By Elizabeth Alex, CFCA community outreach and media relations director
The voice of powerless women in India has been heard.
It’s tragic that it took the rape, torture and agonizing death of a promising young physiology student to bring that voice to the world.
“I am heartbroken about the news of this young woman,” said Paul Pearce, CFCA director of global strategy. “She was heroic to hold her head up high and go to school. I hear she had big dreams of building a hospital back in her village.”
CFCA has more than 35,000 sponsored children and aging friends in India. We also support a home for boys from the streets in Delhi, the city where the young woman was attacked.
Our staff and families understand how the simple act of boarding a bus can become a deadly decision; women and the poor are vulnerable and become targets just by reaching for their dreams.
“The heroic journey on the path out of poverty can be a daunting and even lonely task,” Pearce said. “Many in the communities where we work live in a state of isolation.”
We are learning that most of the five young men, who are charged with luring the 23-year-old woman and her friend onto a bus with the promise of a ride, came from a slum neighborhood. They have no jobs, and are unable to hire an attorney to represent them.
CFCA works in India and 21 other countries to end this violent cycle with a model that focuses on the individual and his or her needs while building safe and responsible communities. Read more
Teddy Naluwu, Kampala project coordinator in Uganda and former CFCA sponsored child.
I hope to transform others’ lives through my work with CFCA.
My name is Teddy Naluwu, and I am 31 years old. I have been a part of the CFCA family for more than 20 years, first as a sponsored child and later as an employee.
I have been working for CFCA for the past seven years, and I currently serve as Kampala project coordinator for Uganda, Africa.
Personally, I am a true believer of change. I have seen myself transform from a humble “country girl” to project coordinator of a sizeable project.
Because of CFCA sponsorship and the education I received, I am able to help break through the lines of poverty within my family.
The CFCA-Kampala project believes that we can make the world a better place through our collective efforts.
Engaging with the families in CFCA project activities is an important aspect of my work that shapes my attitude and performance, and boosts my self-worth. Read more
By Sreekanth Gundoji, CFCA communications liaison for India
Sreekanth, out on location, wearing a traditional hat of the Santal tribe.
Each CFCA sponsored friend and family has a story to tell.
For the families of the Santal tribes living in remote areas of India between Nepal and Bangladesh, the story is especially compelling.
As CFCA’s communications liaison in India, I have the honor to tell their story.
The Santals depend on nature for their survival. Agriculture is their way of life.
As their villages are spread across four Indian states and are miles away from towns, they create their own communities with whatever resources are available. They build houses with mud and clay supported by bamboo sticks and cover the roof with grass, straw and tiles made of mud.
The Santals are wrongly considered “behind the times” by many in India, and their way of life may seem rugged to you and me.
But the Santal people can teach all of us important lessons. They take nothing for granted, and they have a lot to share about using scarce resources in the most sustainable ways.
Their culture and religious observances are colorful, dynamic and unique. To the Santals, dancing is essential to life. Read more