Friday, September 29, 2017

One of the few boys CEF helps

He is a loving and caring boy. His aunt looks after him and he helps her around the house and with shopping. He does whatever his aunt needs help with. Also he does his homework and works hard on his studies and is doing well in school. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

An amazing spirit

She is a hard working and excellent student. Unfortunately mum has advanced renal failure and spends most of the week in hospital on dialysis. Dad abandoned the family after he was released from prison. Granddad is very sweet and caring and helps look after her in their tiny metal shack, without any bathroom facilities. 

We are very proud of her and her determination to do well in school and to go onto university so that she has a good future.  She has not surrendered to a life of poverty and squalor and her fighting spirit deserves great respect. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

"For the sake of the children" she said

For granny life is hard. This granddaughter has lived with her since mum died from HV. One of her other daughters lives with her and her three children as she recently gave birth and it is the tradition in Vietnam to go home and be cared for by your mother after giving birth.  One son has just been released from prison, who also has HIV, but can't find work, so she is having to support him too, as well as his son, who his wife left with granny when she left the relationship.

Granny is exhausted and depressed and yet keeps on working - "for the sake of the children" she said.

She has been most grateful that her granddaughter has been sponsored for the last year as it has been one less worry and financial stress to deal with.

If interested in sponsoring please do get in touch:

Why do we at CEF want girls to be sponsored?

Here are some simple and important reasons CEF wants girls to be sponsored:

1. They need a full education to have choices in life and not continue the cycle of poverty of their parents and grandparents.

2.It reduces their risks of being abused and trafficked.

3.It gives them time to mentally, emotionally and physically be prepared for the world of work, relationships and family.  

Why do we want this particular girl to be sponsored?

1. Because her mother deserted the family and hasn't returned, dad is an alcoholic and works far from home, granddad is old and has no income, auntie works the rice fields and can only manage to feed the three of them.

2. Because she is too young and not ready to leave home and work, like all her sisters and brothers did.

3. Because she is the only one in the family who has the potential to graduate from high school and get a job that will support herself and her aunt and granddad.

4. Because she deserves to be educated and wants to be!
Children's Education Foundation - Vietnam (US website)

Friday, September 8, 2017

CEF's board of directors in the USA

It's wonderful to have people on the board who are really interested and really care about the work CEF does in Vietnam, who think positively, creatively and are multi-skilled and experienced in many relevant fields.  
This important support is a blessing which I am very grateful for whether face to face for our AGM or by email or phone.  

Ngoc's start to her work day on Friday

Friday was the birthday of one of our CEF staff, Ms Ngoc, who is a valuable staff member of four years.

She is engaged to be married and her fiancé and her met up at a local café before work and he presented her with a huge bouquet of sunflowers. What a wonderful way to start a birthday!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

She hasn't forgotten being left

Although she was a tiny little girl at the time, she has never forgotten being left by her mother, who never returned for her.

Fortunately her elderly grandparents have been able to care for her and shower her with love. Even though she shortly will be graduating from high school she still talks about her mother leaving her and not coming back to get her.

Luckily she has been sponsored since she started school which has meant she has been able to have an education. Granny has poor health and can't walk easily and granddad sells lottery tickets to pay for their food, but he can't earn enough for her education.

She dreams of a university education and a good income so she can then help look after her grandparents, who have been 'parents' to her for most of her life.

If interested in sponsoring or donating towards the University Education Fund please get in touch:

Saturday, September 2, 2017

An interesting letter from a grade nine CEF student to her sponsor

...My family and I are fine. How about you? I hope you had a warm Xmas and a lucky new year. Last week, I felt so tired because I just had a very difficult examination and I had to spend lots of time to prepare for it and I tried my best. Now, I am already back to normal study days at school.
Oh, I forget to tell you about my happiness at the beginning of this letter. I had a trip to visit my brother in Hue two months ago. I still remember how wonderful that day was. It was my first visit to Hue and my father took me on his motorbike. It’s a very long way but I enjoyed the scenery very much. I saw many interesting things along the road. I saw the beautiful sea, the huge mountain in the other side and the nice cloud above our heads. In Hue, we saw the Huong river, we went down under the shade of the many green trees and saw the colorful flowers along the road. My brother picked us up and took us to visit some famous places in the old city. There, I saw a horse, I touch him but I couldn’t ride him because I was too scared. Then, we went to my brother’s room. It’s a small room but comfortable. We stayed there one day and went home the next morning. Hue is an ancient capital city with many historical places and beautiful sightseeing to do. I wish I could visit it again. Then, my family was very happy to see my brother ten days ago when he returned home to visit us. We cooked, ate, watched TV, and listened to music together. When he left, I was so sad. I miss him and want to see him very much. But don’t worry about me as everything is all good and my family is, too. I hope you and your family are all well, too.
Oh, I wrote too much. I should end my letter here and I should go to bed because it’s very late now and tomorrow I have to wake up early to go to school.
I am looking forward to hearing from you soon......

