Tag: Child

Sep 4 2012

Taking photos of sponsored children in India

Each year we take a new photo of every child and aging friend sponsored through CFCA ñ more than 300,000 photos. This helps sponsors stay in touch with their friend and keeps our records updated.

Our Bhagalpur project in India serves about 7,400 sponsored children and elderly, many of them living in remote villages. Joachim Hansdak, a CFCA staffer there, recently traveled to take more than 3,000 pictures of sponsored friends. Let’s follow him on his journey!

Joachim, CFCA staff worker in Bhagalpur, India

Joachim, CFCA staff worker in Bhagalpur, India.

A month before he travels, Joachim prepares a trip schedule in collaboration with the CFCA project coordinator.

His schedule ranges from 15 days to one month, traveling from one CFCA community to another without coming back to Bhagalpur to save time.

After the trip schedule is finalized, CFCA social workers plan to conduct photo sessions in their respective areas.

(Usually social workers communicate CFCA activities such as the annual photo sessions and letter-writing camps to mothers of sponsored children in their monthly support group meetings.) Read more

Jan 24 2012

What do sponsored children want to know in letters?

CFCA sponsored children from Colombia talk about letters and what they want to hear from sponsors.

Jackelin, CFCA sponsored child in Colombia


Jackelin, 11

“I would like it if they told me about their family, friends and their cat. Also I would like them to tell me about where they live, how the city and country are.

“I would like to personally know and thank them for all the things they have given me. I would also like them to send me lots of pictures.”

Kevin, CFCA sponsored child in Colombia


David, 7

“I want to know what my sponsor eats, and if they eat what they like. I would also like him to tell me where he lives and to send a photo.”

Kevin, 7

“… if there are robbers where my sponsor lives and if his work is going well.”

Jennifer, 9

“I would like to know how my sponsor’s family and children are doing and whether he has all he needs. I would like for my sponsor always to support me in everything I do, and am grateful that he gives me much love. I work very hard and send him lots of hugs and kisses.”

Wendy, CFCA sponsored child from Colombia


Wendy, 7

“I would like them to tell me how they are doing, if they live with the family and for them to send me a photo.”

Katherine, 16

“I would like to know how their whole family is doing, and how he is doing since I last heard from him, how it’s been going in the [U.S.] Air Force, what has happened in his life since he last wrote.

“Also, what food he likes, if he is sick or well, his birthday so I can send a card and a happy birthday greeting, how old he is, if he lives with his children, if his wife is still alive, if he is a grandfather, if he still has his dogs.

“I’d like to know if he has received the letters I sent with thanks for his support and help. But the most important for me is to know how he is.”

Related links:

5 great letter-writing ideas for your sponsored friend

Dec 2 2011

Bob’s notes: How sponsorship gave Annamary an education

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

This report from the November 2011 mission awareness trip to India will come in two parts: Annamary’s story and the rest of the trip.

Annamary, CFCA sponsored child in India


Bob: Let me start with the inspiring story of Annamary, 11, a sponsored girl from a remote village in CFCA’s project in Bhalgalpur. What a joy for our sponsors to meet this young woman. What follows are Annamary’s own words.

Annamary: In the village where I live, there are about 100 families.

No electricity, no running water, no cooking gas and no toilets.

When the villagers have no work, women go to the forest to collect firewood.

Men get drunk and fight, and the children are always in their natural dress playing in the village lanes. I know this, because I was born in this village.

Like the other villagers, we live in a mud hut. There is my Papa, Sushil. He is always out looking for a job.

Every morning, my Mummy left us in her best dress. I did not know where she went. When I was 4, I had the job of babysitting my younger sister, Dolly, 6 months.

One day, I asked Mummy, “Where do you go every morning?” Read more of Annamary’s story

Sep 9 2011

How can I make Christmas special for my sponsored friend?

Ask Sponsor ServicesQ. How can I make Christmas special for my sponsored friend?

