Saturday, December 8, 2018

A passionately creative CEF grade 5 student

H is a delightful grade 5 child in our sponsorship program, who is passionate about drawing. Her spare time is spent drawing scenery, events and people and all her art work is delightful. 
Her other passion is being a fashion designer, so she practices designing and making clothes for her dolls. She plans to design some clothes for her mother who only has three sets of clothes that are very old. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

New computers for staff

We use a mixture of new laptops and second hand ones at CEF. If  they are donated to CEF and are not too old and in good working order, we repair them all and give most of them to the students who need computers. We also use some in the office until they get too slow for the staff to work on. Then we repair again and pass onto our students who need computers, for just doing simple things like writing assignments.

Recently two of the staff computers got to that stage and these two staff were thrilled to get new laptops. Without non-specific donations we could not do this.  So we are very grateful for these donations. Now they can do their spreadsheets on costs of the students, estimated costs for our education programs and support programs, their reporting on their students, researching, preparing powerpoint presentations for workshops, then storing work in dropbox and much more. 

Thank you!

Thuy Dinh says: 
I am writing this note to express how thrilled I am at having a new work laptop.  My old computer one was second hand but it was a good quality one except for not having a battery that worked. I had problems when the electric power was cut off suddenly while I was working. Now, I am working without worrying about the power going off. I am sure the new computer will help me work more quickly and efficiently. Thanks so much for giving it to me!


Friday, November 9, 2018

Mentoring training

We at CEF were most fortunate to have mentoring training with two very experienced staff from Blue Dragon Children's Foundation.  This amazing organization has an extensive sponsorship program, but also specializes in rescuing and helping with rehabilitation of street children and trafficked children. 

Their experience in mentoring was most valuable as we were able to not just learn new ways to ask questions, but were also very stimulated by the related conversations and questions we were asked. Working together on the issues that arose was valuable and left us keen to amend questionnaires we use when seeing our students and families. Open questions we found out were crucial to finding out information we need to know. Taking care, showing more compassion and being good listeners all were crucial to developing better and more open relationships with our families. 

We are most grateful for this wonderful help and support we received from Blue Dragon Children's Foundation.   

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Home visits in Duy Xuyen

On Sunday we visited CEF families in the closest part of Duy Xuyen district, which is about 45 minutes from the CEF office. We left at 6am and got home at 7pm. These days can be long, but are important to catch up with the families, to see their homes, the quality and the safety of them, and to hear about the family and discuss the child's education. 

The following are a few of the children we visited on Sunday. 

Her father died last year and her mother is doing what she can to support her three children on her own. This little angel was given this doll for her birthday the prior day to our visit. With CEF providing education support it reduces some of mum's financial burden.

This CEF student is holding a bag she was given by her sponsor, filled with all sorts of goodies, some educational and some just for fun. Her dad died last year too and mum is bringing up two children on her own.   

The brother, who is unfamiliar with having his photo taken and isn't sure what to do. He is holding a bag given by his sisters' sponsor. It was full of many fun activities and some cars too. 

The step sisters only started livng together recently after step-dad died. They love each other so much and the older girl is now so much happier than when she lived with her grandparents.  

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Happy to say T is sponsored

Now T is sponsored and we are thrilled. Thank you Kathy!

She has had challenges and will continue to due to being affected by agent orange. Her father worked collecting scrap metal at Da Nang airport, the site of dumping dioxide or what has become known as 'agent orange'.  After working there some years he and his wife had T. She was born with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot. Sadly a few years later dad died from 'agent orange' related illnesses.

Last year she had her sixth finger removed from each hand and the recovery process was extremely painful for her.   She was meant to have the sixth toes removed this year, but the memory of the pain is too much and she is refusing, but she can only wear thongs due to having 6 toes and knows at some stage she will need to have them removed.  

Normal looking hands now

Site of removal of a finger can be seen

T who had two fingers removed

Monday, October 15, 2018

Thuy Tran's birthday tea break with the staff

We popped out from work to celebrate with Thuy Tran one of CEFs hard working staff members. It's fun to take a break from work to celebrate birthdays!

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Quang Nam term 1 payment day

These are some photos of our students from term 1 payment day in Quang Nam. Payments in the low lands take place in three halls where students come to receive payments.

In term 1 we talk briefly about an important issue and in term 2 we have more time to do a longer talk and presentation on an issue we consider important for our children and families to know about. On term 1 payment day this year we reminded the students to use Facebook wisely due it being the main means for traffickers to obtain young girls her in Vietnam.


Sunday, September 30, 2018

Payment day and workshops for our scholarship students in Phuoc Son distict

In term 1 we make scholarship payments to our students in Phuoc Son district, not far from the Vietnam-Laos. These students are mainly from poor ethnic communities and are considered the best female students in their school. 

Scholarship funds enable them to pay education costs they could not otherwise cover, purchase study materials and eat breakfast. We also provide extra tuition for our ethnic students in grade 11. When there is more funding we will provide extra tuition for our grade 12 students too.   

After payments a session took place on careers guidance and explained how to choose a suitable subject for their ability, and how to do research they needed to see the careers that come within their abilities and in which they have an interest.  

Over the next day we ran small workshops in female health, hygiene, family planning, unwanted pregnancy, and sexual diseases for all the girls in this high school. It is easier to deal with questions when working in small groups. We also divide the ethnic girls and non-ethnic girls as they then are all more open and communicative. 

