Tag: India

Feb 19 2008

The movement is moving every hour of every day

Adjusting to the time difference is a common challenge when we visit CFCA projects in Africa and Asia.

At night you stare at the ceiling wishing you could sleep. And during the day you fight to stay awake.

This goes on for a couple of days until enough time goes by to convince your body that day is day and night is night.

I’m in India now, and I keep in touch with the CFCA office in Kansas by e-mail mostly. I am usually out in the sponsored communities all day, so late at night is the best time to catch up on my email.

That’s no problem, though, since I’m not tired anyway. Jet lag has its benefits, too.

When I’m in India late at night catching up on e-mail, the work day is beginning at the CFCA office in Kansas. This type of communication is a concrete reminder of the global nature of our work.

With projects in Latin America, Africa, South Asia and East Asia, CFCA is truly a round-the-clock operation.

Many CFCA programs occur on the weekends (when more sponsored families are available), so the work is also an everyday kind of thing.

Think about this: CFCA programs are quite literally being implemented almost every hour of every day.

That means that whatever time it is when you are reading this, a CFCA program is going on and trying to help a child have a better life. It’s exciting (and a little exhausting) to work for an organization that never sleeps.

The feeling inside CFCA these days is one of being part of a large wave that is growing and gaining strength each day.

But spending time in the communities where the real work is happening makes it abundantly clear that the waves of this movement are already crashing onto the shore. Hour after hour and day after day CFCA project staff and sponsored families are working relentlessly to improve the lives of children. Like the relentless waves crashing on shore one after another, their humble efforts are reshaping the landscape of our world.

Somewhere in the world, every hour of every day Don't underestimate a mom These women are changing the world

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Feb 16 2008

Always under construction

All of India seems to be under construction these days. The city streets are lined with blue tarps screening off building sites. Half-destroyed buildings with gaping holes make the commute to work seem like a trip through a war zone.

These buildings are being torn down to make room for a wider road and a new metro service.

Driving between cities, you must shift back and forth from one side of the highway to the other to accommodate the frequent road construction. And everywhere, everywhere there are piles of sand and gravel and bricks waiting to be molded into new buildings.

The construction frenzy here is fueled by the rapid economic growth India has experienced. Many of the poor are yet to benefit from India’s economic boom, especially the rural poor. But the construction zones everywhere are testimony that things are changing here.

At CFCA we talk about how CFCA should be always under construction. The talk of continuous construction reminds me of when I first came to CFCA.

One of the things that drew me to CFCA during the job interview process was the way the people in the organization projected both excitement and humility.

They seemed to recognize that they were a part of something special, but they were humble enough to believe this thing could get much, much better.

Being in India reminds one of what life in a construction zone is like.

It is loud. It is messy. And at times it can be very inconvenient.

But life in a construction zone also reminds you that the world is changing. And if you find the courage to join in the construction yourself, you may discover a growing sense of hope.

It may not look like much now, but what will stand here tomorrow will be better than what stands here today.

CFCA's master builders - the mothers of sponsored children Construction zoneimg_3806b.jpgimg_3503.jpg

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Feb 12 2008

A global family reunion

CFCA’s work in India includes some exciting programs to make small loans to the mothers of sponsored children so that they can start or expand small businesses. Two CFCA project coordinators from Latin America are here to learn about these programs to see how they might be successfully adapted to their home countries.
The two project coordinators are Eufronia Taquichiri from CFCA’s project in Cochabamba, Bolivia and Manuel Pineda from CFCA’s project in Santa Barbara, Honduras.Neither of them speaks English, so I am here to help with translation.


Most CFCA project staff members in India speak English, but many of the parents of sponsored children do not.
We are interviewing mothers of sponsored children who participate in these programs, so we are frequently confronted with the challenge of double translation. Eufronia and Manuel ask a question; I translate their question into English; and a local CFCA staff member translates the question from English to Tamil or Telegu (the local languages where in the regions of India we are visiting).
The mother’s response goes the same way. Tamil or Telegu translated to English, and English translated to Spanish.
It’s a slow process, and it takes a lot of patience on all sides.
We laugh at ourselves a lot, and that helps.


Manuel and Eufronia are here to learn, so they ask questions all day long (and usually far into the night).
It has been very satisfying to see how a shared sense of purpose can overcome two language barriers.
The sponsored mothers say they welcome Manuel and Eufronia as a fellow brother and sister in the global CFCA family. Manuel and Eufronia say that they have never been on a training trip that felt so much like a family reunion.


We’ll be here a few more days, the distance from our spouses and children made easier by the feeling that we are part of a family that is experiencing the adventure of teaching and learning from each other.


Eufronia and Manuel with sponsored children from Hyderabad eufronia-with-sponsored-mother.jpg manuel-in-jacket.jpg eufronia-with-sponsored-mother2.jpg manuel-and-suresh.jpg manuel-with-mothers-group.jpg

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