Tag: India

Nov 19 2012

Gifts mailed from sponsors to children in India go missing

CFCA sponsored child, Komala, in India

Komala, a child sponsored through CFCA in India.

As the holiday season nears, we would like to take this opportunity to remind our sponsors that mailing gifts is primarily a North American tradition. As such, it is often not culturally expected by sponsored friends.

Often, the most deeply meaningful gift a sponsored friend may receive is a heartfelt letter and a family photo that brings you closer.

Also, there are other reasons why it is best not to send large, expensive or costly gifts to your sponsored children and aging friends.

Such gifts result in high customs fees for local CFCA projects and run the risk of theft.

Our project staffers in Hyderabad, India, mentioned recently that they have been receiving packages that have been opened. The area post office could not identify at what point the packages were opened.

In another example, staff members could not find a chain that one sponsor had sent in the mail for her sponsored friend. The package arrived, but without the chain.

“I know sponsors take a lot of pain and care to send these gifts for their sponsored children, and they spend a lot for the postage,” said Clement Boyapati, a CFCA staff member in Hyderabad. “When children don’t receive them and they go missing on the way, we feel so sad.”

Your sponsored friend will still receive a thoughtful gift made possible by the CFCA Christmas Fund, which provides culturally appropriate gifts that are purchased locally from the community, helping to stimulate the area economy.

If you want to send a gift to your friend through the mail, we recommend that packages be no larger than 9 x 12 inches, weigh less than a pound and be less than an inch thick.

We have previously mentioned 18 small gift ideas that fit these guidelines. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments below!

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Nov 5 2012

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“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 30 2012

Wisdom of the Ages: Regeena, 67, from India

Regeena, CFCA sponsored aging friend in IndiaRegeena is a 67-year-old widow in India, living in a home for the elderly. She has three grown children and seven grandchildren. When Regeena was younger, she worked in a mill. Regeena lost a foot in an accident at the mill and now has a prosthetic foot.

Regeena has been sponsored since 2007 and enjoys being part of CFCA. “I like visiting [with the CFCA staff members] and making them happy,” she said.

What is your secret for a long life?

I used to work in a mill. That was very good exercise for me. I lost my leg while working and now I use a prosthetic foot.

What advice do you have for young people?

My advice for young people is that they should study well, obey their elders and take care of their grandparents.

What is the most important thing your mother taught you?

My mother taught me to be clean and to work nicely. She always taught me to pray to God.

Tell us something special about yourself. Read Regeena’s answer

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Oct 24 2012

‘New hope for the future': Raising livestock to pay for college

Margaret, mother of a sponsored child in Bhagalpur, India.

Margaret, mother of a sponsored child in Bhagalpur, India.

For some families, a college savings plan has four legs, is covered in hair and eats from a slop bucket.

Raising livestock provides additional income for many sponsored friends and their families, and some take out loans through CFCA to help meet family needs such as education.

Margaret, mother of a sponsored youth in India, did just that to help her son, Paulus, pay for his tuition and realize his educational dreams.

“It gave new hope for our future,” Margaret said.

Margaret and her husband, James, live in a small town near Bhagalpur, India. Other than agriculture, there is little opportunity for business in their village.

Margaret and James wanted their son to receive a quality education, but with the nearest college located 24 hours from their home, it was going to be a challenge.

With the help of his CFCA sponsorship and his familyís contribution, Paulus was able to pay for his tuition, as well as room and board, and is receiving a quality education to prepare him for engineering school.
Read more

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Sep 28 2012

First-generation student goes to college

CFCA sponsored youth Alfred.

CFCA sponsored youth Alfred.

Alfred is a sponsored youth from Bhagalpur, India, who is the first person from his village to attend college. Alfred is also a CFCA scholarship student, which helps cover other costs related to his education. Alfred sat down with Sreekanth, our communications liaison in India, to tell us about the academic and social challenges heís experienced as a college freshman.

Are you a first-generation college student? If so, how were you given this opportunity to attend college? Why did you decide to attend?

My father studied up to the ninth grade. He understands the value of education and encouraged me to study. Even though my college is very far away, he tried every opportunity to pay the fees and enroll me in school.

I am the first person to attend college from my village.

The hotel management and catering technology degree is a three-year diploma, and it is very expensive.

Though it is expensive, I preferred it because of CFCA’s sponsorship and scholarship support. I paid part of my college fees with CFCA’s help through sponsorship support and my CFCA scholarship. I was able to take out a bank loan for the remaining costs. Read more

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Sep 4 2012

Taking photos of sponsored children in India

Each year we take a new photo of every child and aging friend sponsored through CFCA ñ more than 300,000 photos. This helps sponsors stay in touch with their friend and keeps our records updated.

Our Bhagalpur project in India serves about 7,400 sponsored children and elderly, many of them living in remote villages. Joachim Hansdak, a CFCA staffer there, recently traveled to take more than 3,000 pictures of sponsored friends. Let’s follow him on his journey!

Joachim, CFCA staff worker in Bhagalpur, India

Joachim, CFCA staff worker in Bhagalpur, India.

A month before he travels, Joachim prepares a trip schedule in collaboration with the CFCA project coordinator.

His schedule ranges from 15 days to one month, traveling from one CFCA community to another without coming back to Bhagalpur to save time.

After the trip schedule is finalized, CFCA social workers plan to conduct photo sessions in their respective areas.

(Usually social workers communicate CFCA activities such as the annual photo sessions and letter-writing camps to mothers of sponsored children in their monthly support group meetings.) Read more

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Jul 27 2012

How we see success in the lives of families, part 2

We’re posting a series of blog posts on what success looks like for CFCA. Here are some goals of the Hope for a Family program, and stories that exemplify how those goals are being met in the field. We hope it encourages you, as it does us, to see hope growing in families.

GOAL: We want to empower families to develop their own means of support, so that they come to rely more on themselves and less on the Hope for a Family program.

Jorge Mario with jam in Guatemala

CFCA scholar Jorge Mario.

Jorge Mario is a scholarship student in Guatemala. His CFCA scholarship provides a modest stipend to pay for his educational expenses, but the scholarship alone is not enough to cover all Jorge’s costs.

His brother, Luis, realized this, and began a jam- and jelly-making project to supplement Jorge’s income.

Luis started the project because he dreamed of creating sources of employment and opportunities for the youth in his community.

Currently, seven CFCA scholarship students participate in the project. They operate a small business, selling the jars at a modest profit.

When combined with their scholarship, the students earn enough from the jam business to pay for their educational expenses.

Jorge Mario is working toward his bachelor’s degree in agroforestry. Most of Jorge Mario’s educational costs are for transportation to and from school, and he says the jam- and jelly-making business makes it possible for him to move forward. Read more

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