Tag Archives: benefits

Aug 11 2009

August isn’t back-to-school month for everyone

As U.S. students prepare for the onset of school, students in other countries have already taken mid-terms.

That’s right. For students in many countries where CFCA works, school does not start in August or September.

The school year in Central America started in January or February. Those lucky children are only two months away from the end of school. Schoolchildren in India and the Philippines are already into their third month of the school year. And students in Kenyaówell, they follow the British system and attend school all year, with long breaks at the end of each quarter.

Find the school calendar for your friend on the graph below.

School calendar

Related links
Time for school

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Jul 30 2009

Notes from the Field #9 – Colombia

During the mission awareness trip to Colombia, Adrian Velazquez, manager of parish outreach, saw how art and dance play an essential role in the development of the children. These creative outlets are helping the children grow in many positive ways, making this a benefit that goes beyond the basic necessities of food, clothing and shelter.

Watch more Notes from the Field.

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Jul 27 2009

A letter of thanks

Joanna from Costa RicaHello all, it is so good to be able to greet you and, at the same time, wish the best to you and your family.

My name is Johanna. I am the oldest of four siblings. We live in Alajuela, Costa Rica, very close to the Poas Volcano. When we were not part of CFCA, we had lots of needs. Weíve always liked to go to school to learn, therefore we were always very happy to attend, even though the beginning of the school year was a very anguished moment because we had no uniforms or good shoes. Praise God, we are a very united family. We love and help each other very much. Our parents have always worked hard to bring us up.

During the coffee-picking season, my mother would leave very early in the morning to work at the coffee plantations, and I would stay home, taking care of my younger siblings. With the money she made, she would buy part of the school supplies we needed because, even though my dad worked hard, he could not cover all our needs. My parents were very sad that we had to stay home alone, but I used to tell them not to worry, that I was not afraid of it.

Joanna with a notebook for each school subjectWhen CFCA came to the community, and I became sponsored, this big blessing came into my family and my life. Thank God, I was blessed with a godmother (ed. note: padrina/padrino, meaning “godmother” or “godfather,” is the word used for “sponsor” in Spanish) who loves me very much. She is very good with me and worried about me. Thanks to her sponsorship, I had the opportunity, for the first time in my life, to have one notebook for each school subject and to attend school with new shoes and uniforms. I have never lived anything like it.

Today I am in 10th grade, and this year I received, as every year of my sponsorship, new shoes and uniforms which makes me feel very happy.

Thank you all sponsors, for making my siblings and I smile every day when we go to school.

May God bless you abundantly. I hope that you continue helping the many who don’t have the sponsorship I am receiving.

With much love,

Johanna

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Apr 15 2009

A good experience at Good Earth

Danielle Litt is a college student from the U.S. who volunteered with the Centro Educativo La Buena Tierra, (The Good Earth Education Center). CFCA partners with La Buena Tierra to provide services to sponsored children. Children sponsored through the CBT subproject are either attending or have attended the pre-school program Danielle describes below, and older children are served by the centerís staff in after-school programs, in addition to other benefits.

Dear CFCA sponsors,

My name is Danielle Litt. I am from New York City and am a junior at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (Go, Tar Heels!). I am majoring in Latin American Studies and minoring in Hebrew. This semester, I am studying abroad in Cuernavaca, Mexico, and I have had the amazing opportunity to intern at La Buena Tierra, the education center that serves the children you sponsor.

I performed a variety of tasks including translation of the childrenís letters into English. I enjoyed reading these letters, as it gave me an opportunity to learn more about the lives of the children. I enjoyed reading about what they do for fun, hearing their stories and learning about the struggles they face and overcome. I also enjoyed reading about how important you, as sponsors, are to them, and seeing all the thank-you letters. The children are so appreciative of the letters and photos you send them!

The children play games.Let me tell you a bit about a typical day at the Buena Tierra. The children enter the school one by one, tell each teacher good morning and greet them with a kiss on the cheek. Then the children proceed to breakfast, but first say grace, which includes thanking God for you, their sponsor. The staff also teaches the children good table manners. During the day, the children learn about a variety of subjects, including the alphabet, counting, nutrition, families and animals. At the center, there is a lot of singing, playing, drawing, laughing and learning. At the end of the day, all the children gather together, sitting on blankets. They have story time and sing songs.

There are so many amazing people who make it possible for the children to attend the center. The teachers work patiently with every student to ensure they are learning and being challenged. The students come to class with smiling faces and an eagerness and excitement to learn. They are what makes all of the work worthwhile. The childrenís families contribute any way they can and support their childrenís attendance at the center. And while you are not physically at the center, your presence is felt by your sponsored child and the whole organization that feels gratitude for your contribution. Each sponsored child is provided with the opportunity to have a preschool education and begin elementary school with the skills needed to succeed. Older sponsored children are alumni of the school and receive after-school tutoring to make sure that they are keeping up in their classes.

Although I am excited to return back to my community in the United States, I will be sad to leave the Buena Tierra behind. Although you donít know me, I have great appreciation for the gesture you have made by sponsoring a child through CFCA, as you reach across borders of class, nationality, ethnicity and age to show solidarity and provide opportunities for the children who are served through the Buena Tierra. You are doing something that truly matters!

Thank you,
Danielle L. Litt

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Mar 31 2009

A simple bag of groceries is important

Sponsor Margaret Looper was recruited to help distribute bags of food to CFCA families one day during her mission awareness trip to Bolivia. She was surprised by how important a simple bag of groceries is to families in need.

Watch more trip testimonials
Hunter Hardin gets to know his friend during a day of fun in Honduras.
A Philippines community puts on a special performance for Colleen Gawley.

A CFCA mission awareness trip is an uplifting experience that will deepen your connection with your sponsored friend and open your eyes to the potential of sponsored members and their families. Spaces are still available on some 2009 trips. Check our trip calendar >

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Mar 18 2009

Concern for the whole person

Lenten reflection: Week 4p1000566
By Rev. Kelly Demo, CFCA preacher

Lent, as we know, is a time of preparation and self-reflection. It is a time set aside to examine our relationship with God and our need for healing in our own lives. Scripture shows us time and again that God is greatly concerned with our wholeness, in mind, body and spirit. In fact, ìwholenessî and ìholinessî come from the same word that means ìcompleteness.î

In 2 Kings, Chapter 4, we hear a strange and wonderful story of Elisha bringing a family back to wellness and wholeness. Like Sarah before her, God promised a Shunammite woman a son in her old age. God kept that promise but years later the young boy died. However, God would not forget his promise and, through Elisha, brought the boy back to life, restoring the faith of the mother.

CFCAís benefits are structured to follow this guideline of concern for the whole person and the family. We do not simply feed children. Nor do we just educate them or see to their medical concerns. We are concerned for the whole person and we walk with them and bring others along to do the same.

Take, for instance, a widow in Guatemala whose son was sponsored through CFCA. The woman was suffering from depression and because of her†illness she was unable to move forward in her life. She was unable even to address the health concerns of her son. He began to have trouble in school, and it was believed to be because of hearing loss.

CFCA was helping this family financially, but it was not until we brought in another CFCA mother to minister to the little boyís mother that changes started happening. It took more than just the CFCA staff to help this woman back to health in mind, body and spirit. It took God working through someone who was not that different from her, to help heal her.

God, as the ultimate and perfect parent, is deeply concerned for the wholeness of each of his†6-billion-plus children. We need only open ourselves to the Spirit and to our fellow travelers through whom the Spirit works.

Reflection questions:
1. Where do you need healing in your life in mind, body or spirit?
2. Who might God be placing in your path who needs the gifts you have to offer for their healing?

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