Category: Economic Self-Sufficiency

Apr 4 2013

Making eco-friendly curtains and jewelry in Honduras

Thorn and seed curtains

Braulia, a CFCA sponsored elderly woman (right), and Cristina, daughter of a sponsored aging friend, sell their curtains and jewelry by a roadside in Honduras.

A group of mothers and daughters in Honduras recently shared with us a special technique they use to craft environmentally friendly curtains and jewelry from thorns and seeds!

Check out our interview with 10-year-old Tania, a CFCA sponsored child, who describes how she helps her mother make interesting and eco-friendly designs.

I’ll never forget the day I was sponsored because it was my birthday. I was turning 6 years old.

My name is Tania, and since that day I have become part of the beautiful and loving CFCA family.

I help my mother make curtains and bracelets by opening the little holes in the seeds and stringing them together.

I like to make the bracelets, but I don’t like to make the curtains because it takes too much time, and I get bored.

CFCA sponsored child

Tania, CFCA sponsored child in Honduras, helps make designs from thorns and seeds.

I want to invite my sponsor to come to my community. I would love to meet her and teach her how to make the bracelets and necklaces.

DIY thorn and seed curtains and jewelry in 3 steps:

  1. The first step is to look for the thorns, which we call “cachitos” or bull’s horns. This is the most difficult part of the process because a large number of stinging ants live inside the thorns and sting our hands.
  2. Next we have to get seeds. We use a seed called “Lágrimas de San Pedro” or Saint Peter’s Tears. These seeds are usually brought over from another community. We try to use any kind of seeds we can find in our community. We paint the seeds so they are colorful.
  3. Once we have collected all the necessary materials, we start to make our products. First, we make holes in the seeds and thorns. Next, we create a design and use fishing or metal string to make the curtains and other kinds of jewelry.

Read the full story about mothers making eco-friendly curtains in Honduras

steps

Apr 3 2013

Helping families achieve self-sufficiency, part 3: Guatemala

CFCA sponsored friend

Floridalma and her daughters, Bridia (left), sponsored through CFCA, and Lilian (right).

By Kristin Littrell, CFCA correspondent

CFCA is not a one-size-fits-all organization. We rely on our field staffs to know the families in each community, to listen to their needs and hopes, and to provide a program that empowers them to build a path out of poverty.

In the final post in this three-part blog series, we give you a window into several CFCA communities, to gauge the success of the Hope for a Family sponsorship program.

It takes 20 minutes on the back of a motorcycle, up steep and narrow dirt roads, to get to Floridalma’s home.

She lives in Chuixilon, a small Guatemalan village, where rolling fields of strawberries are sheltered by the peaks of nearby mountains. It is beautiful and remote. The air smells like strawberries mixed with fresh pine, and only the moon and the stars light the streets at night. Read more

Mar 15 2013

Helping families achieve self-sufficiency, part 2: Antipolo, Philippines

By Kristin Littrell, CFCA correspondent

 water hyacinth products

Beng in her storefront selling her water hyacinth products.

CFCA is not a one-size-fits-all organization. We rely on our field staffs to know the families in each community, to listen to their needs and hopes, and to provide a program that empowers them to build a path out of poverty.

In the second post in this three-part blog series, we give you a window into several CFCA communities, to gauge the success of the Hope for a Family sponsorship program.

Water still covers the path to the home of Kuya and Beng, parents of a sponsored child in the Philippines. The area has yet to dry out from monsoon rains that recently hit their community.

Kuya and Beng live with their family in a small home, made of bamboo and plywood, just 5 meters from the lake’s edge.

Like many in their small fishing village, they depend on the lake for their livelihood. Kuya owns a banca (a small fishing boat) and a fish cage.

But the fishing hasn’t been going so well lately.

Water hyacinth, a highly invasive aquatic plant, has hurt the local fishing business. The water hyacinth grows densely along the shore, making it difficult for fishing boats to navigate. The plant also prevents sunlight from entering the water, which reduces the food supply for the fish. Read more

Feb 21 2013

Helping families achieve self-sufficiency, part 1: Kenya

By Kristin Littrell, CFCA correspondent

CFCA is not a one-size-fits-all organization. We rely on our field staffs to know the families in each community, to listen to their needs and hopes, and to provide a program that empowers them to build a path out of poverty.

We give you a window into several CFCA communities, to gauge the success of the Hope for a Family sponsorship program.

Hope for a Family in Nakuru, Kenya

Patrick and Rose

Rose and Patrick proudly display some of the items they sell at their art gallery.

A stone art gallery is tucked away down a bustling street in Nakuru,Kenya. Inside, beautiful wood and glass pieces, intricately woven baskets and skillfully sewn dresses are displayed across the spacious room.

