Tag: benefits

Nov 20 2012

What is required of sponsored children in the CFCA program?

Ask Sponsor ServicesQ. What is required of sponsored children in the CFCA program?

A. Once your sponsored friend is accepted into the Hope for a Family sponsorship program, there are a few requirements the sponsored friend and his or her family must meet in order to continue to be eligible for sponsorship benefits.

1. Education. All children and youth must be enrolled in school in order to be a part of the sponsorship program. CFCA values education as the door to opportunities, and through sponsorship benefits, all children have the opportunity to go to school and fulfill their potential.

Marcela, a CFCA sponsored child in India.

Marcela, a CFCA sponsored child in India.

For individuals who do not attend traditional school, such as individuals with special needs and sponsored aging friends, the project offers workshops and other gatherings so sponsored friends can enjoy group activities and experience personal growth.

2. Family participation. Many CFCA projects have begun to implement mothers groups or parent groups to develop a deeper sense of community and empower families. Through these groups, mothers and parents can opt to build up savings or take out loans to increase their income through small businesses, agriculture or raising livestock.

Read about Roseline in Kenya who started her own grain business, and Margaret in India who raised livestock to send her son to college.

Sponsored friends and family members also participate in meetings and CFCA events held in the local community. These meetings and events allow sponsored friends and their families to form close-knit relationships with others in the community, develop long-lasting friendships, and most importantly, build a sense of mutual accountability and support as a key to the development of their families and their communities.

Colombia family integration activity

Sponsored children and their families gather together for a family fun day in Colombia.

3. Another requirement of the sponsorship program is the sponsored child, youth or aging friend must write a minimum of two letters a year and take an annual photo. If a sponsored friend cannot write yet, then the CFCA social workers, scholarship students or family members can help them with their letters.

Read what one CFCA translator in El Salvador has to say about letter-writing campaigns.

4. Sponsored friends and family members must also meet with a CFCA social worker on a regular basis. Personal outreach is provided in every CFCA community. It is through this personal outreach that families become more involved and communicate openly with the staff. It is also a meaningful way for the staff to learn of a family’s individual needs and potential.

Click here to read about a day in the life of a CFCA social worker.

For more information, please email mail@cfcausa.org or call Sponsor Services at (800) 875-6564 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time.

Oct 24 2012

‘New hope for the future’: Raising livestock to pay for college

Margaret, mother of a sponsored child in Bhagalpur, India.

Margaret, mother of a sponsored child in Bhagalpur, India.

For some families, a college savings plan has four legs, is covered in hair and eats from a slop bucket.

Raising livestock provides additional income for many sponsored friends and their families, and some take out loans through CFCA to help meet family needs such as education.

Margaret, mother of a sponsored youth in India, did just that to help her son, Paulus, pay for his tuition and realize his educational dreams.

“It gave new hope for our future,” Margaret said.

Margaret and her husband, James, live in a small town near Bhagalpur, India. Other than agriculture, there is little opportunity for business in their village.

Margaret and James wanted their son to receive a quality education, but with the nearest college located 24 hours from their home, it was going to be a challenge.

With the help of his CFCA sponsorship and his familyís contribution, Paulus was able to pay for his tuition, as well as room and board, and is receiving a quality education to prepare him for engineering school.
Read more

Oct 12 2012

Bread winners thrive in Guatemala

With support from CFCA livelihood programs, Oscar and others parents of sponsored children are now able to put bread on their tables.

There was no bakery in Oscar’s community in Guatemala, so CFCA provided training and a loan for a group of parents to build an oven and start making bread. The initiative and solidarity of parents and guardians participating in the CFCA Hope for a Family program make such efforts possible.

Oscar and others in their group are eager to share their knowledge about baking bread.

Well, now’s your chance to learn, as Oscar explains the process for baking bread in Guatemala in this short video.

Related links

Sep 14 2012

What it means to sponsor an aging friend

CFCA is the only major U.S.-based sponsorship organization to sponsor the elderly.

Michelle Dawson, CFCA-Kansas staff.

Michelle Dawson, CFCA-Kansas staff.

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.
Read more

Aug 31 2012

Putting bread on the table in Guatemala

They say that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. For Oscar Manuel, father of two sponsored children in the CFCA Hope for a Family program†in Guatemala, this statement couldn’t be more true.

Oscar was a farmer with little to no income. There was no bakery in Oscar’s community, and through the work of CFCA livelihood programs, Oscar and other parents began making and selling bread around their community.

CFCA provided training and a loan for the group to build an oven and start making bread.

Oscar and others are eager to share their new skills with others.

“With happiness in our hearts,” he says in this video, “we will teach what we have learned.”

Aug 24 2012

Good news around the CFCA world

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) Recycling efforts in southern Guatemala

Recycling in a CFCA community in GuatemalaA CFCA community of approximately 1,800 sponsored friends has had great success with a recent recycling initiative.

In just two months they were able to raise $1,100 from picking up and recycling plastic bottles!

Omar Tojin, a CFCA staff worker in this community, said that 90 percent of all the sponsored friends in the program are participating.

