Sujatha selling fruits.
Sujatha and her husband, Joseph, (far right) sell bananas and other fruits from their puller cart.
We recently heard from our Hyderabad project in India about several mothers of sponsored children who are exemplifying the potential of families living in poverty. Here’s the story of Sujatha, enjoy!
My husband used to work as a daily laborer for a contractor. He would sell bananas on the side of the road from morning until late in the evening. The contractor would only pay $2.77 USD per day.
We were never assured of a regular income. If my husband fell ill or if the contractor didn’t have fruits to sell, we lost our income for that day.
My husband and I decided together to purchase a puller cart (a large, flat cart with handles used to sell items), so we could sell bananas on our own.
My daughter, Shoba, is sponsored through CFCA. In January, I obtained a loan through my CFCA mothers group and bought a puller cart. Luckily, a store owner allowed us to place our cart in front of his shop on the main road.
My husband goes to purchase the fruits, and I manage the stand until he returns. When he arrives with the new fruits, he continues the work and I go home to manage the household work.
The group loan helped us to purchase the puller cart and the fruits we sell. Now we are receiving a good income to support our family. We are planning to take out another loan through my mothers group, so we can purchase a second puller cart and sell a wider variety of fruits.
My dream is to own our own home and also give a better future to my two daughters.
I am also interested in helping people. I learned this charity from my daughter’s sponsors.
Homemade Guatemalan tortillas … mmm!
Unbound, formerly CFCA, serves more than 83,000 sponsored children and elderly in Guatemala. A great way to feel connected to the people of Guatemala is to make food from the region.
Elizabeth, mother of an Unbound sponsored youth in Guatemala, Florita, shows how to make these delicious corn tortillas from scratch! Read more
Meena preparing dosa, an Indian food.
We recently heard from our Hyderabad project in India about several mothers of sponsored children who are exemplifying the potential of families living in poverty. Here’s the story of Meena, enjoy!
Ours is a large family. We have a total of 12 people staying under one roof.
I am the eldest daughter-in-law of the family. My husband and his two brothers run a food delivery service on the side of a busy street. The other ladies of the household and I support them by preparing chutneys, curries, mixing the flour for dosa (a type of crepe or flat pancake) and also by washing dishes.
My husband’s family has been in this business since before we were married. My son, Shiva, is sponsored through CFCA.
When I got the opportunity to take a loan from my CFCA mothers group for the first time, I purchased a grinder.
Before this, we used to mix the dough and grind it manually in a stone grinder.
Now with the help of an electric grinder, our work is much easier. Read more
Coconut bread from Guatemala Ö mmm!
CFCA serves approximately 84,000 sponsored children and elderly in Guatemala. Here is a recipe from Isabel, mother of a sponsored child in Guatemala, who makes and sells coconut bread to help her family’s income. This recipe makes approximately 20 pieces of bread. Get the full recipe
By Judy-Anne Goldman, CFCA multimedia manager/producer
Juana, the mother of two CFCA sponsored children, cleans scallions, also known as spring onions, for 8 hours a day, three days a week in a small town in Guatemala.
Does she get tired of onions after all that time? “No!” Juana said. Her appreciation only grows. “Our onions are good. People in other towns and countries come to buy them. You should try them grilled,” she suggested. “It will make your mouth water!”
From left: Lucia, Zoila, Ramos and Juana start their work day at 8 a.m. and finish at 5 p.m., peeling spring onions that are a delicious part of local meals. Lucia and Juana are mothers of CFCA sponsored children, Zoila is sponsored through CFCA, and Ramos is a former sponsored child. Read more
CFCA has joined Blog Action Day, which asks bloggers to post about the same issue on the same day. This year, the subject is about food.
According to the Blog Action Day website, this is “an opportunity to open the conversation about how food impacts all of us ñ individually and globally.”
We’ll start with the global overview on food and then focus on something you can do individually to connect with your sponsored friend through eating (always a fun activity!).
Globally ñ putting food on the table
To improve long-term food security, CFCA has a food assistance fund to support the nutritional and food security needs for families in our sponsorship program.
See this video from our archives about how sponsorship benefits and CFCA food grants can help families put food on the table for years, even after sponsorship has ended.
A powerful way to connect with people from different cultures is to prepare and taste food from their own countries.
We’ve collected a wealth of recipes from the countries in which CFCA works. Perhaps for Blog Action Day, you could try one or two of these!
How does this topic affect you and your family? We welcome your comments!
Olla de carne y verduras, or a pot of meat and vegetables, fresh and steaming from Costa Rica!
CFCA serves more than 7,000 sponsored children and elderly in Costa Rica. Our staff members there sent us this recipe for olla de carne y verduras, roughly translated: a pot of meat and vegetables.
This recipe is for four to five people. See the recipe
Chapattis with egg curry and onions … mmm!
CFCA serves approximately 34,000 sponsored children and elderly in India. Sreekanth Gundoji, our communications liaison in Hyderabad, India, sends us this gorgeous recipe for chapattis and egg curry!
Chapattis are the perfect accompaniment to most Indian dishes. They can be eaten with meat and vegetarian curries, fruits, jam, yogurt, butter, chutneys, pickles, etc.
This recipe is for two to three people. See the recipe and pictures
If you haven’t yet been on a mission awareness trip with CFCA, you can still connect with your sponsored friend in other ways. For the next few weeks, we’ll feature five ways you can “visit” your friend.
Liberty Sementelli, left, helps women in Guatemala with their chocolate business. Read her amazing story of how she raised $1,500 for a chocolate grinding machine.
The first is:
1) Cook a meal native to your friend’s ethnic cuisine.
You can learn a lot about a culture from its cuisine. For instance, why do countries with hot climates have hot food? Do the main dishes contain meat, or can they be made with vegetables (usually much more economical)?
Here are just a few suggestions:
You can find many of these ethnic recipes online.
These make great family dinners and conversation starters. For instance, what is similar and what is different from your usual dining fare?
After sampling food from another country, consider writing about your meal in your next letter. You could also ask what your friend’s favorite food is, and why.
Have you ìvisitedî your friend through food? If so, what dishes have you prepared or sampled?
Chocolate has been part of Latin American culture for 2,000 years. Today, most Latin American cultures serve hot chocolate with tamales during the Christmas season.
In Guatemala, Claudia Mariela and her family live in the community of El Chocolate, so of course, chocolate is part of their lives.
Claudia is the mother of six children, three of whom are sponsored in CFCA’s Hope for a Family program.
Watch this video of Claudia Mariela making Guatemalan hot chocolate, then try making your own using this easy recipe.
Hot chocolate (makes about 2 quarts)
- 2 7-oz. bars of drinking chocolate (brands such as Ibarra and Abuelita can be found at Hispanic markets)
- 2 quarts of water
- Cinnamon sticks (optional)
- Milk and sugar (optional)
Bring the water to a full, rolling boil.
While the water is coming to a boil, chop up the chocolate or grind it in a blender or food processor. This will help the chocolate dissolve faster. You can also just add the chocolate as is from the box.
Add the chocolate to the boiling water. Stir constantly until the chocolate is dissolved.
Add milk, cinnamon sticks and sugar according to your taste. This chocolate is so rich that you don’t have to add milk.
Lower the heat to medium and continue cooking until well blended, about 15-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve piping hot with tamales. Make your own Christmas tamales.
Want to know the story behind the CFCA mothers group who run a chocolate-making business? Click here to read more.