Friday, March 23, 2018

Feelings and Thoughts on Child Sexual Abuse ~ Guest blog by CEF's Kim Chi

I was distressed each time I read stories of girls who were victims of child sexual abuse, and I think it impacted me a lot as I have two daughters. Therefore I wondered if we could do anything for CEF’s girls and the families to raise awareness and teach them how to protect themselves.
I wrote an email to Linda as she was overseas at that time and she replied we should do a talk for our CEF children asap. After discussing together, we decided to do talks on this topic on CEF’s payment days because this was the best opportunity, as all of the CEF children and parents / grandparents attend.
So far I am pleased with the talks I made on a sensitive subject. It not only helps the children and parents to be well informed about child sexual abuse, but also makes the parents think and care for their children even when they are busy.
I gained experience and knowledge and will be able to teach my daughters when they are older and also share this knowledge with my community. Hopefully, our efforts to educate will help reduce this issue in Viet Nam.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Stephen CEF-Vietnam's manager in the USA has been visiting

Stephen has been visiting Vietnam as he does each year to catch up with our work here on the ground, meet up with staff and attend some home visits to see the situations of the children and families we choose to give an education sponsorship to.

 Marjorie who is a long term friend of Stephen's with a great deal of writing and editing experience came over at the same time. She visited many of the CEF families and will take on editing work for us and also some sponsor communication.

While Stephen is here he also continues his work as he has a busy law practice in New York. He does have time to relax, so goes back each year feeling more rested and relaxed, but also more connected to our work here in Vietnam.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Welcome to Marjorie ~ Guest blog by Stephen, CEF-Vietnam's USA manager

On my annual trip to Hoi An this year I was accompanied by my old friend, and CEF-Vietnam’s new friend, Marjorie Shaffer, making her first visit to Vietnam.  Marjorie, a retired journalist and current author, is volunteering to help with editing CEF letters and home visit reports and will take on the role of some sponsor communication too. She is in Vietnam to meet many of the children with whom she’ll be working. She’s also here to research cinnamon farming for her next book (her first came out a couple of years ago; it’s called Pepper).
It was interesting for me to see Marjorie’s reactions to meeting the children and their families when she accompanied CEF staffers Thuy and Vy on home visits, and made me think about my own similar experiences when I started making such visits. She was thrilled and uplifted to meet happy children who are doing well in school and whose families are grateful for the support from CEF that enables the children to look forward to a better future.  But there also is sadness in seeing the extreme poverty many children experience, as well as heartbreak when children must be told they’re not working hard enough on their studies to continue to receive support.  Sometimes it’s very difficult to be in the charity world.
In addition to her home visits, Marjorie has been enjoying the cultural and culinary delights of Vietnam, including exploring Hue with me and Danang with Linda and me. (I love Hue and always welcome an opportunity to visit.) She is now off to Hanoi, where she will sightsee for a couple of days before heading off on a tour to cinnamon farms and a homestay outside the city. 
Welcome to CEF-Vietnam, Marjorie!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Donated clothes

Some sponsors and donors donate good quality clothes for us to give the CEF children. Here is one of our angels in a lovely warm jacket that was donated recently.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Staff time relaxation together is valuable ~ Guest blog by CEF's newsest staff member Thuy Dinh

Honestly, it’s very hard for all staff to have the time and the chance to hang out together.
Thanks to our CEF Director, Mrs. Linda, she gave us one and a half hours of work time to be together on International Women’s Day. This opportunity was used to meet up at a coffee shop and we had a fabulous time.
Besides talking about work, we had a lot of experiences to share with each other. For me it was especially good to share more about myself with my colleagues. Moreover, I was able to discuss my difficulties when starting the new job at CEF and I received some useful advice from them as well as them sharing their helpful experiences.
After spending that time together, I feel that we are not only colleagues, but also sisters in one family. I think I am so lucky to work with such supportive and helpful staff.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

CEF staff

These are CEF's lovely and hard-working staff. Recently Thuy Dinh joined the team (second from right). We are very happy to have her work with us. She struggled to get a university education and understands what it takes and knows how important it is to complete school and go to university.