after bikes for an internet shop and sometimes works in a food store at night to get a free dinner in exchange for his work. Although he works hard doing part time work, he still got good university results especially in the subjects which he is passionate about; history and geography.

I am very proud of him and want to say how he is a good example of doing what he is passionate about. If our tertiary students choose careers and therefore university courses that they are passionate about, they will success.

In addition, the tertiary students gradually learn not to depend on their families much. They gradually face the challenges in their lives, grow up and stop don’t blaming their challenges and poverty on their destiny.


Sunday, March 6, 2016

Creative Expression - Art Day at CEF ~ Guest blog by Ms Ngoc

Linda DeWolf from Go Philanthropic explaining the color wheel

One of the mandalas in progress

 CEF's annual ‘Creative Expression’ or 'Art Day', (Art Day is the name we usually call this event with the families) happens with the help of Linda Kay, an artist from the States who also is from Go Philanthropic, our US partner organization. For CEF, it is amazing to see the children spend time together in order to create, draw, make cards or boxes and learn more about art.

The CEF children who are local and live near Hoi An were asked to join in on the Art day and they were really interested to take part on this creative day. Some of them came very early and drew or colored in pictures while they were waiting for the others.

Another mandala in progress

 On this Art Day, the children were able to make boxes with a choice of 4 different shapes and then decorate them with a large choice of materials (glitter, ink stamps with many cute images, crayons, wet coloring pencils, some pretty patterned paper and ribbons) to help them design and create. Then after that they colored in beautiful mandalas. It surprised us that the children concentrated so much on these activities of making boxes and coloring in. They each wanted to make the most gorgeous ones in order to present them to their mothers and friends because it was near International Women’s Day.

After 2 hours of activities, we decided on the two most marvelous boxes and colored mandalas and gave them small prizes. We also gave small gifts of art materials to each student to encourage their creativity and show our respect for their hard work during the session.

Kim Chi explaining  how to make small decorative gift boxes

One of the boxes being decorated

One of the boxes being decorated

 Among the children, there is a girl dreaming of being an artist in the future. She loves art and from my perspective she certainly has the potential to be an artist because her art work is always well thought through, with meaning, as well as being very pretty.

I think all the children really love these activities as they said they wished to join it next year at CEF.

Below are some of the decorated gift boxes that were made

Saturday, March 5, 2016

CEF's Literacy Encouragement Program

Children’s Education Foundation believes in the importance of literacy and therefore we created a simple system to encourage the CEF sponsored children, as well as children in their communities to read books much more.

We deliver books to the children in Da Nang when we visit them, we have a library at CEF, and we create book boxes which go to homes and pagodas where children can borrow books.

About delivering books to the CEF children in Da Nang
When we go to Da Nang to see the children we take a good selection of books with us. They return them on the next time visit and borrow more.

About books in the bookcase at CEF
The local CEF sponsored children know there are books at CEF in our book cupboard and that they are welcome to borrow them whenever they want. It always brings a smile to my face to see them so excited when going through the book cupboard which is full of a huge selection of books and then struggling to decide which ones they will borrow on that visit.

About the books in the book boxes
For the communities further afield we create book boxes which we fill with many books and make sure there is a good variety for children of all ages. We take and leave these boxes to some of the children’s homes and to pagodas enabling children from the surrounding communities to come and borrow books. One person is responsible for the books.

Most of the funds that have been donated for books have come from supporters of ‘Journeys of the Heart’. We are most grateful for this support as it has enabled us to encourage children from many communities to read a wide variety of books, and start to develop a love and passion for reading.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Book shopping for our 'Book Boxes to Share' ~ Guest blog by Ms Kim Chi

 Kim Chi book shopping
Ngoc book shopping
I was very excited to do book shopping recently with Ngoc. I haven’t done book shopping for over six months, as I was on maternity leave. There were many new books at the shop so we had the choice of a wonderful variety of books but also had to choose thoughtfully too. 

These books were for putting into book boxes to go to a pagoda in Thang Binh. In this community there are quite a lot of primary, secondary and high students. We chose many books for the primary school girls this time. I really liked the set of books which teaches primary students how to be safe at home, at school, and out of home as well. For example the information in the books includes how to use a gas stove safely and how to rescue yourself from drowning. Some of books teach children how to be disciplined and how to respect others. It’s not only good for primary students, but also good for all age groups, including us, the staff too, although we are adults. 

 The books in book boxes
Thuy explaining to the nun about care of the books and the process of signing out books
The nun with the news books in the book boxes
Kim Chi with one of the books
Kim Chi with some of the books they bought

Most of the books we chose are thin books with some pictures to show through the pictures what they are talking about and to get the children more interested in the subject. We hope the children can enjoy reading and learning more from these books.

Note: We are very grateful for the donations we receive to buy books as the books are able to be shared by many making these donations very valuable. Thanks so much Victoria for your donation allowing us to buy many books to share.