An interesting letter from one of our CEF grade nine students to her sponsor

In Vietnam letter writing skills are not part of their education therefore most of our students neither write much nor share about their lives. One of our CEF students wrote a very open, interesting letter to her sponsor recently.
How are you and your family? How is the weather in your home town now? In my hometown, the weather has become erratic this summer.
This summer I took a vocational training course once a week. It’s very strange that I sometimes feel bored when I have to go to school every day during the school year, however, I really want to go to school in the summer holiday because I feel more bored at home and miss school, teachers and friends.  I love studying and learning. All the children in my village also have the same feelings like me. This summer, I also helped local students with their studies at home by teaching them new lessons they needed to learn. They then didn’t need to pay teachers for extra tuition. The children enjoyed my lessons and I enjoyed teaching them too. People in my village often joked and called me ‘little teacher’ and that made me feel quite happy. Another great thing happened this summer and that is my family went out together to have dinner out. That was the first time we all have ever had dinner outside the home and it felt so great so do that! I could feel happiness all around us. During this summer I also had a chance to join the District Youth Camping for the best students in our district. I made many new friends and had a lot unforgettable memories with them. During the camping, we played many games and activities as well as taking part in competitions between students from different communes of our district. Our commune’s target was to get the 4th prize but we got the 3rd prize! All the students in my commune and I were so happy and felt proud of ourselves. I hope I have a chance to have that amazing experience again.
Although my letter is quite long now, I still have many stories that I want to tell you.  July 24th was my 14th birthday and it was the best birthday that I have had. This was the first time my family held a birthday party for me. My mother bought me a little birthday cake. I also received some little gifts from my family and my best friends. I was so happy and really enjoyed that sweet party. Three days later, I joined the Youth Club in our community. In the evening of the July 27th, we went to our district War Martyrs’ Cemetery to burn incense and remember all the people who sacrificed their lives for our freedom and peace. In the dark of night, many little lights were burned making the cemetery look so warm and beautiful. It’s so nice that I can do some little things for those people, our heroes. I feel proud of all our heroes and my country.
My letter now is too long and I should finish my letter. I hope you and your family also have an interesting, sweet and happy summer like I did.
(Translated by CEF staff) 

Friday, September 1, 2017

An exceptional CEF sponsor

 We have a few sponsors sponsoring 3 children at the same time, and we have had a few sponsoring 5, but this amazingly kind and generous man is sponsoring 9 children at the same time!

As some of them live far from the CEF office we don't see them often and we don't take sponsors to see them either, so he had only met the children he sponsors who live within 45 minutes of the CEF office. This year he got to meet the ones he hadn't yet met and that was a treat for all of them.  


The children and their families have been most grateful for his support as they all have challenging situations. The father of one of the girls fell off a roof and has brain damage. He now can sit up and say a few words, but it is unlikely he will improve any more than that as it is now 3 years since the accident. Mum farms but can't afford her daughters' education. Another girl lost her mother a couple of years ago to cancer and dad has poor health, but with the help of his brother manages to farm. He can't do more than that due to his health but also because he has a child with Down's Syndrome who is at home all the time and he has to look after her unless his daughter is home.  

  One father had a stroke and can walk and talk a little, but has made very little progress in the last three years. Her mother makes street food to sell at the market. One mother has cancer and is slowly passing away and dad is not strong and finds the odd job here and there.

Another father became deaf overnight and no one knows why and the tests don't tell us why as well.  No one will employ him because he is dead. His wife works in a shoe factory to support the family of four. The mother of one of the girls is in the final stages of renal failure and has no income as she is on dialysis most of the time. Dad was a criminal and no one knows where he is. So when mum is in hospital she just lives with her elderly granddad who also has no income. They live off donations and gifts of food. Another little girl lost her father a few years ago and mum does whatever work there is that she can do while the children are at school.

Although their lives are hard, they are all lovely children and grateful for what they have got in their lives and are especially grateful for their education sponsorships as without that help they would not be in school due to the low or non-existent income of their families.

The lotus represents the potential of the CEF girls who live in poverty

The lotus is just like the girls we work with at CEF in Vietnam.

It is an exquisite flower with medicinal seeds, yet it's health-giving deep roots are growing deep down in the mud.

The girls come from poor families, some come from generations of families who know nothing except grinding poverty. Their homes and shacks are basic, their circumstances often unbearable.

Each girl has potential, the possibility of flowering and doing well in school, graduating and being a shining example in their community. They can blossom and be an expression of the difference education can make, become a truly good and useful person in their community and country, bursting free from the cycle of poverty their family may have known for generations.  

Therefore to me the lotus perfectly represents the girls we work with at CEF.