By Omar Z˙niga GarcÌa, CFCA staff member in Merida, Mexico
The mothers of sponsored children in Merida, Mexico, helped us realize the importance of a voice tuned in to the needs of the people.
There are 363 sponsored friends (344 sponsored children and 19 sponsored elderly) in this Yucatan community of CFCAís Merida project.
On weekends, people from different neighborhoods gather at the downtown CFCA office.
On Dec. 5, 2011, a CFCA mothers group invited the Merida project staff members to a meal to thank them for all the attention and work done for sponsored friends and their families.
“With my hard work and with the help I was given, my dream to have a small diner became a reality,” said Bercy, one of the mothers. “When I received my sponsorship benefit, I put aside some products that donít spoil, such as oil and beans. This happened for two years. Today, I have my diner named ‘Noy’ after my son.”
The local CFCA coordinator, Elvia Valladares, is a perfect example of commitment and dedication to work.
On one occasion, the children of one of the mothers contacted her and told her their mother did not want to continue living. Her family situation made her think that there was no other solution.
The following day, a trip was scheduled to a recreational park in which Elvia was at this motherís side. Elvia spent time that day and over many months talking to her and giving advice until the mother had renewed her will to live.
Today, that mother opened the doors of her home to thank all those who work in this great family called CFCA.
“The sponsors are part of every family in the CFCA program because they are supporting the families to get ahead, and the sponsors feel proud of the families,” said Mariela, a sponsored child. “Thanks to CFCA, sponsored children can study. Every sponsor has one sponsored friend and every sponsored friend has one sponsor with the responsibility to use the benefits wisely.
“There are children who want to study and they donít have the support that we have. I thank you with all my heart for what you are doing for us. I especially thank my sponsor and CFCA. I thank God for putting you in my life. I will do my best to get ahead. I wonít let you down. I will make you proud of me.”
CFCA staff members are always grateful for the love shown by families in the sponsorship program.
“Many things have happened this year, but with these words, we feel energized to continue our work,” said Gaspar Gongora, CFCA project coordinator in Merida. “We donít want recognition. We work because we like what we do, but seeing you Ö is beautiful. I know you are a united group. Thanks to Elvia and you for this moment.”
*Note: The CFCA community featured in this report put together an extra contribution from families of sponsored friends to give to a lady who is not in the Hope for a Family sponsorship program, but whom they knew and wanted to help.