You’ve probably heard the English idiom, “Every Tom, Dick and Harry,” to refer to the general population.
For many parts of the world, that wouldn’t make sense because those three names are relatively unusual.
In Madagascar, for example, the idiom might read more like, “Every Haja, Mamy and Andriniaina!”
Here are some common boy and girl names from some countries and regions where CFCA works:
El Salvador, Colombia and other Latin American countries
Names such as Juan, Jose, Ana and Maria abound in Latin American countries. Some common sources of inspiration come from close relatives, famous people, Biblical names and popular foreign names.
“Many years ago you could choose a foreign name without a problem, but nowadays you have to prove the meaning and the origin when you go to get the baby’s birth certificate in the city hall,” said Naresli Calito, a CFCA staffer in El Salvador. Read more
A Chinese proverb says it’s better to light one candle than curse the darkness.
We can find a modern-day parallel in a community in Cali, Colombia, where families in the CFCA program found it’s better to take action and plant a tree to help the environment!
For several years now, Colombia has suffered from a drought that has caused the nation’s government to urge citizens to conserve water (see this article for more information).
This particular CFCA community in Cali has had limited water supply as a result, and CFCA mothers groups met to discuss the problem. Read more
By Sandra Rodriguez Nieto, aging program coordinator for CFCA’s Bogota project in Colombia
Working with the sponsored elderly in Bogota has been a very interesting process. We meet many people who have histories filled with pain and loneliness.
However, it is inspirational to see how they have overcome these situations.
They are always ready to move forward. That’s why, through CFCA’s Hope for a Family program, we seek to improve the quality of life for elderly people, empowering them and offering dignity.
Our programming includes working with aging friends to make crafts and establish exercise routines to strengthen their mobility. These tools enable them to learn new things while reaching within the skills and talents they already have.
Every two weeks, aging friends meet at each CFCA office in their local area. Rain or shine, they always show up on time, though most of them live in the peripheral neighborhoods of Bogota.
They always come with a smile and sometimes bring small presents such as biscuits, crackers or fruit to share. Read more
Just a few of the awesome ways that sponsored children, aging friends and their families are serving as agents of change in their local communities!
1) Sponsored seminarians in Philippines ordained to Sacred Order of Deacons
Malou Navio, our project coordinator in Antipolo, Philippines, told us that six sponsored seminarians were recently ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons, a perpetual vow to religious life made before the vow to priesthood.
“They are very grateful for the thoughtfulness of the sponsorship that constantly supports part of their needs while studying at the seminary,” Malou said.
Several CFCA staffers and fathers of sponsored children came to watch three of these seminarians take their vows at the St. Gregory Cathedral in Legazpi.
One of our longtime CFCA sponsors, MaryAnne Cullen, was featured as the June “Mom of the Month” on LancMoms.com!
Among her many achievements, MaryAnne is a lawyer and completes sprint marathons and triathlons.
She has raised nine children with her husband, James, and homeschooled them. She also started sponsoring with CFCA in 1996.
The article also mentions her sponsorship with CFCA:
Throughout the years she [MaryAnne] has helped others worldwide. She sponsors children through the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging. She and her family have traveled to places like Costa Rica, Guatemala, Ecuador and Colombia to meet them. Her next trips will be to El Salvador this summer and to Kenya next February.
MaryAnne wrote a beautiful blog post for us in 2011, “Sponsorships are life-altering donations,” which we encourage you to read if you haven’t done so already.