The money raised from the recycling initiative goes to buy wheelchairs for sponsored children and elderly who have special needs.

2) Eco-stoves in Suyapa, Honduras

By the end of August, 195 families in Suyapa, Honduras, can breathe easy, thanks to 195 brand new eco-stoves being built by CFCAís Suyapa project.

What’s an eco-stove, you might ask? Great question! Read more

Jul 9 2012

How do I know my money’s going to benefit my sponsored friend?

Ask Sponsor ServicesQ. How do I know my money’s going to benefit my sponsored friend?

A. Great question. It’s important that you fully evaluate any charity you consider partnering with, and we’re happy to answer any questions about CFCA you might have.

At CFCA, we’re proud of our outstanding ratings from charity evaluators. We receive an A+ from CharityWatch, their highest rating possible.

Charity Navigator says we perform as well as or better than most charities in our cause. We also meet all 20 rigorous standards established by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. Read more

Dec 9 2011

Bob’s notes: ‘Invited into Archana’s family’ in India

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“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies mission awareness trip participants. You can see Bobís full update on his Facebook page.

This account was split into two parts. Read the first part with Annamary’s testimony here.

Inspiring testimonies from sponsored Indian youth:

Minu: “Tears come into my eyes today when I recall how my parents left me with relatives as they searched for work in the northern part of India. It is no less than a divine intervention that sponsorship came. I fear my father may have abandoned us. However, my sponsorship continues, and this has been my greatest consoler and mentor. If I say sponsorship has been my rock, my parent, it won’t be an exaggeration. I am filled with gratitude and awe. I wish to give back to my society as a mark of appreciation for this CFCA program.”

Pinky: “We live in a remote area where there is no good education facility. Before sponsorship, I was like a frog in a well, knowing nothing of the outside world. The CFCA help became a light which removed the darkness of ignorance within me and filled my life with the brightness of knowledge. I have been studying in a well-developed educational institution of the Bhagalpur Diocese for 12 years. On behalf of all sponsored children, I promise you we will fulfill our dreams to be successful and help other children.” Read more

Oct 20 2011

Bob’s notes: Sponsors ‘living on love’ in Guatemala trip

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“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies mission awareness trip participants. You can see Bobís full update on his Facebook page.

Our entire team in Guatemala is delighted to receive this fine group of sponsors and friends.

During the mission awareness trip, sponsors experienced the buildup to a presidential run-off election, scheduled for Nov. 6.

This promised to be an exciting trip, considering election frenzy, heavy rains, swollen rivers, damaged roads and major landslides. We often adjusted our itinerary according to weather and road conditions.

Naturally, we thanked our CFCA family for prayers along the way.

Due to abundant rains, Guatemala welcomed us with a green countryside and pleasant temperatures.

We took sponsors to the CFCA office that serves more than 6,000 families in Guatemala City.

Children, teens and staff had prepared a nice orientation to the CFCA presence in their areas.

Participating were Miguel Dario Tzarax, project coordinator; Maria del Carmen Santos, social worker; Mario, sponsored for 15 years; two groups of sponsored children and mothers groups (Mezquital and El Gallito); moving testimony of Monica Catalan, mother leader from El Gallito; and me (Bob) with a group of children and mothers.

All this week, we had to adjust our itinerary as the 72 highways of Guatemala were blocked from landslides and flooding.

We did make it out to San Lucas Toliman on Sunday. We felt rewarded by the welcome of our sponsored friends and families. Read more

Mar 10 2011

CFCA inspires Salvadoran girl to paint her life

Roxana in El Salvador

Roxana created the painting, pictured in the background, which reflects her experience with CFCA Hope for a Family sponsorship.

CFCA recently celebrated 25 years of service in El Salvador. The sponsorship program began in El Salvador in 1985 with 25 sponsored children. Today, CFCA serves more than 12,000 sponsored children, youth and aging members around the country.

As part of the different activities organized by CFCA-Santa Ana to commemorate this special milestone, a drawing and painting contest was held for sponsored members who wanted to participate. The topic was “CFCA as hope for a family.”

Roxana Maribel, 16, won first place with her original painting, “Before and After.” It reflects her deep sense of transformation in the 14 years she has been sponsored through CFCA.

My name is Roxana Maribel. I am 19 years old and live in the city of Santa Ana in El Salvador. Since kindergarten, I enjoyed drawing and painting.

Over the years, I have taught myself different techniques. Nothing professional, but something I enjoyed as a hobby.

Roxana's painting

Roxana’s painting.

When I was told about the drawing and painting contest, I decided to participate with a painting that would somehow show myself reflected in it.

This painting reflects the changes in my life and the lives of many others, thanks to all the support I have received from my sponsor. To me, painting is a simple way to express my feelings and thoughts. I like people to see what I feel.

I feel happy that I won first place in the contest. My family was very supportive and felt happy with my achievement.

I have many dreams for my future. The main ones are to be closer to our Lord, to become a professional woman and to be able to help my family.

~Interview by Jorge Castaneda, communication center staff member; photos by Daniel Hernandez