Tag: community

Apr 3 2013

Helping families achieve self-sufficiency, part 3: Guatemala

CFCA sponsored friend

Floridalma and her daughters, Bridia (left), sponsored through CFCA, and Lilian (right).

By Kristin Littrell, CFCA correspondent

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

Mar 15 2013

Helping families achieve self-sufficiency, part 2: Antipolo, Philippines

By Kristin Littrell, CFCA correspondent

 water hyacinth products

Beng in her storefront selling her water hyacinth products.

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 second 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.

Water still covers the path to the home of Kuya and Beng, parents of a sponsored child in the Philippines. The area has yet to dry out from monsoon rains that recently hit their community.

Kuya and Beng live with their family in a small home, made of bamboo and plywood, just 5 meters from the lake’s edge.

Like many in their small fishing village, they depend on the lake for their livelihood. Kuya owns a banca (a small fishing boat) and a fish cage.

But the fishing hasn’t been going so well lately.

Water hyacinth, a highly invasive aquatic plant, has hurt the local fishing business. The water hyacinth grows densely along the shore, making it difficult for fishing boats to navigate. The plant also prevents sunlight from entering the water, which reduces the food supply for the fish. Read more

Mar 13 2013

Wishing for a well: Community gets clean water source

By Jordan Kimbrell, CFCA Sponsor Services

Oliver's village
A rural village, west of Antsirabe, Madagascar, is home to a small farming community.

Farming is one of the main sources of income in the Antsirabe region, and the members of this community rely on it.

families in Madagascar

In 2011, Dolores Reed from Paducah, Ky., who sponsors Olivier in this region of Madagascar, learned from an article that many people in the country don’t have easy access to clean water for drinking, cooking or watering the crops in seasons when rainfall is scarce.

She learned through CFCA that Olivier’s village lacked ready access to clean water. The community where he lives relied on streams, which also served as drinking water for the livestock.

“They didn’t have [good access to] water,” Dolores said. “We take water for granted.” Read more

Feb 27 2013

Elderly woman finds hope in sponsorship

InesInes, a sponsored aging friend in El Salvador, has experienced much loss in her life.

Through CFCA’s Hope for a Family program, Ines and all sponsored aging friends can renew their sense of hope and well-being.

CFCA provides benefits such as food, health care and clothing for older adults, but one of the most important benefits we provide is friendship.

For some sponsored aging friends, CFCA gatherings and events are their only time for social interaction.

Ines tells her story in this beautiful video.

Feb 26 2013

CFCA supports Operation Breakthrough

Elizabeth-AlexBy Elizabeth Alex, CFCA community outreach and media relations director

There is a special spot in the corner classroom of the “Green Neighborhood” in a place called Operation Breakthrough.

With blue and brown eyes shining, pink and purple hair beads flopping, and big smiles on happy faces, preschool children sang songs, created priceless paintings and cut dozens of artistic paper creations for CFCA staff who had come to visit the child care center and preschool, which happens to be just up the street from CFCA offices in Kansas City.

Operation Breakthrough

CFCA’s CEO, Paco Wertin, left, with his new friend, Andrew, at Operation Breakthrough in Kansas City.

Four-year-old Andrew was particularly eager to make a new friend, immediately slinging his arm around CEO Paco Wertin while CFCA’s Barclay Martin began playing his guitar.

“When you look into those beautiful eyes of the Operation Breakthrough kids, you can’t help but see the children in the countries where we work around the world,” Paco said.

CFCA has made a commitment to benefit 20 children who spend their days in the Green Neighborhood classroom of Operation Breakthrough.

A $15,000 grant will not only fund early education for the children, but will also help social workers provide one-on-one guidance for parents on issues such as housing, job searches and the everyday stress of raising children.

Operation Breakthrough is one place these 3- and 4-year-olds can come to learn, play and be loved in a safe environment, since the world just outside this inner-city child care center can be scary.

One-fourth of the children who arrive at Operation Breakthrough each day are homeless. The sounds of gun shots, police sirens and despairing voices are part of their everyday reality. Read more

Feb 25 2013

A CFCA staffer’s trip to exotic Madagascar

Regina Mburu

Regina Mburu, our communications liaison for Africa, recently returned from a trip to Madagascar to cover the stories of sponsored friends and their families. Regina is from Kenya.

Recently I had the opportunity to visit our CFCA project in Madagascar. I was all packed up and excited at the thought of visiting this beautiful island country.

After a smooth flight, we landed in Antananarivo, the capital city of Madagascar. CFCA staff members were already at the airport waiting for me, and in this land miles away from my motherland, I felt at home.

