By Paul Pearce, CFCA director of global strategy
The other day I was talking to Ramiro Zelada, a co-worker who was born in Guatemala, about the word “dream.”
He told me that in Guatemala, those living in poverty think of dreams as something that will never come true.
And in the cases of people who are just trying to make ends meet day to day, dreams can be a reminder of a horizon that is unreachable.
“Dreaming,” Ramiro said, “is a luxury we can’t afford.”
As a society, how have we come to a point where the beautiful concept of having a dream is perilous terrain?
The core of our CFCA program in the field is to help people articulate a goal for themselves and attain it. We strive to be an honorable and dependable partner to support them in building the necessary steps to progress toward their goal and achieve their dreams.
It is the role of the sponsor and our project staff to be a steady and constant reminder that sponsored friends are not alone in their dreams.
In the Philippines, Isabel, the grandmother of a sponsored child, wanted to repair her leaky roof so her grandson, Martin, could sleep through the rainy nights and be alert in school.
Buenaventura, a sponsored aging friend in the Dominican Republic, wanted to learn how to read and write so she could counsel girls in her violent neighborhood.
Vanessa dreamed of becoming a social worker in her hometown of Cartagena, Colombia.
Dreams and goals such as these live in the hearts and minds of our sponsored friends and their families.
After three decades of working around the world, we named our sponsorship program “Hope for a Family.”
By “hope” we do not mean an unattainable wish.
We mean a practical vision of the future and a practical plan to make meaningful progress toward achieving that vision.
With the sponsors’ fidelity, we ask sponsored members to dare to imagine and voice their hopes.
Our sponsored friends have ideas; they have unique interests and talents; they have goals and initiatives.
Our job is to back them.
The direct, personal help we offer an individual and family gives them an opportunity to overcome obstacles created by poverty.
It gives them space, within the narrowest of family budgets, to make choices about their future.
When we encourage others to “rise and dream” with us, we are striving to reawaken a spirit of possibilities.