Imagine having such an insecure, ramshackle house that you dread the thought of anyone visiting you.
For one family in Tanzania, this was part of their daily life.
Aurelia and her three children, two of whom are sponsored through CFCA, used to live in a home made from iron sheets.
“We used to live under a leaky roof and the walls were cracked,” Aurelia said.
“It would get very cold at night and during the rainy season we would get rained on.”
With a leaky roof and cracked walls that let in the rain and cold, it wasn’t exactly a place they wanted to show visitors, let alone live in.
“We used to be very uncomfortable when a friend or a fellow student said they wanted to visit us,” said Herman, Aurelia’s son and a CFCA sponsored youth. “Many times we found excuses to discourage them from visiting us. Neighbors looked down on us.”
But that was only part of the family’s predicament.
All of them were constantly sneezing and coughing from dust stirred up by the earthen floor and mud walls.
Centipedes and other insects would creep into the house and bite them.
When it rained, water would drip on the family from holes in the roof, making sleep difficult.
“We had to put pots on the ground to catch the rain,” Herman said. “Otherwise the entire house would be filled with water.”
Fortunately, that all changed last year when the family moved into a new home—thanks to Aurelia’s hard work and savings, the labor of CFCA staffers and money from the CFCA project’s fund for families most in need of additional help.
“CFCA takes a holistic approach with the families we serve,” said Greta Ryan, CFCA project director for Tanzania. “The health of this family, as well as the conditions of their home, required immediate attention.”
CFCA staffers generally identify urgent needs during home visits or at support group meetings for parents of sponsored children, Ryan said.
Often the parents themselves will discover the needs of other families in the CFCA community, Ryan said, then communicate those needs —such as home repair, medical care or additional nutritional support —to the staff.
The “most in need” fund is designed to support those families who urgently need extra help beyond regular sponsorship funds, Ryan said.
For the family, the fund helped fulfill a dream they had already begun planning for.
Aurelia sells vegetables as the family’s only source of income. She started saving money from sponsorship benefits to buy stones for building their house.
But money from the fund, along with labor provided by CFCA staffers, allowed her to construct a new, safer and far more comfortable home.
“I am grateful to CFCA for their help towards constructing a house for me and my family,” said Aurelia.
“We now sleep soundly even when it rains heavily,” Herman said. “We don’t have to repair the walls when the rainy season is over.”
Now the family is proud to invite friends to visit anytime.
And perhaps best of all, the insects that used to bite them are nowhere to be seen!
Help other families by donating to the CFCA Project Need Fund, which is designed to cover extra costs or benefits that regular sponsorship benefits cannot address.