The Labor Day holiday, celebrated every year on the first Monday in September, honors the social and economic achievements of American workers.
As we pay tribute today to the contributions workers have made to the United States, let’s also remember workers everywhere who struggle to find productive and meaningful work.
By Loretta Shea Kline, CFCA communications
At CFCA, we believe in the dignity of work.
Work is about more than earning a livelihood; it’s a way to participate in and contribute to society.
Parents of children sponsored through CFCA are finding creative ways to earn a living and use their talents to contribute to their communities.
Through their participation in CFCA parent groups and livelihood programs, they find fulfilling work that puts food on the table for their children and is good for the community.
Here are some examples from stories featured on our blog and website.
Fernando and his wife, Sonia, in Guatemala, recently started raising tilapia with support from a CFCA livelihood program. One of their seven children, Maydi, is sponsored through CFCA.
For years, Fernando worked in the sugar cane fields selling snacks and drinks for the laborers. After undergoing surgery for a hernia, he decided he could no longer haul the heavy loads he transported by bicycle each day over bumpy, dirt roads.
CFCA helped him start a tilapia farm in December of last year.
“It looked like a nice new way to provide for my family,” Fernando said. “I was convinced that this type of work has a bright future, and this is why I decided to work with tilapia.
“I am excited because my fish are growing!”
Fernando is encouraging others in his community to get involved in tilapia farming. He is also involving his children in the enterprise, teaching them about the value of entrepreneurship.
In Madagascar, a husband and wife, Ramanjanahary and Raharimalala, started making pousse pousse toys with encouragement from CFCA. Their son, Michael, is sponsored.
A pousse pousse is a cart in which passengers sit and someone pulls them. It’s a common mode of transportation in Madagascar.
“I once saw a man selling pousse pousse toys in the streets of Antsirabe, and it captured my interest,” Ramanjanahary said. “I bought the toy, and when I got home I dismantled it and put it back together.
“This is how I learned the art of toy making and passed it over to my wife.”
The husband and wife make the toys at home and sell them to tourists. They are able to save a little money each month because CFCA sponsorship covers their son’s school costs and helps with food.
They hope to expand their business with their modest savings.
A couple in the Philippines began making and selling eco-friendly products from water hyacinth plants. They employ mothers of sponsored children and youth who need help paying their school tuition.
Two sisters in India took out small loans from their CFCA mothers groups and opened a food stand that has become popular in their community.
A mother in Colombia used the money she earned from making and selling empanadas to buy her own home.
These are just a few examples of how parents participating with CFCA are earning a living, enjoying their work, serving as role models for their children and contributing to their communities.
Happy Labor Day!