Tag: El Salvador

Jun 13 2012

Sponsorship helps families afford school, part 3

In the past few weeks, we’ve looked at several examples (first in Kenya, second in India) of how sponsorship empowers families to support their children’s education. Today we finish the series by looking at El Salvador and closing the technology gap.

Rosa and Edwin, CFCA sponsored child in El Salvador

Edwin, a CFCA sponsored youth, with his mother, Rosa, at the CFCA project office in El Salvador.

For students living in poverty, computers are seen as expensive luxuries that only the rich can afford. Many schools do not provide computer training.

Unless they find a way to learn computers, students have trouble keeping up.

“When students reach high school or college, their teachers expect them to know how to access the Internet, download assignments, do research and check grades,” said Yesenia Alfaro, project coordinator for CFCA in Santa Ana, El Salvador.

(You can read more about Yesenia’s interview and the technological gap for students in developing countries here.)

To help level the playing field for CFCA sponsored students, the project contracted with local technical schools to offer computer classes to students ages 13 to 20. CFCA also covers the cost of transportation to class for students in rural areas. Read more

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May 31 2012

Finding light in the darkness: Helping sponsored children in El Salvador

Henry Flores, director of the CFCA communications center in El Salvador, recently traveled to our Kansas City office. During his stay he received training and also taught us about his work with our Salvadoran colleagues. This is the transcript of a speech he presented to the CFCA staff.

Henry Flores

Henry Flores

Note: The names of the individuals mentioned in this story have been changed to protect their identity and privacy.

Francisca’s story

It is 5 a.m.

Francisca, mother of a 2-year-old boy and a 7-month-old baby, is waiting for the early public transportation that will bring her from her humble community to the hospital for children in San Salvador, El Salvador’s capital.

While she waits on the road, a speeding truck crashes into her, killing her and her 2-year-old. The crash also leaves her baby highly injured.

The driver runs away, leaving behind his crashed truck.

To this date, no reports have been received from the local authorities about his identity or current location.

A few days later, the baby died at a public hospital.

Francisca was on her way to the hospital in San Salvador to try to get one space, along with hundreds of other mothers, just for her baby to see a doctor. Read more

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Mar 13 2012

Technological gap widening for students in developing countries

Access to technology such as computers and the Internet can present great challenges for children and their families living in poverty. Here are some thoughts from Yessenia Alfaro, coordinator of CFCA’s project in Santa Ana, El Salvador.

The technological gap between students in developed countries is huge compared to students in developing countries. And the difference between those in cities and those in rural areas is big too.

CFCA scholar Venancia in El Salvador

CFCA scholar Venancia, 20, is studying English in the National University of El Salvador. She says computer skills are essential for academic performance. 'Most of the time we are given homework and (people without computer skills) cannot research for it, therefore they don't study, and if they don't study, they do not get good grades,' she said.

Those in rural areas have less access to learning about technology. Those who do must travel from their communities into the city and pay for Internet and computer access. Those living in the city can easily walk to a cyber cafÈ, for example.

At the same time, students who visit cyber cafÈs are exposed to many other risks. No legal entity monitors these businesses.

They are not created as an educational tool, but will offer any service that customers look for, including access to dangerous websites.

These places are visited by people who want to watch pornography, play online games where predators are connected, as well as those who really want to research or do homework.

Unfortunately, cyber cafÈs sometimes become a dangerous addiction for students rather than a tool for their education.

Students who live in rural areas are much more exposed to these problems because their experience with technology is less, as well as their understanding of these dangers. Read more

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Feb 20 2012

Single mom in El Salvador finds hope through CFCA

Isabel, mother of CFCA sponsored children in El Salvador, picking coffee beans

Isabel picks coffee beans in El Salvador. She is the mother of four children, two of whom are sponsored through CFCA.

The coffee harvest is well under way around the world. Most countries harvest coffee from December to March, and it is a major source of income for many families living in poverty.

Here is an interview with Isabel, a single mother of four daughters in Ataco, El Salvador. She did not continue school beyond first grade, and coffee picking is her only livelihood to support her family.

Two of her children, Dayra and Fatima, are sponsored through CFCA. Isabel belongs to a CFCA mothers group, which has boosted her self-confidence.

Tell us about yourself.

I am the single mother of four children. I feel happy, because I have this huge benefit of sponsorship for my children. I am alone. I cannot hope for more help besides that from the project.

Thanks to Sister Guadalupe, my daughter entered the program in 2004, when she was very small.

At that time, I was experiencing a crisis in that I could not find work. There was no work at the plantation.

I earned $45 every 15 days. And one worries about buying food first. But the sponsorship benefits my daughter receives are great. They even clean her teeth.

Thanks to the generous heart of her sponsors, we can improve our lives. What’s most important is the struggle and the hope we have in the project.

No matter what I need for my daughter, whether a new set of clothes or a new pair of shoes, I tell her, “Daughter, here is what your sponsors and the project do for you.”

I live with my mother, my four daughters and my sister.

When my father died, it was traumatic. My sister was 10. My father was killed. We were left in shambles. We were living in different houses. We did not have a dignified house. Read more of Isabel’s story

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Feb 6 2012

Celebrating quinceañera with CFCA

The quinceañera, or 15th birthday, in Latin America is the day when a girl celebrates the transition from child to young woman.

Celebrating the quinceañera traditionally involves many components, including a Mass or religious ceremony, a reception and a choreographed dance, usually a waltz.

For many 15-year-olds living in poverty, however, celebrating a quinceaÒera is an unattainable dream. The celebration, including the dress, cake, music and food, can cost much more than families can afford.

Sponsorship can help make this dream, like so many others, become a reality.

CFCA recently invited 18 sponsored girls in El Salvador to celebrate their quinceañeras. Each girl received a beautiful, blue dress, and CFCA made arrangements for the Mass and reception afterward.

Many thanks to our talented team in Santa Ana, El Salvador, for putting this video together!

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Jan 30 2012

Sponsored children get school supplies in Central America

The school year for Central American countries starts in January or February, and parents have been shopping the last few weeks for school supplies.

CFCA sponsored child Mauricio in El Salvador with school supplies

Mauricio, 6, is a CFCA sponsored child in El Salvador. Here he displays his school supplies purchased through sponsorship benefits.

For families living in poverty, however, school supplies can cost more than the families are able to afford. Usually the cost ranges between $50 to $60.

Families in the CFCA sponsorship program sometimes earn as little as $100 a month or less. That means buying school supplies would consume around half of their monthly income.

Here are two CFCA sponsored children in El Salvador, who obtained school supplies this year through sponsorship benefits.

Mauricio (interview with his grandmother, Antonia)

Mauricio lives with his mother, his two sisters and grandmother. His mother works as a security guard and is paid $180 a month. His grandmother sells vegetables and fruit and makes approximately $60 per month.

What does it means to your household budget for CFCA to provide these school supplies? Read more

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Jan 2 2012

Pictures of Las Posadas in El Salvador

CFCA: Las posadas in El SalvadorLas Posadas is a Christmas tradition celebrated throughout Latin America commemorating the arduous journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem.

It takes place nine days, from Dec. 16 to Dec. 24.

CFCA’s project in Santa Ana held this year’s posada celebration for sponsored friends and their families at its new center, which was inaugurated in early December. Read more about the center here. Read more

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