Pravalika, right, a sponsored child in Hyderabad, India, participates in the CFCA Christmas celebrations.
Virginia, a sponsored child in Guatemala, displays her tamales and bread at a CFCA Christmas celebration.
Previously we interviewed several CFCA projects around the world about last year’s Christmas celebrations for sponsored friends and their families.
Here are the answers from eight projects: five in India, and three in Guatemala.
How do you select the types of gifts for sponsored children?
Bhagalpur, Chennai, Delhi, Dumka and Hyderabad projects, India: We asked the mothers groups what they would like as gifts for their sponsored children, then gave them what the majority of the mothers had requested.
South, Chiquimulilla and Solol· regions, Guatemala: Clothes let our sponsored children dress nicely and help raise their self-esteem.
Gifts such as schoolbags also help contribute to our sponsored friends’ economic well-being.
Many times our children feel sad or unfortunate because they do not have the opportunities that others have, and we feel that they deserve some happiness during these holidays.
Cookies, chocolates and sweets for sponsored children are treats that they can share with the whole family.
The snacks (tamales and soft drinks) are given to sponsored members and their families to share as a community and also with other sponsored friends from different villages.
They enjoy many activities, such as artistic performances by sponsored members and CFCA staff, breaking of piÒatas, contests and raffles.
The CFCA Christmas Fund provides opportunities to encourage the true spirit of Christmas, peace, love†and unity†for our sponsored children and their families.
The financial resources of our families are very limited. Parents would like to provide an annual gift for their children, but usually this is not possible.
Thanks to this fund, children have a smile for Christmas; through the gifts and activities they have happiness.
Without these funds the joy of Christmas for sponsored friends and their families would not be the same.
What gifts were provided in Christmas 2010?
Bhagalpur, Chennai, Delhi, Dumka and Hyderabad projects, India:† Examples include clothing; a lunch box and casseroles; blankets; and alarm clocks and a T-shirt.
South, Chiquimulilla and Solol· regions, Guatemala:† Examples include a gift bag containing: shirt and underwear, box of Christmas cookies, two tamales, a soft drink and a pound of chocolate.
Another example was a shirt or blouse, a schoolbag, a drink and bread with chicken.
Projects also organized recreational and religious activities with sponsored members and their families, including a Mass, games, contests, dances and piÒatas.
P.S. Even though it’s only September, it’s never too early to start thinking about sending your sponsored friend a Christmas card! Because mail can be slow, we recommend scheduling six to eight weeks for a letter to arrive at your friend’s project.