By Loretta Shea Kline, managing editor, Unbound
One of the beautiful aspects of the relationships built through sponsoring a child or elderly friend is learning about the vibrancy and richness of other cultures.
Sponsored friends often write to their sponsors about celebrating cultural events or holidays in their countries.
One such event recently took place in the Philippines. The Ati-Atihan Festival features parades known for their lively tribal dances, colorful indigenous costumes and sounds of drums and lyres (small harp-like instruments).
Whew. The holiday weekend is over. We’ve given thanks, eaten at least one feast, hunted deals and shopped online.
Now we get to take a deep breath. We get to turn our attention to others as we embrace the generosity that marks this season, one of giving thanks and giving gifts. Today, we give back.
Today is Giving Tuesday, a world-wide movement encouraging us all to donate and volunteer, working together to make our world a better place.
The CFCA community is there for families before and after natural disasters strike.
Sponsorship brings families into a caring community that supports them in their daily lives and in times of crisis.
Hundreds of CFCA families saw their houses damaged or destroyed as Super Typhoon Haiyan slashed its way through the central Philippines less than two weeks ago. Farmers lost crops and fishermen lost fishing gear.
CFCA will work side by side with families as they rebuild their homes and livelihoods. Donations to our Disaster Assistance Fund will help in this effort.
By Loretta Shea Kline, CFCA communications editor
The Filipino people are known for their resiliency.
I had the great privilege of visiting the Philippines a few weeks ago as part of my work as an editor and writer on our communications team.
I saw that resiliency up close on visits to our projects, and I was reminded of it again when Super Typhoon Haiyan hit.
As the world watches the heartbreaking plight of people who are suffering in the Philippines, the questions we hear hundreds of times a day at CFCA are, “Is my sponsored friend all right?” and “How can I help?”
Our families are safe
We can tell you that our teams in the field do not believe that any of the 45,000 sponsored friends associated with CFCA projects have been killed.
But we share the grief of thousands of families whose loved ones died in the path of this catastrophic storm, and we stand ready to help survivors of Typhoon Haiyan rebuild.
Almost 300 CFCA families from high-risk and flood-prone areas in our Legazpi project were moved by order of the provincial government to evacuation centers before Haiyan took aim on the islands.
Our families are now making their way home, though what some return to can no longer be considered “home.”
Hundreds find that missing roofs, flooded homes and ruined crops are all that remain.
“Their basic farm crops, particularly bananas, were massively uprooted,” said Antipolo project coordinator Malou Navio.
Here is how you can help
Donate to our Disaster Assistance Fund. This is a way to support the families in need after natural disasters uproot their lives.
This fund provides money to buy supplies for rebuilding homes, seeds for new crops and to replace farming tools lost in the storm.
You can also make a long-term and lasting difference by sponsoring a child from the Philippines.
The already struggling economy of the Philippines will suffer even more because of Haiyan.
Children whose parents struggle to make ends meet will need encouragement and support now more than ever.
The need is ongoing
Haiyan is the 25th typhoon to hit the Philippines this year and the third category 5 typhoon to strike within the last three years.
There will always be a need for support through sponsorship and donations.
You can start helping today.
The CFCA project in Legazpi, Philippines, recently sent us success stories from young adults who were sponsored through CFCA as children.
Here’s one from Roland, who recently finished his final year of college studying secondary education. Congratulations, Roland!
This is a story of an ordinary boy with great dreams and aspirations in life. Through his perseverance and determination, he made great achievements that made his parents proud to call him their son. — Roland, a former CFCA sponsored youth