As it is normal to marry and bare children at a young age in many ethnic communities we feel it is important to cover these subjects so they don't have unwanted pregnancies and can complete their studies and develop a career before marriage. 

CEF Scholarships students 

CEF Scholarship students wearing jumpers CHIA donated to CEF

Students in career guidance session

Thuy Tran teaching and guiding on the subject of choosing a suitable careers 

Some students with an excellent book on female health

One of the small groups who studied female health, hygiene, family planning 
and sexual diseases over the weekend

Sunday, September 9, 2018

A CEF student is now sponsored for her last two years of her high school education

Having a sponsorship to do her last two years of high school is really important, so we are very grateful to her new sponsors for this meaningful help. She has no parents, and lives with her aunt and granny who have almost no income due to granny being old and her aunt having a serious back injury.

She wants to complete high school and as she loves English her hope is to train to be a receptionist after high school.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Vietnam's beauty helps to nourish the spirit

I am mainly writing about the challenges our CEF families and children are facing and help that is needed. but I wanted to share another aspect of their lives. Our students all come from poor families, but they live in beautiful or interesting environments. I believe this beauty of their surroundings helps them. The greenery, the mountains, the hills, rice fields, rivers, streams, lakes, bridges and the historical buildings are beautiful or interesting and help nourish their spirit, which is a huge help when struggling to make ends meet.  I believe this nourishment helps give them the strength to not give up.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Apologies for the delay in being in touch and getting information to you

Hello dear supporters, donors, sponsors, partner organizations, friends and readers,

Due to unexpected travel due to my mother being unwell over the last year and now due to her death, I am behind with some work which includes getting updates to you, newsletters out and staying in touch with you as much as I would like.

I will do all this as soon as I can and ask for further patience.

Thank you so much,

(Founding Director and In-Country Manager - Vietnam)

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

A new school year starts soon and what does that mean

In Viet Nam the new school year starts soon. For the students this means studying all day. Some of it will be spent attending classes at school, some compulsory extra tuition classes at school, and some in private extra tuition classes at teachers homes and then doing homework at home. Saturdays are usually spent on school activities, some private tuition and homework as well as helping around the home. Most students have a free day on Sundays when they do more homework and chores around the house and many have to do farming to help the family. 

For us at the office now it's time to prepare home visit schedules for each area we work in, do home visits to our students and families, write up reports, prepare for term one payment days and much more. 

Also we need to make sure we have a sponsor for each CEF student. Sometimes the sponsors who have committed to see a child through their education have to stop for financial reasons and we need to find new sponsors. Each year we have high school graduates and some who have applied to go to university need help and so we need to find them sponsors or even two to share the sponsorship. As university is more expensive than high school, the cost of university is too much for some sponsors to carry on their own.  Every year we also have new students we take on who urgently need help to stay in school and they need sponsors too.   

Without our staff, donors and sponsors, partner organisations, advisors and board of directors all this help for girls to stay safe, in school and receive an education, so that they can break the poverty cycle and have a future with choices, would not be possible. So we are reminded often as we work, how crucial the support is that we fortunately do receive.
With huge thanks to all those who are interested in our work, those who encourage us and those who support us in some way, as it all makes a difference,

Monday, August 13, 2018

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Dental care for CEF students

CEF students receive free dental care each summer. Big thanks to East Meets West Dental who give them free dental examinations, dental care, hygiene lessons and give them a free toothbrush and toothpaste. 

Also thanks to Go Philanthropic who make this dental care possible. Our students need to get to the dentists and the Healthy Kids Fund from them enables us to transport many of the children to the dentist and reimburse transport costs for others who come separately from other areas. Without this support they won't go to the dentist as their families are too poor. 

We hope that over the years all our students will learn good dental hygiene and take good care of their teeth.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Farming in the forests ~ Guest blog by CEF's Ms Truy Tran

The summer holiday started three weeks ago and many students have free time after a long busy academic year.

Many of our students parents are farmers and the summer is the season of harvesting rice, peanuts and corn. Our students from farming families who live in the remote mountainous areas face challenges farming. Due to the natural environment the paths are steep and sometimes muddy, resulting in them having to walk at least four hours to their farm in the forest. Consequently they stay there for two to seven days during harvesting. They bring food, water, pans, pots and tents. After harvesting, they then have to carry all their produce on their back down to the main road where they can get help to transport their produce home.  

They work so hard, but their crops give them satisfaction in the end if there has not been any natural disasters.

(Photos: our scholarship student working on the family farm in the forest, and on the way to her farm)

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Hospitality training for two CEF students

These two students are very different but what they have in common is the poverty of their families and their desire to go into hospitality.

D's parents divorced when she was young and the only place for her to live was with her granny and mentally ill uncle. Both parents remarried, but her step father died a few years back as did granny. For the years we have known her no matter what has been going on for her, she has been the top student in her year. She could easily study law or medicine or any subject she wanted to.

T's parents have poor health, with dad on dialysis three times a week. Mum is the sole worker. Her brother suffers with severe mental illness. She has to help a lot around the home and struggles to do her studies.

They both want to go into hospitality for the same reasons. There is a need for both of them to earn as soon as possible. High quality hospitality training is available locally and only takes one and half years, while a university education takes four years to complete for most subjects. D wants to support herself, her uncle and her mother. T wants to help support her family and herself.

Both of them are being very realistic and selfless with their plans for the next stage in their lives.