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.    

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Mother's Day

None of our CEF mothers will be celebrating Mothers Day. They will be working.

Most of them work seven days a week with super long days too. Some work in factories and on the seventh day they do the farming as well as the cooking and other domestic chores. They don't work these long days and hours because they love their work, it is essential, as they are uneducated and can't make ends meet doing the lowly paid work they do.

An education is essential and makes such a difference for a girl here! She then has many choices and opportunities!

Photos are of some of the CEF students in the sponsorship program with their hard-working mothers.



Friday, May 11, 2018

The War is Over. The Bombs Remain by Ariel Garfinkel (New York Times article)

This well-written article gives you an insight into the problems that still exist in Vietnam due to the most recent war here, which some call the American - Vietnam War.  

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Thanks to Cheryl and Bruce for sponsoring

This week a grade 9 student has been sponsored thanks to Cheryl and Bruce. She is from a farming community in the mountains. Her mother has to work away from home to earn enough to support herself, her daughter and granny. Mum works in a coffee shop early in the day, then works as a housekeeper in a hotel for the remainder of the day.

Getting sponsors for the older children is always difficult and yet this is such an important time in their lives when they need to be in school, safe, learning and developing. Keeping her in school will enable her to be more employable, have more options in life after high school and she will gain more confidence and wisdom with each year. We at CEF are most grateful Cheryl and Bruce have taken on this sponsorship.  

Poverty removes choices and creates challenges

This uneducated woman married young. She had three children and has little family or financial help. After the third child was born, her husband became mentally ill and no longer could help in any way. Since then he has lived with his parents as he has a wild and destructive nature now.  When she is home he comes and asks her for funds for smoking and pocket money. Fortunately he doesn't drink.

As she is uneducated she collected recyclable materials locally. While her husband was well and did some farming and building work, they could just make ends meet. Since he has been ill she has had to work far from home to earn enough to support her children. CEF provides sponsorships for her two girls which helps relieve some of the financial burden.

Until we talked to her about the children being vulnerable on their own with no adult, and gave cases of abused children in the same situation, she didn't care about this. It never had occurred to her that they were vulnerable as it is such a normal situation among the poor.

This challenge now tears her up as she can't make ends meet locally and care for her children, their wellbeing and their education. Living far away she can earn a great deal more, make ends meet except for the girls education, but can't care for them.

Now she calls them each evening to check on them and remind them to do homework and once it is done, then go over to a relative's home to sleep.

Sadly her situation is common. Many children are left alone for days and are both uncared for, and vulnerable to abuse especially by local men after special occasions, when plied with alcohol. She knows this but feels she has no choice.  Unfortunately this is what we hear frequently from the families with only one person earning and no other relatives living at home.

We recently did several workshops for grandparents, parents and children on child sexual abuse. They were taught about what child sexual abuse is, why it happens, how it happens, how to avoid it and emergency numbers to call. On home visits we check with families if they have any questions, and talk about the safety of their children if they are leaving them on their own at all. Most are left on their own for long periods each day unfortunately. We hope that the information we have shared will help protect the children.