Sunday, October 30, 2016

CEF is looking for a sponsor for this little grade 5 girl ~ Guest blog by CEF's Ms Kim Chi

This girl looks older than her age. She is healthy, a little shy, but is a sweet girl.

She loves school and has had good school results each year, except for last year when she was in grade 4. About a year ago about the time she started in grade 4, she suffered with a huge shock because her mother died. Mum was on her motorbike travelling home from work when she had a serious accident. Fortunately, she is ...getting over the shock and started to
make progress in term 2 last year and continues to make progress. 

Although the family borrowed US$850 to afford her mother’s brain surgery, she still lost her mom. The father now works really hard to afford the family expenses and his children’s educational costs.
Since the mother died her father has to spend more time caring for his children and their 78 year old granny. He can’t get to work early in the morning, so it means he collects less rubber. 

Although she is very young still she has to help her father to look after her siblings and do some household chores each day after she returns from school. She doesn’t have much time with her friends, except at school. 

The father collects rubber from rubber trees in the forest and can earn about US$100 a month. Although he has a low income he still tries to cover all costs including the interest on the debt each month. I feel so sorry for the children and the dad as he has work as much as he can, and be both mother and father, and that is impossible. 

Therefore, with financial support from a sponsor, this young girl can continue on to grade 5 this academic year (2016-2017). US$225 would not only pay for her school fees but would also provide her with uniform, sport shoes, shoes, hat, bag, stationery and extra tuition and at the same time it would reduce her father’s financial burden.

(Staff photos)

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Why do farming families work so hard but they still remain poor? ~ Guest blog by CEF's Ms Thuy

A struggling poor father rearing three children on his own, as his wife has died.

The first reason for farmer’s poverty is natural disasters. In Quang Nam and Thai Binh where CEF works, farmers are highly vulnerable to drought, typhoons and floods every year. The frequency and severity of these disasters has become more intense as a consequence of global warming.

Also the quality of some of the farming land near industrial areas is damaged by polluted water from factories. Some of the factories give compensation to the farmers, but it is often less compensation than what the farmers have lost due to the pollution.

Another important reason for their ongoing poverty is their limited education. Most of them live in remote areas where farming is very hard and they use the old traditional techniques that their parents used. They often don’t know how to find out about new farming techniques and don’t have access to new agricultural technology.

Some also borrow money from the bank to grow new varieties of fruit or raise livestock. However, many of them lose their crops or their livestock die due to illnesses caused by lack of knowledge on how to take care for them.

Another reason is the number of family dependents is higher than the available workers in the family. It’s sad that poor farming families are often poorer because they have too many children.

Some farming families also face huge financial challenges because their main laborers have some serious disease, become disabled, or have died from some illness or from an accident.

It doesn’t mean that all farmers are poor. Nowadays, some farmers become rich and export their products to foreign countries thanks to information on modern farming techniques and advanced technology, being able to update their knowledge and apply new technologies.

Finally, education is a very important to help people get out of poverty.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

About a new organization, Chances for Children International, that is helping CEF

Chances for Children International is a new NGO that was set up recently. The couple who set it up are very caring and compassionate and are already helping children in Vietnam, India and Nepal. We at CEF feel very fortunate to have their support.

These are 4 of the 9 CEF children who are fortunate to be receiving help from CCI with their education.

They are helping her to receive a university education. She is studying to be a pharmacist, specializing in herbal medicine. She comes from a poor family in the mountains near the Vietnam-Laos border.  
Her mother died of breast cancer and just before passing away gave birth to a little boy. This young lady has helped as much as she could with bringing him up during his infancy while continuing her education.
Dad collects rubber from rubber trees in a local forest and has a very low income due to needing to spend a certain amount of time on child rearing and domestic chores as well as working. Although her father has a really challenging situation he really wants his children to be well educated.  

They are also helping this student to receive a university education. She is studying chemistry and hopes to be an analyst.
This is very exciting for her as she comes from a large family with a low income. They borrowed to build a home, but ran out of money so their home is incomplete. Dad has poor health and can't work much, so he just helps his wife with selling fruit at the market. 
Their poverty limited the education of one of their children and this very bright child who a lot was expected from at school, and she found it too hard to accept the limitations on her education, and very sadly, took her life. So having support for this student to receive a university education is wonderful! 

CCI is helping this student to complete her last year of high school and hopefully next year she will be successful in applying to study at university to be a technology teacher.
She is from a fairly new area we have been working in near the Vietnam-Laos border, where there is a lot of poverty and very few students end up receiving a tertiary education. Many of the students in this area are from ethnic communities and she is from the 'Gie Trieng' group. 
It is wonderful she has this support as mum has poor health and can't work much, so her father works hard to cover their basic costs, but they still live in a shack made from rattan matting with a tin roof.

And this student CCI are helping to complete high school. Hopefully next year she will be successful in applying to study at university to be a doctor, or a literature teacher if she can't get high enough grades to study medicine. 
She is from the ethnic group 'Gie Trieng' and where they live in the mountains it is hard to farm. Her parents have to walk a long way from home to work and for her it is a long way to school so she stays with other family members not far from her school.
Sadly she has very poor health and has to rely on pain killers a lot of the time. But even considering her health challenges she still is determined to go to university and studies as much as her health will allow.

Chances for Children International says:
Chances for Children International (CCI) is a small non-profit organization run out of our New Hampshire farm house. Our partners are small, innovative grassroots organizations. And we promise that 100% of every dollar you contribute goes directly to help the children in these programs.

Please have a look at their colourful and fresh website and support their wonderful and important work:

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

International Day of the Girl Child

It feels most respectful that girls worldwide have a day allocated to them, International Day of the Girl Child, a day that exists to honor the girl child and for us all to reflect about the girl child.

I love that so many organizations now work to help girls around the world with many issues such as education, child abuse, anti-trafficking, homelessness, drug abuse, prostitution and many more issues girls face worldwide.

CEF works to help girls stay in school and complete their education, enabling them to grow into women with choices. With the issue of trafficking increasing in Vietnam over the last few year we have added anti-trafficking education. Now sexual use and abuse of young girls via Facebook is growing we are adding education on this aspect to enlighten girls about this sad change that is rapidly increasing.

As girls become women, mothers and grandmothers they are precious members of every community and need and deserve support and help.