I hope to transform others’ lives through my work with CFCA.
My name is Teddy Naluwu, and I am 31 years old. I have been a part of the CFCA family for more than 20 years, first as a sponsored child and later as an employee.
I have been working for CFCA for the past seven years, and I currently serve as Kampala project coordinator for Uganda, Africa.
Personally, I am a true believer of change. I have seen myself transform from a humble “country girl” to project coordinator of a sizeable project.
Because of CFCA sponsorship and the education I received, I am able to help break through the lines of poverty within my family.
The CFCA-Kampala project believes that we can make the world a better place through our collective efforts.
Engaging with the families in CFCA project activities is an important aspect of my work that shapes my attitude and performance, and boosts my self-worth. Read more
By Regina Mburu from the CFCA Communications Center in Nairobi
Javan, 19, had a difficult time growing up in a community where people with disabilities are often shunned and seen as a burden to their families.
Javan, who is deaf, was born first in a family of seven in Kenya. He was born and raised in Bondo, a county in the lakeside city of Kisumu.
Javan uses a construction level tool during his classes.
Thanks to the CFCA Hope for a Family sponsorship program, Javan has transformed from a timid boy to a cheerful young man.
After Javan’s father died, his mother took care of him and his siblings. The proceeds she earned from selling food and through her secondhand clothes business helped provide her family with a meal and the opportunity to go to school.
ìMy mother did everything she could, but sometimes it was difficult for her to keep us in school due to lack of money to pay our school fees,î Javan said in sign language.
ìI often prayed and hoped that something good will come my way. I wanted to prove society wrong by being self-reliant,î he said.
His prayers were answered when another deaf friend introduced him to CFCA. Javan was then enrolled in the Hope for a Family program.
Through sponsorship, Javan attends the St. Joseph Technical Institute for the Deaf, where he studies building and construction. It will take him four years to complete the program.
Javan now attends the St. Joseph Technical Institute for the Deaf.
Javan chose the building and construction course because it is practical, and because he has a deaf friend who also did the course and is now doing well.
ìI am very happy that I am a step closer towards my goal,î he said.
It has not been smooth sailing, however. Javan sometimes has a hard time in class, especially when the teacher is not familiar with sign language.
It becomes hard for him to keep up with the rest of the students. His classmates assist him with notes, which he can study later.
Just like everyone else his age, Javan has dreams that he hopes will come true.
“I want to get a good job that will allow me to help my mother take care of my siblings. I would also love to have a family of my own someday,î he signed as he broke into a wide smile.
Here is an edited letter that arrived from a Nigerian sponsored youth, Stephen, to his sponsor, Sarah.
Greetings to you. I pray and hope this letter gets to you in good health, a nice mood and above all, Sarah, a joyful and peaceful moment.
Stephen, 18, a CFCA sponsored youth in Nigeria.
How are you, my dearest friend, and how has life been for you?
Hope you’ve gotten a good job and how are your parents, siblings and everything in general. Are you still searching? I hope and pray you meet the right one someday. Let’s hope before the first quarter of next year runs out that you will be very much happy.
I am all right and in good health, together with my family. We have the Almighty to thank for it.
I am still waiting and hoping to be admitted into the university since getting into the university is very difficult and very much expensive, even after attaining the senior school certificate examination result.
However, the delay has not stopped me from making many findings about the world and getting more awareness of what I am required to possess if I really want to help God’s little children of the world.
I did some research on the Internet about UNICEF to see what it really takes to work with such organizations that care for the needs of children.
Of course, Sarah, you made me go this far. Remember “shoot for the moon and even if you miss, you will land among the stars?î
This has made me see no limitations to achieving whatever I desire in life, owing to the care you’re taken upon yourself concerning my well-being.
Once again, Sarah, you’ve been more than just a sponsor or even a pen pal. Just to let you know, you are on my list of my first five role models.
My dearest friend, hope you will love this; here are some things I found out we have in common:
- Alphabets of names ‘S’: Sarah, Stephen
- Second child of our families
- Father’s name, David; my brother’s name, David
- Our love for little children
- Your knowledge about medical science, my desire to study pharmacy
Dear friend, I would like to know how you have been coping with challenges facing you.
Just want to say a very big thank you for all your love, caring and understanding toward my well-being.”
Says Sarah, “Being a sponsor to Stephen has been and continues to be such a treasured experience for me. I had the privilege of becoming a sponsor to Stephen several years ago. Being able to be a pen pal, friend, cheerleader, encourager and prayer support for Stephen, and watching him grow through the years into a grounded, caring, intelligent young man with heart for God and others, makes me feel like a proud parent! His thoughtful letters always bring light into my life, and I have such hope for the future of the world with individuals like Stephen reaching out to those around him. I am so excited about what CFCA is doing for these families, and I am humbled to play a small part in their mission!”
We wanted to pass on this amazing story from one of our sponsors, Diane Palmer from Wichita, Kan.
She is going to climb the highest mountain in Africa, Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,340 feet), starting Jan. 16, 2011!
