I found my old passport the other day while cleaning my kitchen. I have no idea why I chose the kitchen to store this important document, but that’s a story for another time.
When I found my passport, I realized I was coming up on my one-year anniversary of my CFCA awareness trip to India.
I still remember that trip vividly. The bright colors of pinks, blues and golds woven into the women’s saris; the lovely smell of incense; the happy smiles on the faces of CFCA friends and families; discovering delicious foods; and also witnessing the extreme poverty, which impacts much of the country.
When I came back, I promised myself that I would do my best to always be grateful for all the blessings in my life.
I remember a time over the summer when I was having a rough day; I was becoming more and more frustrated with whatever was bothering me. (I was probably mad at my flat iron.)
I made a conscious decision to stop and reflect on the things I was grateful for, and my frustration started to melt away.
Working as a writer/editor at CFCA I learn so much about the sponsored friends and their families ó I learn about their love for life, their strength and their daily realities.
The everyday necessities and comforts in life I sometimes take for granted are not easily accessible for families living in poverty. Here are some examples:
How I get water:
How Edelmira gets water:
Edelmira’s son Josue is sponsored through CFCA.
Every day, Edelmira walks two to three hours to a community tank to get water for her family.
How I get to work:
How Joachim gets to work:
Joachim, a CFCA social worker in India, points to a rural CFCA community in the distance. At times, he must walk nearly 5 miles (8 kilometers) to reach rural CFCA communities because there are no roads leading into these villages.
How Diego gets to school:
Diego, 13, is sponsored through CFCA. Diego used to walk an hour and 20 minutes one way to attend school in a town outside Bogota.
Thanks to benefits through his sponsorship, Diego now has a bike to travel to school.
How I get light:
How Naomi gets light:
Before sponsorship, Naomi was doing all of her homework by candlelight.
Through sponsorship, Naomi and her family can now afford electricity for their home. Read Naomi’s story.
How I get coffee:
How Manuel gets coffee:
Manuel is a father of 11, and four of his children are sponsored through the Hope for a Family sponsorship program.
Manuel depends on growing coffee for his livelihood and to help pay for his family’s food, education and electricity.
Where I cook:
Where Mayi’s family cooks:
Mayi and her family cook their meals in this open kitchen in Merida, Mexico.
Thanks to CFCA sponsorship, Mayi is going to school to become a schoolteacher.
“The sponsorship means a very important bond between my sponsor and myself, it is something beautiful to have people like all the sponsors that help people that are in need.” ó Mayi, CFCA sponsored youth
How I wash my clothes:
How many Guatemalans wash their clothes:
Many women in Guatemala carry clothes on their head down a steep hill to the water’s edge
to wash their laundry by hand. When they finish, they carry the heavy load of wet clothes up the hill and back home.
Where I sleep:
Where Ronaldo sleeps:
Ronaldo, a CFCA sponsored child in El Salvador, gets a mattress as a result of sponsorship benefits.
The stories of sponsored friends and their families inspire me to be grateful for everyday blessings in my life like clean water, transportation, electricity and a comfortable bed.
They also remind me that we are all members of one human family, united in love.
Learn more about how you can sponsor a child, youth or aging friend and make a positive difference in someone’s life.
“Love is not patronizing and charity isn’t about pity, it is about love. Charity and love are the same ó with charity you give love, so don’t just give money but reach out your hand instead.”
? Mother Teresa