Happy Mother’s Day! Well, depending on where you are that is. Find out the different days Mother’s Day is celebrated around the world.
“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies awareness trip participants. You can see Bob’s full update on his Facebook page.
Photo credits for this report go to Ricardo Ajpuac at the Hermano Pedro project in Guatemala.
It’s a pleasure to be in touch with you and to share these profound experiences.
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
In the Latin American projects we serve, Holy Week is a time for family, reflection, cultural traditions and ceremonies remembering the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Luis Cocon, CFCA communications liaison for Guatemala, sends us pictures and an account of Holy Week as it’s happening right now in Guatemala.
Please note: Our Kansas City office will be closed March 28 and 29 for Holy Thursday and Good Friday.
A mystical feeling is in the air as Holy Week processions begin in the Guatemalan city of Antigua, set against a backdrop of colonial architecture, cobblestone streets and volcanoes.
Decorations and elaborate handicrafts adorn wooden platforms on which religious images are carried.
For Erin Gaffaney, CFCA sponsorship runs in the family.
Erin learned about CFCA through her grandfather, Harold.
Over the years, Harold talked to his family about sponsorship and it stuck with them.
“Over time I think some of his children and grandchildren saw the example he was setting and we now sponsor kids or elderly people ourselves,” Erin said.
Erin, an elementary school music teacher, sponsors an elderly gentleman, Jose, in Guatemala. Sheís also using her musical talents to support CFCA’s work.
Erin collaborated with a friend to record a Christmas CD titled, “Prepare Him Room.” The duo will be donating proceeds to CFCA.
“It was never our intent to make this CD a money-making venture,” Erin said. “It thrilled me more to make a quality product knowing that what we were doing was really going to affect people’s lives.”
The musical team put on two CD release parties in their local area and had CFCA sponsorship folders displayed on tables during the live shows.
Erin said CFCA was on the top of her mind when she was thinking about where proceeds would be donated because she was getting ready to meet her sponsored friend on a CFCA awareness trip. She met Jose Dec. 28 at the CFCA center in Guatemala.
The group of sponsors participating in the trip includes her grandfather, mother and two sisters.
“It’s kind of turned out to become a generational thing,” she said, “which is really neat to see.”
In the countries where we work, the elderly often have no one to depend on for their well-being. They receive no social security and may not be able to count on family members for support, as adult children are often occupied with their own survival.
About three years ago, a community in Guatemala noticed some of our sponsored aging friends had difficulties traveling to the local CFCA office for birthday celebrations, Christmas celebrations and other CFCA activities. So they decided to take the celebrations to the sponsored friends’ own homes, and that’s how regular visits to sponsored elderly began!
In the words of Olga Argueta, CFCA staff member in Guatemala
Every three months we plan one whole day for visiting the elderly. We have identified six friends of the 50 sponsored aging friends in our community who have difficulties moving around, and they are the ones we visit. Read more
CFCA is the only major U.S.-based sponsorship organization to sponsor the elderly.
Through our Hope for a Family sponsorship program, aging friends receive benefits that focus on providing better nutrition, access to health care, adequate housing and social activities.
Some sponsored aging friends also participate in skills training or income-generating workshops. Most importantly, they are welcomed into a caring community and feel less alone.
For some sponsored aging friends, CFCA meetings and events may be the only human socialization time they experience all week, or sometimes, all month.
Michelle Dawson works in sponsorship operations at our office in Kansas City. Michelle sponsors five aging friends in the Hope for a Family program. She shares with us some of the reasons why she decided to sponsor an aging friend and why she loves it.
How did you decide between sponsoring a child or an aging person?
I heard a priest speak at my parish many years ago, but instead of sponsoring that day, I took a brochure home with me and called CFCA not too long after that.