We recently met Celina, mother of two sponsored children in the Hope for a Family sponsorship program in Colombia. Through CFCA, Celina was able to purchase the required materials she needed to start her own homemade empanada business and make the dream of owning her first home a reality.
Harry Garcia, our communications liaison in Colombia, visited Celina in her new home and sent us an update of what she’s doing now and how the Hope for a Family program is still making a difference in her and her family’s life. Continue reading
By Sreekanth Gundoji, CFCA communications liaison in India
People in south central India spent today marking a new beginning as we celebrated the festival of Ugadi. Ugadi is a new year for the Telugu people.
Telugu is the local language in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Children, families and aging friends in CFCA’s Hyderabad project speak Telugu.
The name of this new year is Vijaya, which means success. Our new calendar will start from this day onward.
We prepare a special dish to start the new year. It’s called ugadi pachhadi (pachhadi means pickle).
Ugadi pachhadi has a traditional value. It’s a mixture of six varieties of tastes symbolizing six feelings, good and bad, that everyone experiences in life.
In the spirit of the Telugu new year, we’d like to offer this ugadi pachhadi recipe. Note the special meaning of each ingredient.
- 1 cup of sugar, signifying happiness (the traditional sugar used is jaggery, made from sugar cane, date palms or coconut)
- 3 cups of tamarind juice, signifying disgust because of the sour taste
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of neem flower petals, signifying sadness
- 1/4 tablespoon of salt, signifying fear
- 1/2 tablespoon of pepper, signifying anger
- 3 tablespoons of unripe, green mango pieces, signifying surprise
1. Mix all the above listed items in a bowl. (This signifies that everyone has to accept all life experiences equally.)
2. Serve in cups.
Happy Ugadi, Telugu new year!
By Emily Soetaert, CFCA correspondent
If you’re aware of healthy eating trends or are environmentally conscious, chances are you’ve heard of (and may have eaten) quinoa.
Pronounced “keen-WAH,” this South American grain has recently taken the western world by storm. Its unusual taste and high nutrition value (particularly in the protein area) give many a reason to love it.
What we may not know, however, is that increased demand for quinoa has created some unintended consequences.
Before quinoa’s spike in popularity, the crop could be purchased in Bolivia for less than $4 a pound. That price has more than doubled to $8 a pound.
Many South American families who previously relied on quinoa for daily nourishment can no longer afford to purchase it.
According to a column in The Guardian, for many people living in Peru and Bolivia, quinoa now costs more than chicken because of rising costs and overseas demands.
Adelio, who helps cultivate quinoa and is the father of a sponsored child, Pamela, in Bolivia, said quinoa is an important food in the local diet.
“Families in rural areas usually eat what they produce, and quinoa is part of their diets,” Adelio said. “Quinoa is a very fragile crop to produce, and it takes about six months before picking the crop.”
Fortunately, families in the CFCA program in Bolivia still have access to this dietary staple.
“We still have families who work farming the quinoa as well as other crops to be able to feed their families,” Adelio said. “They help each other by trading crops that they produce over the years.”
Through sponsorship support and their own ingenuity, families in the CFCA program are able to cope with economic challenges such as rising food prices.
Besides its nutritional value, quinoa has the added benefit of being an environmentally friendly crop.
“The demand for quinoa is large because it is a natural product, which does not require chemicals to enhance it,” Adelio said. “For this reason, it is less harmful for the environment.”
We recently heard from our Hyderabad project in India about several mothers of sponsored children who are exemplifying the potential of families living in poverty. Here’s the story of Sujatha, enjoy!
My husband used to work as a daily laborer for a contractor. He would sell bananas on the side of the road from morning until late in the evening. The contractor would only pay $2.77 USD per day.
We were never assured of a regular income. If my husband fell ill or if the contractor didn’t have fruits to sell, we lost our income for that day.
My husband and I decided together to purchase a puller cart (a large, flat cart with handles used to sell items), so we could sell bananas on our own.
My daughter, Shoba, is sponsored through CFCA. In January, I obtained a loan through my CFCA mothers group and bought a puller cart. Luckily, a store owner allowed us to place our cart in front of his shop on the main road.
My husband goes to purchase the fruits, and I manage the stand until he returns. When he arrives with the new fruits, he continues the work and I go home to manage the household work.
The group loan helped us to purchase the puller cart and the fruits we sell. Now we are receiving a good income to support our family. We are planning to take out another loan through my mothers group, so we can purchase a second puller cart and sell a wider variety of fruits.
My dream is to own our own home and also give a better future to my two daughters.
I am also interested in helping people. I learned this charity from my daughter’s sponsors.
CFCA serves more than 83,000 sponsored children and elderly in Guatemala. A great way to feel connected to the people of Guatemala is to make food from the region.
Elizabeth, mother of a CFCA sponsored youth in Guatemala, Florita, shows how to make these delicious corn tortillas from scratch! Read more