Our drive to Antsirabe, which is three hours from the capital city, was a bit scary. The road was very curvy with many turns and bends. However, the beautiful landscape and tracks of rice paddies made my fear fade away. Read more

Feb 6 2013

Indigenous group obtains recognition of ancestral lands

Dumagats

Chieftain Rogelio plays a tune for his grandson, Erick, right-center, and two other children, Myrna, left, and Joshua, far right.

Deep in the lush mountains of the northern Philippines, an indigenous tribe lives respectfully with nature.

Meet the Dumagats.

The Dumagat indigenous community has lived in the mountains and lowlands of the Philippines for a thousand years.

They have slowly been pushed out of their home by logging, overfishing and encroaching landowners.

They could do nothing to address these problems because they never officially held a title to their lands.

And without guidance and assistance, they were hesitant to begin the painstaking documentation needed to obtain a title.

Until they partnered with CFCA.

Read the amazing story of the Dumagat indigenous community and how they worked with local CFCA staffers to gain the recognition of their ancestral domain.

Feb 4 2013

Guatemala yearns for a community with compassion

Luis Cocon, CFCA-Guatemalaa-2012By Luis Cocon, CFCA communications center liaison in Guatemala

It is painful to see my country bleed.

The bodies of two little girls, ages 6 and 12, were found on Jan. 16 dumped on a street in Guatemala City. Police said that both girls had been asphyxiated.

As I watched the evening news, I could not help but think of what these helpless children went through and the pain that their family was suffering. I was moved; our whole country was moved. These could have been our own children.

Violence has affected my life and the lives of those in my country in many ways. It has affected the way we live, play and go about our daily lives.

I remember as a child playing in my neighborhood streets for as long as I wanted, even after street lights came on. My children cannot enjoy that kind of freedom. Read more

Sep 8 2010

CFCA invites you to take the Hope Challenge

CFCA's Hope Challenge

We have many children, youth and elderly friends waiting for sponsors through CFCA. Weíve promised to do our best to help them, but itís been tough finding new sponsors in the current economic climate.

So how do we answer this challenge? With hope and your help.

We need your help getting the word out to people in your community. Here is what we are asking you to do from Sept. 15 to Dec. 15:

1. Ask us for a sponsorship kit. Contact the outreach volunteer team at 800.875.6564 or cfcaoutreach@cfcausa.org. The kit includes folders (let us know how many youíd like), a CFCA tablecloth, a tabletop sign and a promotional poster. The folders each include a family profile and photo of a child, youth and aging friend waiting for sponsorship, along with information about CFCA.

2. Host a sponsorship table. Where? At your church, civic group meeting or book club gathering ó wherever you find people of good will.

3. Host a sponsorship party. Invite friends and family to your home and introduce them to sponsorship. You can tell them about your own experience and share your pictures and letters received from your sponsored friend.

4. Take this challenge using social media. Pass along the word about CFCA through your Facebook page, blog site, Twitter account and any other social media outlets youíre using.

5. Try. Thatís all we ask. One, two, five or 10 new sponsors make a huge difference when we all put forth an effort!

Jan 19 2009

Creating King’s beloved community

By Paco Wertin, CFCA chief executive officer

No individual can live alone, no nation can live alone, and anyone who feels that he can live alone is sleeping through a revolution. The world in which we live is geographically one. The challenge that we face today is to make it one in terms of brotherhood.

ñ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1968

I see and feel a kinship with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and CFCA as we celebrate his birthday.

He believed in the beloved community, in which all people can share the wealth of the earth and that obstacles like poverty, racism and war can be overcome if we learn to resolve conflict non-violently, together.

I find an echo of that in the words of CFCA president and co-founder, Bob Hentzen:

“Building community is essentially an effort to reestablish the basic freedom of God’s humble people. In striving to build a community in the style of Jesus, we can expect opposition and persecution. We want to promote a new view of globalization, one in which we put into international motion a true sharing of the resources of God’s creation. We want the resources and goods of this earth to favor unity, not separation.”

This community is based on new relationships forged between those who have and those who do not have what is necessary to live. The first step is overcoming obstacles. Obstacles can be lack of nutrition, lack of access to health care, education and skills development, and lack of community and hope. The next step is having choices. Having choices means freedom. So free from the obstacles, we can be free for creating community.

CFCA communities in India and Africa express their desire to overcome all that is in the way of forging these new relationships by singing “We Shall Overcome” at their gatherings.

We join them in that song and deep in our heart, in kinship with Dr. King, we pray:

With you, O God, we are a liberating force of love in our world today.