Lately we have been working with the Children's Education Foundation's founder Linda Hutchinson-Burn in Hoi An and her colleague in New York City to find good matches for our contributors to sponsor amongst the many on their waiting list who are hoping to stay in school.
CEF ( see website link on the sidebar) has been doing good work in Vietnam for about ten years. Recently, as inflation escalates and the gulf between rich and poor becomes greater, Linda has been beset with requests for support. The children at risk are from single parent families; are being cared for by grandparents other relatives or nuns; or have one or both parents ill with life threatening illness...any number of tragic circumstances that threaten their continuing education in a country where school fees are prohibitive for the poor.
The focus for CEF in the past has been on education for young girls but as more families become destitute, some boys are now included on the CEF list. More and more the needs grow for supplements to cover food for kids suffering from malnutrition and for school supplies and uniforms, as well as tuition.
The challenges are becoming greater and greater for Linda and CEF to meet all of the requests for support.
We are committed to creating awareness through Journeys of the Heart about this fine organization and its dedicated founder, her small staff and a corps of volunteers, in Hoi An, Vietnam, in Australia, in the US and in Canada.
The pictures above illustrate some of the conditions in which these children live, in thatched or tin roofed cottages with rudimentary kitchens. but they are loved by their caregivers who are only too aware that education will help break the cycle of poverty.
The bicycle , being ridden by one of the CEF kids was donated by a departing expat and now getting to school for this young Miss is a 15 minute bike ride rather than a one hour walk each way.
This beautiful young face tells the story of her yearning not only to stay in school, but to stay with her father, a widower, whose own health concerns have caused him to contemplate giving up his children. The picture was taken while he talked with Linda about his plight. Blessedly this young girl's fervent wish for the family to stay together and for her to be able to go to school has now been answered through CEF.
Many thanks to all of our donors who have chosen CEF as an avenue to share their good fortune. And many thanks to Linda, for her inspiration and devotion.