Her goal is to raise $15,000 for five charities, including CFCA.
“I chose CFCA because I believe wholeheartedly in what CFCA is doing around the world to provide a ‘heads up’ rather than just a ‘hand out’ to thousands of children and aging people,” Diane writes.
“I also am a very frugal person and like to see that in charities that I donate to. †CFCA does a superb job in using the donations wisely to get the most benefit from every dollar that is contributed. †For CFCA to have an overhead of only 4 percent is applauded in this day of bureaucracies and government boondoggles.”
After climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, she will participate in CFCA’s mission awareness trip to Kenya from Feb. 19 to March 2.
She will get to meet her sponsored friend in Kenya during that time.
“My goal is to continue to sponsor a child or an aged person one at a time as my budget allows,” she writes. “I plan to do a mission awareness trip to Guatemala in 2011 or 2012 to visit the young man I sponsor there. †I can’t think of a better way to say I care about you than go see him in person!!!”
Schools can follow Diane’s adventures during her time in Kenya.†If you know of any students who would be interested in touring Africa virtually with Diane, including a safari in the Serengeti, please visit her blog at http://www.adventurediane.blogspot.com.
Godspeed, Diane, from all of us here at CFCA!
Peter Ndungo, Nairobi project coordinator, sends this report about Kenya’s establishment of a new national constitution. He explains the implications of this for CFCA families in Kenya.
“Kenya reborn … Our day of pride … Itís a fresh start … The dream of a new Kenyaî … These are some of the headlines from one of our mainstream newspapers.
Kenya became independent on Dec. 12, 1963, with a constitution negotiated in London with heavy input by the departing colonizers.
After many years in pursuit of a truly representative and democratic constitution, Kenyans finally ushered in the new constitution at a ceremony at Uhuru Park, Nairobi, on Aug. 27, 2010.
Kenyans have high expectations for the new constitution. Some CFCA sponsored members and their families shared their reactions.
Alice, a sponsored aging member, said she voted ìyesî for the constitution. She says that it will give rise to a new Kenya free from colonial restrictions.
Alice also says she is ìhappy to have lived to see the day that Kenya would have a new constitution.î
Rachel, mother to sponsored child Monica, says that she voted for the constitution because it eliminates tribalism that has often caused people to rise against one another. Rachel says, ìIf my daughter decides to marry in another country, she will not have to give up her identity as a Kenyan. Dual citizenship is now allowed. As a woman, I feel protected by this constitution; I have a right to property.î
Truphosa, mother to sponsored child Kelvin, says she is ìvery excited since the new constitution promises free quality primary education. …
This will benefit many Kenyans as through the years the cost of education has risen steadily, and very few people can afford to pay fees for their children.î
The constitution creates an enabling environment for all Kenyans to live up to their potential in an atmosphere of freedom, liberty, human dignity and equal rights. CFCA in Kenya welcomes with open hands the new constitution, and we look forward with a lot of expectation to the hard part ó the implementation phase.
We want to join other Kenyans in building our nation and giving hope to our sponsored members and their families. We are happy to participate in building a happy and prosperous democratic Kenya.
Interview with Johnson, a 22-year-old sponsored youth from the Nairobi project in Kenya, with an introduction by Peter Ndungo, Nairobi project coordinator.
In the present day, youth can fall prey to negative social and cultural factors. Fear, misinformation, indecisiveness and peer pressure continue to be hurdles that the youth face. Besides academics, the youth need an opportunity to engage in extra curriculum activities, youth exchange programs and forums, this helps them grow socially.
There was a call to initiate a program that would address their social and emotional needs, aside from the academic needs that the project meets with the assistance of sponsors. The youth program was the ideal way to reach out to the youth, to give them support and encouragement in their lives.
Q. Please describe your family situation.
A. My father lost his job a few years back, forcing him, my mother and two siblings to go back to our rural home. Since we do not have a farm, my parents usually cultivate the land for people on their farms at a fee. My mother sometimes does household chores for people at their homes, like washing clothes, cleaning and cooking.
Q. What are you studying?
A. I am studying at the PCEA community center in Eastleigh, taking a course in automotive engineering.
Q. When will you complete your studies?
A. I am pursuing a diploma, it will take me three years to complete the course. I am now in my second year.
Q. Please describe a challenge you have in your life.
A. The fact that I do not stay with my parents is really hard on me. Sometimes I do not have enough fare or none at all to get to school. There are times I have to walk to college. During lunch hour, I often go hungry. It makes me feel so inferior in the eyes of my college mates.
Q. What do you like about the youth program, and how has it helped you?
A. The youth program allows us to speak out our challenges. It promotes interaction amongst the youth. As an individual, the youth program has been a source of inspiration and motivation. It has helped me cultivate confidence. At the youth forums, I have gathered advice that helps me keep going, regardless of my circumstances.
Q. What is your dream?
A. My dream is to be prosperous in life, to help change my familyís way of life.
Interview was conducted by Regina Mburu of CFCA’s Kenya communication center. You can read more about the youth program on our website.