A. You can write a special message related to Christmas to your sponsored friend, perhaps with a family photo or card.

(A new feature this year is to send an eLetter once you’re logged in to your online sponsorship account!)

Another option is to donate to the CFCA Christmas Fund.

One hundred percent of your donation goes to provide Christmas celebrations and gifts for all children and aging friends in the CFCA program. Many of our projects also include families of sponsored members in the festivities.

Donating to the CFCA Christmas Fund is a very special present and is easy to do. Donate online, call Sponsor Services at (800) 875-6564, or use your remittance form from your sponsorship receipt.

Aug 29 2011

How to stay connected (CFCA ePublications)

CFCA sponsor Gus Rohde visits Glenda, his sponsored child in Guatemala, and her family

Gus Rohde, CFCA sponsor, center, visits his sponsored child, Glendy, and her family during a mission awareness trip to Guatemala in May 2011.

Several of you have expressed a desire to stay connected to CFCA’s work around the world.

We have several ePublications, each highlighting different initiatives:

  • eNewsletter: This monthly newsletter features stories, videos and news from around the world.
  • ePrayer: Each ePrayer comes weekly to your inbox. The subjects encompass CFCA communities around the world, including the U.S.
  • Rise and Dream: People interested in the CFCA documentary film may receive updates once a month.
  • Volunteer outreach: Interested in telling people about CFCA sponsorship, but don’t know how to start? We’ll give you ideas and inspiring stories on how to get more involved.
  • Youth minister resources: Quarterly lesson plans and resources for youth are available.

Interested in any or all these options? Check out this page to stay connected.

Jul 28 2011

Five ways to ‘visit’ your sponsored friend, part 5

Here’s the last post in our series, “Five ways to ‘visit’ your sponsored friend” that don’t involve an actual mission awareness trip!

Sandhya and family in India praying for CFCA sponsor

So far we have four ways:

1) Cook a meal native to your friend’s ethnic cuisine,
2) Do something your friend likes doing,
3) Research your friend’s country, and
4) Write letters.

The fifth is to:

5) Pray.

Sponsored friends treasure your prayers as well as your letters. Not only that, but they pray for you as well.

A video of Hazel, a sponsored child in El Salvador, shows her praying for her sponsor as well as her family.

Here’s a blessing from one sponsored youth to a husband and wife, his sponsors:

“God’s gift to me are people
Like you
So on wings of prayers
I whispered my thanks
To Him and ask Him
To bless you in
Countless ways, take care.”

We hope you enjoyed this series! What else do you do to connect with your sponsored friend? Feel free to leave us a comment below.

Jul 21 2011

Five ways to ‘visit’ your sponsored friend, part 4

We’re in the middle of a series, “Five ways to ‘visit’ your sponsored friend” that don’t involve an actual mission awareness trip!

Cinthya, sponsored through CFCA

Cinthya, a CFCA sponsored child in Nicaragua, writes a letter to her sponsor.

So far we have three ways:

1) Cook a meal native to your friend’s ethnic cuisine,
2) Do something your friend likes doing, and
3) Research your friend’s country.

The fourth is to:

4) Write letters.

Time and time again, we hear from sponsored friends about the value and impact that your letters have in their lives.

They also love to see your pictures!

We recently featured an interview with Edras, a sponsored child in Honduras.

He said about his sponsors, “I would ask them to continue writing me because it makes me very happy, more than any gift that they would send me.”

Writers’ block? Here are some tips and tricks to help you get started:

Related links

Jul 20 2011

Illinois girl raises money for fishing nets in Philippines

Eleven-year-old Lily Camp, daughter of CFCA sponsors Laura and Chris Camp, will be interviewed tomorrow morning by a radio host in Springfield, Ill., to talk about her project to raise money for her familyís sponsored child.

Lily Camp raises money for fishing nets in the Philippines

Lily Camp with her “Pew Babies.”

