Jan 10 2014

Colombian mothers create a small business that grows

Colombian vegetable garden

Members of the Familia Santa Martha mothers group in Colombia work in their garden.

Mothers everywhere have dealt with the age-old problem of getting the kids to eat their veggies. A group of mothers in Colombia have found a way to encourage their kids to enjoy vegetables and learn the value of hard work, all while increasing the sustainability of their families.

Read more to learn how they did it.

Read more

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Nov 11 2013

Games children play in India

Games of Carom and Kabaddi, oh my! Check out these two games children play in India, and join in the fun!

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Nov 5 2012

‘Inspired by our CFCA sponsored friends and their families in India’

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“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies mission awareness trip participants. You can see Bob’s full update on his Facebook page.

Photo credits go to Sreekanth Gundoji, CFCA communications liaison, for India.

After a few days at CFCA headquarters in Kansas City, I entered this trip energized and grateful for CFCA board members, co-workers and family.

We are inspired by our CFCA sponsored friends and their families in India. It is a privilege to spend these days with them.

Since 1988, the CFCA presence in India has grown to include 29,315 sponsored children and youth, 860 sponsored aging friends and 1,114 families on our waiting list. Read more

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Oct 3 2012

Helping your kids develop a global worldview, part 3

By Kristin Littrell, CFCA correspondent

Small changes, big impact

This is the third installment in our series about helping kids develop a global worldview. View part one here and part two here.

Global worldview for kids

Sometimes when we imagine the people we want our kids (or ourselves!) to become, it can feel paralyzing. How do we get there exactly?

Kristin Littrell and family

Kristin Littrell and family

Although it may sound clichÈ, I do think we become a sum of our days. We all know that the old Chinese proverb is true: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one small step.”

Sometimes small changes, casually sprinkled into daily life, really can take root in our kids’ lives, and our own.

The map on our table

Every morning, noon and night, our preschooler perches at our dining room table, her brightly colored world-map place mat catching her many drips and spills.

I bought the place mat on a whim one day when she was just an infant. It seemed silly at the time to buy a place mat for a child that wasn’t even eating solid food yet, but it wasn’t.

As I’ve said before, I want our kids to have a global worldview, and this was a tiny step in that direction.

World map placemat

Quickly, my infant become a toddler, gave up the high chair, and started making milk-puddle messes at every meal. So I pulled out the place mat. For months, it was just something to protect our dining room table ñ nothing more.

But then my parents took a European vacation and over breakfast one morning, they showed my daughter the country they visited on her place mat. And it clicked for her. She proudly identified that country every day for weeks.

Then other family members traveled, and we learned that we have friends moving to Ethiopia, so she added those destinations to her repertoire of countries identified on the map.

Slowly it snowballed, one country after the next.

Her world-map place mat became her pride and joy. When friends came over to play, she eagerly showed them these countries, and told them the personal stories behind each one.

As I listened to her, it was hard not to catch her enthusiasm for the world at large.

Her tiny voice would practically scream, “Did you know this is England? And this is Ethiopia? Our friends are moving there … ”

It was like she was saying to her friends, “Did you know that this ñ our neighborhood, our city, our state – isn’t all there is?”

She was filled with possibility, with adventure, with a dream for what is out there. Is there anything better?

Growing world-changers

The map serves to expand her reality, gradually teaching her that there’s a whole world out there, where people live, and work, and play. A world just waiting to be explored, and people waiting to be loved.

All of that, from a simple place mat.

We hope this interest in the world will later translate to a desire to make the world a better place.

A Harris Interactive poll states that only one in four Americans believe that they bear “some responsibility to create a better world.”

If that’s true, then we’re going to need some world-changers.

Developing a global worldview doesn’t have to be daunting, or all-consuming. You could start with a place mat, like we did, or something else that works for you or your family.

Maybe you choose to decorate with a globe or map, or you start reading the tag on your clothing to find out where it was made. Small steps often lead to bigger changes in the heart and the mind, which is really what matters most.

How do you stay mindful of the larger world around you? Please share your ideas with us!

(If you’re looking for a world-map place mat, a quick Amazon search for “world-map place mat” yields several inexpensive options.)

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Sep 15 2012

Joy accompanies visitors on a trip to Bolivia

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“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies mission awareness trip participants. You can see Bob’s full update on his Facebook page.

It’s a joy to communicate with you from Bolivia.

In this multicultural country of more than 10 million people, many are said to survive on less than $1 a day.

At CFCA, we’ve had the privilege of walking with the Bolivians since 1988. In Bolivia, CFCA currently serves 10,182 sponsored children, 824 sponsored aging friends and 917 families on our waiting list. CFCA scholars play an important role in every project. Read more

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Aug 27 2012

Bob’s notes from Honduras: ‘Welcome to my world’

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“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies mission awareness trip participants. You can see Bob’s full update on his Facebook page.

It’s a joy to send you this message of solidarity and love from our CFCA sponsored friends and their families in Honduras.

Since its humble beginning in 1982, CFCA-Honduras has grown to include 16,088 children and 1,698 aging friends; all in four projects and 60 subprojects.†Currently, 1,955 individuals are on our waiting list in Honduras. Read more

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Aug 23 2012

Helping your kids develop a global worldview, part 2

By Kristin Littrell, CFCA freelancer

This is the second installment in our series about helping kids develop a global worldview. View part one here.

Global worldview for kids

Like many young families, we read a lot in our house.

Kristin Littrell and family

Kristin Littrell and family

Some books are just silly, others teach subtle life lessons. Slowly, we’re adding books to our collection that purposefully introduce a global worldview.

Interestingly enough, these are some of our preschooler’s favorite books in her library.

They’re the books she chooses to keep with her at rest time, looking through them time and time again.

Three of our favorite books that teach kids a global worldview

The Sandwich SwapBarnes and Noble description:

Lily and Salma are best friends. They like doing all the same things, and they always eat lunch together.

Lily eats peanut butter and Salma eats hummusóbut what’s that between friends? It turns out, a lot. Before they know it, a food fight breaks out. Can Lily and Salma put aside their differences? Or will a sandwich come between them?

The smallest things can pull us apartóuntil we learn that friendship is far more powerful than difference. In a glorious three-page gatefold at the end of the book, Salma, Lily, and all their classmates come together in the true spirit of tolerance and acceptance.

After we read The Sandwich Swap the first few times, we took Kate, our oldest, to a nearby Mediterranean restaurant so we could eat hummus, just like Salma. She loved it. See the other book recommendations

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