Current Projects

Phuc Le Education Project

Childrenís Education Foundation - Vietnam set up Phuc Le Education Project to help make an education possible for the children from the poorest families in Phuc Le farming community. This project has the initial aim of assisting these children complete secondary school and then of providing further education or training where needed.

The children we help from this community come from impoverished families. Some only have one parent, others have one with a disability and a few live with grandparents in cases where both parents have died. A few have been left to fend for themselves because their parents are permanently absent.

Phuc Le community is in the north of Vietnam in Thai Binh Province. Most of the villagers are rice farmers and manage to grow sufficient rice and vegetables for themselves, but not enough to sell. After paying tax and land rental the average cash income per family is US$20 a month. Because it is so difficult for them to earn a living locally to sustain them and their families, some parents are permanently absent working in large cities. Some parents never return, while others are absent for long periods and send money home.

Although this is a poor village, it is clean and tidy and has an air of being well cared for. The parish priest, Father Dominic Nguyen Van Thao, has recognized that a lack of education is the key factor keeping many of the villagers in poverty and is actively trying to improve life for all in his community - Buddhists and Catholics alike. Father Thao and our northern coordinator Bui Dinh Chu see the families regularly.

Most children complete primary school, but in their first or second year of secondary education 40% of the village children drop out because their families canít afford to pay the required school expenses. About 25% of children complete high school and of those 40% go on to study at college or university. The educational sponsorship program was initiated by Bui Dinh Chu in collaboration with CEF in September 2005 with 13 children and at the beginning of the 2009-2010 academic year there were 39 children in the program.

Danang Education Support Project

Childrenís Education Foundation - Vietnam set up Danang Education Support Project to help make an education possible for the brightest children from the Hoa Van leper community whose parents arenít able to afford to send them to secondary school or high school in Danang. We wanted to assist these children to complete school then provide further education or training.

Hoa Van Village covers an area of about 30 hectares, has 93 households with 80 registered lepers, who have been treated and arenít contagious. Itís situated on the coast at the foot of Hai Van Mountain, between Hue and Danang. As beautiful as it is there, the villagers are very vulnerable to the elements. In 2007 and 2009 there were landslides that destroyed many homes and crops. Those who can work earn a basic living by selling the old wood they cut for firewood and sell to poor families in Da Nang who canít afford gas or coal for cooking. They also sell chickens, ducks, cows and pigs, or fish they have caught from their basket boats. For themselves they grow rice, corn and some salad vegetables.

Some of the children we are helping have one parent and others a parent or grandparents who have had leprosy. Those who have had leprosy are required to live in the community and arenít permitted to be in Danang for more than two days at a time, which means when we re-settle children in Danang for their education, the parent with leprosy canít live there.

Only primary school is available for the community and to receive education beyond this level children have no choice but to move to Danang. The four months of heavy rains, typhoons and rough seas in this part of Vietnam make daily travel to Danang impossible.

The chief of Hoa Van, Tran Huu Duc said: Every child who is twelve years old must leave the village. Even if they donít want to they must accept it. They either go to secondary school if the familyís income is sufficient for the child to study there, or in the case of very poor families their children work for someone in Da Nang se ling lottery tickets, polishing shoes, or working on building sites.

CEFís sponsorship fees for these children cover more than the usual educational costs and include accommodation and food when required. We are in contact with the families and children on a regular basis to make sure that they are well and safe.

Quang Nam Education Project

Quang Nam is a large province with 15 districts. It runs along the south central coast of Vietnam and borders Hue Province to the north, the South China Sea to the east, both Quang Ngai and Kon Tum Provinces to the south and the country of Laos to the west.

Itís a very poor province. Much of the land in Quang Nam is low lying and prone to annual flooding. Because there is little agricultural land that can be used all year through, farmers struggle to make a reasonable living. Two crops can be grown each year, but itís not unusual for both to be lost due to the harsh conditions. This coastal province is vulnerable to the full force of the typhoons and the destruction they bring, especially on the poor.

The Quang Nam Education Project operates in the following districts: Thang Binh, Duy Xuyen, Nui Thanh, Tam Ky and Hoi An. Childrenís Education Foundation - Vietnam has been helping children to receive an education for up to four years in these areas. The incomes of these childrenís families vary from zero to US$75 per month. Some of the children have lost one or both of their parents and many are being cared for by grandparents or aunts and uncles.

CEF - VN helps mostly females, because the Taoist culture in this province favors the education of males. In cases of dire need, CEF - VN also helps boys.

Hoi An City

This girl's mother died leaving the father with a three month old son and a daughter to raise.

Hoi An is a small city of 120,000 inhabitants near the mouth of the Thu Bon River. In the 1st century it was the largest harbor in South East Asia and was a famous trading port. Silting of the river has restricted navigation to small boats, which are used for local and off shore fishing. This historic UNESCO protected town is a popular tourist destination. The wealth this tourism brings mostly benefits the town while the surrounding areas remain impoverished with families struggling to make a living by fishing and farming.

This is the district I live in. The children we help are very poor from either farming or fishing families. Most of them are referred to CEF - VN by my Vietnamese staff and friends and live in their local communities. At present we have two children in need of sponsorship. Others have just begun receiving assistance and a few have been with us for up to two years.

Duy Xuyen

Duy Xuyen is mainly an agricultural district of 298 square kilometers in size with approximately 130,000 inhabitants. The children we help in this district are from impoverished farming families and were referred to us by another local charity, CHIA. We have been helping these children to receive an education for four years.

This girl's mother died and her elderly father hasn't an income

Binh Tu Commune in Thang Binh District

Binh Tu is a small farming community in Thang Binh (district) which is 385 km square in size, with a population of approximately 187,000. Binh Tu floods each year affecting the incomes of the farmers.

This community of Binh Tu is very poor. All the children here were referred to us by a Buddhist nun four years ago. At present we have two children in need of sponsorship here.

This girl has been looking after her brother & keeping house while her single mother works away from home

Nui Thanh

Most people are poor in this district, which covers about 533 km square and has a population of around 143,000. This area suffered heavily in the war and is quite barren, making it very hot. The inhabitants are mostly farmers and factory and mine workers. The area is hit regularly by storms and flooding, which makes farming a very hard way to make ends meet.

The children in this district were referred to us recently by a local Buddhist nun. Two of them still need a sponsor. There are many illnesses and abnormalities in this area, which are thought to be a consequence of agent orange.

This girl's mother washes dishes to earn money to support the two of them

Tam Ky City

Tam Ky is the capital of Quang Nam province with a population of about 500,000 working on the land or in light industry. It is a flat, nondescript town, which also suffered during the war and which has extensive poverty.

The children here were referred to us recently by local Buddhist nuns. We have one child still in need of a sponsor here.

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