Fourteen-year-old Siera, who lives in the Philippines, wrote and told the Camps that her family could not afford to keep her in school.

Siera lives in a remote fishing village, and even with CFCA sponsorship, transportation costs are very high.

Fishing is her familyís sole source of income, but Sieraís father could only borrow an old, worn-out net from a neighbor.

The Camps called CFCA asking what they could do, and learned from the family that the purchase of two fishing nets, costing a total of $235, would significantly increase the familyís income.

Lily then went to Goodwill and bought sheets to make rag dolls called ìPew Babies.î By selling these dolls for $10 apiece, Lily raised money to purchase the fishing nets.

Thanks to her efforts, the fishing nets will boost the familyís income and help keep Siera in school!

Lily and her father are going to WTAX for a 7:40 a.m., in-studio interview with Morning Newswatch host Bob Murray on Thursday, July 21.

We’re so grateful for your generosity and service, Lily! God bless in everything you do.

Jul 18 2011

CFCA social worker discusses community transformation

Luis Cocon, our communications liaison in Guatemala, interviewed Alberto, a CFCA social worker in Colmenas, Guatemala. Alberto, known affectionately as ìDon Beto,î has worked in Colmenas since 2004 and through CFCA, brought the first outside help the residents had received.

The community transformation since CFCAís arrival there has been impressive, owing partly to Don Betoís dedication and the people’s motivation to see their community thrive. (See a video about the transformation.)

Alberto, CFCA social worker in Colmenas

Alberto, or “Don Beto”

When and how did you start in CFCA?

In 2004 when I began working in Colmenas.

I had always longed to work with people from a remote and marginalized community; I decided to work because of my love and compassion for these families and the conditions in which they survived.

After 10 days of meeting people I decided to come with all my things to live here and I stayed at the school in the community.

My first goal was to diagnose the situation and the families’ needs. That helped me determine what kind of crops could be cultivated, and it also allowed the people’s participation.

I lived in Colmenas for five years.

What struck you in Colmenas?

The homes: these little houses were built of nylon, one narrow room and the whole family lived there. Even their dogs slept in the same place because there was no space.

They had dirt floors and lots of dust; there were no latrines; and I saw many children with poor health. The community was abandoned by the authorities and there was no vehicle access because they had no roads.

I had never seen children in such extreme conditions of malnutrition. I felt compassion, sadness and I remembered my home; I compared my life to them and realized that I am a millionaire before these families.

How did you encourage people?

I started by providing training about hygiene and health.

Giving examples of other communities where I had previously worked, I encouraged them by providing spaces for their participation in the program.

In addition I frequently visited families to show my interest and listen to them. I invited them to watch videos about hygiene and about Pope John Paul II.

People understood everything because it is more visual with video and photos. In general the community of Colmenas was anxious and wanted a change.

What personal sacrifices did you have to make?

Read more…

Jul 14 2011

Five ways to ‘visit’ your sponsored friend, part 3

We’re in the middle of a series about five ways to “visit” your sponsored friend that don’t involve an actual mission awareness trip!

CFCA mission awareness trip to Costa Rica

A CFCA mission awareness trip to Costa Rica.

So far we have two ways:

1) Cook a meal native to your friend’s ethnic cuisine and 2) Do something your friend likes doing.

The third is to:

3) Research your friend’s country.

Our country pages are a great place to start. Watch a video, see photos and learn more about your friend’s community.

Questions to consider:

ï Is your friend’s community urban or rural? Is transportation accessible?
ï What is the traditional costume of your friend’s country? Do you know the history behind it?
ï What’s the weather like?
ï The U.S. Census fact sheet from its 2005-2009 survey found that the average U.S. family size was 3.19. What’s the average family size for your friend’s country?
ï What is the country’s school system? The language(s) spoken there?
ï Does knowing more about the country help you understand your friend better? Why or why not?

Related links