The owners, Patrick and Rose, are passionate about their work.

Like entrepreneurs around the world, they honed their skills and opened this shop as a way to provide for their family.

Patrick and Rose are part of the CFCA family in Nakuru, Kenya.

Their son, Kevin, is sponsored, and Rose is a member of a CFCA mothers group in the area. The family was able to attain a loan to start their business through Rose’s mothers group. Read more

Feb 18 2013

How to make Guatemalan coconut bread (recipe)

Coconut bread

Coconut bread from Guatemala Ö mmm!

CFCA serves approximately 84,000 sponsored children and elderly in Guatemala. Here is a recipe from Isabel, mother of a sponsored child in Guatemala, who makes and sells coconut bread to help her family’s income. This recipe makes approximately 20 pieces of bread. Get the full recipe

Feb 15 2013

A day in the life: Preparing spring onions in Guatemala

By Judy-Anne Goldman, CFCA multimedia manager/producer

Juana, the mother of two CFCA sponsored children, cleans scallions, also known as spring onions, for 8 hours a day, three days a week in a small town in Guatemala.

Preparing spring onions with CFCA in Guatemala

Does she get tired of onions after all that time? “No!” Juana said. Her appreciation only grows. “Our onions are good. People in other towns and countries come to buy them. You should try them grilled,” she suggested. “It will make your mouth water!”

Women in Guatemala prepare spring onions

From left: Lucia, Zoila, Ramos and Juana start their work day at 8 a.m. and finish at 5 p.m., peeling spring onions that are a delicious part of local meals. Lucia and Juana are mothers of CFCA sponsored children, Zoila is sponsored through CFCA, and Ramos is a former sponsored child. Read more

Feb 5 2013

Two of a kind: sisters in India open food stand

Curry Point

Jesintha, left, and Prakash at their food stand, Curry Point.

CFCA strives to help families achieve economic self-sufficiency. The Hope for a Family program aims to partner with families so that over time they may rely less on benefits from CFCA and more on their own income-generation activities to meet their basic needs.

We recently heard from our Hyderabad project in India about several mothers of sponsored children who are exemplifying the potential of families living in poverty. Here’s the story of Prakash and her sister Jesintha ó enjoy!

In 2010, my sister, Jesintha, and I started a food stand called Curry Point.

We prepare food items like dal, sambar, potato fry, brinjal curry, tomato pickle and chapattis (Indian bread) and other foods. We sell our meals at reasonable rates, so it is affordable for many.

I am Prakash. My sister and I are part of a mothers group in Hyderabad, India. She has a son sponsored through CFCA, and my son is sponsored as well.

My sister and I both took out a loan from each of our mothers groups to start this curry business. Read more

Jan 29 2013

Mother makes environmentally friendly charcoal in Madagascar

Charcoal-Madagascar

Marie, mother of a CFCA sponsored child in Madagascar.

Meet Marie, mother of three children in Madagascar, who found a creative way to help her family through selling environmentally friendly charcoal made from soil, grass and charcoal powder!

One of her children, 11-year-old Safidison, is sponsored through CFCA.

My husband works in rice fields. I am a housewife.

Before our son was sponsored, we sometimes went hungry because we could not afford to buy food, especially when my husband could not find a job.

Paying school fees for all three children was really a challenge.

Life was not easy. Money was hard to come by since my husband does seasonal work, and the money he made was not enough for our needs. Read more of Marie’s story

Jan 28 2013

Hamburger bun recipe from Honduras, part 2

Unbound serves more than 18,000 sponsored children and elderly in Honduras. An Unbound mothers group there, the Faith and Hope mothers group, sells homemade hamburgers to those in their community.

Last week, we posted part 1 of this recipe: Hamburgers and sauce from Honduras.

Here is part 2, the Faith and Hope mothers group recipe for homemade hamburger buns!

Hamburgers from Honduras Ö mmm!

Hamburgers from Honduras Ö mmm!

Get the recipe!

Jan 24 2013

Sponsored child crafts ‘clean and green’ turtles from recycled paper

CFCA sponsored child makes recycled paper turtles

Andres in Colombia holds one of the turtles he crafts out of recycled materials.

My name is Andres, and I have been sponsored for six years through CFCA in Colombia.

My father works as a bricklayer and my mother is a housekeeper. My father works by seasons, and sometimes we do not have any income to sustain our family.

One day I had a great idea. I went with my mother to the CFCA office where she met with her mothers group. I like to go and help her during the meetings. At the meeting, I met a mother who knows how to make crafts. She was making many things with plastic, and I was very curious about it. Read more of Andres’ story