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.

“It is almost impossible to find a job in this community,” Jorge Mario said.

GOAL: We want families to provide key input for the Hope for a Family program, ensuring that it meets their needs and genuinely helps them build a path out of poverty.

Many CFCA communities around the world have started mothers or parents groups to increase parental participation in the sponsorship program.

Believing that parents know best what their families need to create a path out of poverty, local projects seek to engage parents in the sponsorship program decision-making.

These parent groups help lead the sponsorship program in numerous ways, often directing letter-writing to sponsors, or helping with benefit selection and program accounting (with support from staff).

CFCA community in Bhongir, India

Children and their families come to greet CFCA staffers in a remote community in Bhongir, India.

Groups also frequently plan activities associated with sponsor visits to their home country.

The news that a group of sponsors will visit the community and families comes from a social promoter or other project staff member.

In a growing number of areas, the parent leaders assume the responsibility to prepare for the visit. Sometimes parents form committees to divide tasks for each aspect of the visit. In other cases mothers groups may volunteer to lead the preparations.

In Dumka, India, the mothers groups planned a day full of learning for the sponsors complete with demonstrations of local trades and introduction to the Santal Tribal lifestyle.

After a recent visit, Vincent Murmu, project coordinator for the Dumka project, shared that all the preparation and arrangement was done with the collaboration of mothers groups.

“They played an active role in (the) planning and execution of the MAT (Mission Awareness Trip) program. They themselves chose the venue and arranged for the felicitation [appreciation] program,” Murmu said.

“This opportunity is very enriching for all the staff, sponsored members and the sponsors.”

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One thought on “How we see success in the lives of families, part 2”

  1. I love these stories! Our support is giving them a hand up and is not a hand out. These sponsored individuals are given a chance to develop their leadership skills. I have witnessed the family groups in both India and Africa. Sponsorship really does benefit a whole family. I saw women and fathers being given a chance to take on a leadership role which boosted their confidence so much they started to believe in themselves and accomplished so much more. They found support and encouragement in the groups. There were individuals from all walks of life in these groups participating in harmony. I saw a glimpse of what world peace would be like in their groups!

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