Tag: Haiti

Feb 3 2010

On the other side

Nelson Figueroa, Santo Domingo project coordinator, shares a Dominican’s view of the earthquake that struck their island.

As you know, our island was jolted by a strong earthquake that affected, above all, our neighboring country of Haiti, especially the city of Port-au-Prince. Seen from this side of the island, the panorama could not be much darker. The latent reality today is that all the hospitals in our country are filled beyond capacity with our injured Haitian brothers and sisters.

From the capital, Santo Domingo, to the border zone that is serving as a bridge for the arriving international help, the hospitals in our country are not only overflowing with patients, but they are also being filled with concerned relatives in search of information about their missing family members.

The day after the earthquake, in Santo Domingo, there was a collective sound of sirens coming in all directions from ambulances, carrying the injured to the health centers. Those with means flew by helicopter to the health center CEDIMART in Santo Domingo and the Metropolitan Hospital in the city of Santiago.

Our country felt the tremor, but it did not affect the physical structures as much as it did the family structures. Hundreds of families have not seen their family members return because many of the Haitian companies they worked for have collapsed. To cite an example, my oldest daughterís classmate lost her father. They heard him alive in the rubble, but he lost his life while they were trying to rescue him two days after the quake. It is estimated that there are hundreds of Dominicans who have died.

The tragedy affects the whole territory, and emotionally, we are all sorrowful. We do not escape the shadow of this catastrophe that has affected our neighbor.

In our territory there have been a variety of fundraising activities, and truthfully, solidarity has overflowed these days, which has helped to alleviate a little of the tension that has always existed between the two countries. People can now be seen hugging each other in pain, united by one cause, forgetting their differences and prioritizing the human being.

Tragedy makes us see that we are all children of the same God, and in our case, connected by a single territory, sharing the same island, and therefore we endure the same suffering. We live sheltered in the hope of ending our disagreements and uniting ourselves as brothers and sisters who share the same rays of the sun.

Jan 13 2010

Praying for Haiti

Our hearts are heavy as we think about the millions of people affected by the earthquake that shook Haiti yesterday.

Please join us as we pray for all those impacted by this terrible natural disaster.†

We’re thankful that CFCA communities in Haiti did not suffer physical injuries or damage. To learn more about the impact on CFCA projects in the area, please read the news story on the CFCA website.

Jul 2 2009

Celebrating freedom

On the Fourth of July, Americans will gather to celebrate Independence Day with fireworks, parades and picnics. Although the United States and the countries CFCA partners with do not celebrate independence on the same date, we share many customs and events.

In Central America, most countries celebrate their independence on Sept. 15 with parades and music. The running of the Central American Freedom Torch from Guatemala to Costa Rica, taking a total of 14 days, reenacts the news of their independence spreading through Central America.

South Americans celebrate with large celebrations, flying flags, parades, fireworks and feasting. In India, all cities have Flag Hoisting Ceremonies run by politicians and other officials. Indian schoolchildren gather to sing songs and watch the hoisting of the flag.

Under colonization, Haitians were forbidden to eat soup, a meal reserved for the upper classes. Now on Independence Day, it is traditional to eat soup to demonstrate the equality of all citizens.

People of the Philippines celebrate their independence with ceremonies, historic exhibitions and memorial events. Festivities begin with a flag-raising ceremony and parade in the historic city of Cavite, where Filipinos first proclaimed their independence.

We would like to encourage you to research how the country your friend lives in celebrates its independence. And from all of us at CFCA, we wish you a safe and wonderful Independence Day.

The Independence Days of the countries CFCA partners with are listed below.

Jan. 1
Feb. 27
Dominican Republic
May 24
June 12
June 26
July 5
July 20
July 26
July 28
Aug. 6
Aug. 15
Sept. 7
Sept. 15
Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua
Sept. 16
Sept. 18
Oct. 9
Dec. 9
Dec. 12


Updated July 1, 2011

Jun 16 2009

Haitian proverbs

A high illiteracy rate in Haiti has contributed to a strong oral tradition. Elders pass their knowledge and wisdom to younger generations in the form of clever and poetic proverbs, as contained in this slideshow.

You can also watch Haitian proverbs on our Vimeo channel.

Watch a report about Haiti in Notes from the field.

Jun 15 2009

Notes from the field #8 ó Haiti

Dan Pearson from international programs department traveled to Haiti to assess the CFCA program there. Pearson reports that the country’s lack of a basic infrastructure makes it difficult to earn a living. Yet despite the many hardships Haitians face, he sees a strength and courage from the people that inspires reverence and respect.

You can also watch Notes from the field #8 ó Haiti on our Vimeo channel.

Related links
Haitians have a strong oral tradition. Watch this short video slideshow of Haitian proverbs.
Check out all of CFCA’s Notes from the field series.

Mar 6 2009

Strength and Power

On March 8, the world will celebrate International Women’s Day to honor the various achievements of women everywhere. While we still have a long way to go until women are considered full and equal partners, progress is being made, one woman at a time. Next week we will share with you just a few of the inspiring stories of the many women who grace our projects around the world.

By Dan Pearson, international programs

I was in India for six months working with one of CFCAís projects, and I joined a gym while I was here. It was a small gym, but I really enjoyed going there. One morning at the gym I was silently congratulating myself for increasing the weight on one of my exercises when, precisely at that moment, something outside the window caught my eye. I noticed a small woman, probably weighing about 100 pounds, walking down the street. She was balancing a bundle on her head that was about four feet wide, four feet long, and three feet tall. In her arms she was carrying her child. And there was a plastic chair tied to the top of the bundle on her head. And it was raining outside. Suddenly the incremental weight increase on my exercise didnít seem so impressive.

Seeing that woman reminded me of a similar experience I had many years ago in Haiti. I was helping build a medical clinic in the mountains, and since I had no real building skills I was given the job of bringing water to mix the concrete. The crew leader handed me a 5-gallon bucket and told me to follow a trail down, down, down the mountain to the river. I filled my bucket in the river and began the long walk up the steep mud trail. It was pretty hard work, but I was in my early 20s and in pretty good shape at the time. I stumbled a few times, and each time I stumbled some water spilled out of the bucket. After several stumbles, the job became more manageable. All in all, I felt like I was doing pretty well until someone†passed me on the trail moving very quickly. I barely caught a glimpse of her as she passed by. In just a few seconds she was out of view ahead of me. She was a girl about 11 or 12 years old. She was also carrying a 5-gallon bucket of water. Hers was still full.

The difference between strength and power
CFCA seeks to empower women, particularly the mothers of sponsored children. Sometimes that word ëempowermentí is misunderstood, creating the image of weak and helpless women. But thereís a big difference between strength and power. The mothers of sponsored children in India have no shortage of strength. And the same goes for the mothers of sponsored children in the other countries where CFCA works.

The strongest people on Earth
I have visited many places and met a lot of people all around the world, and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the strongest people anywhere on Earth are the mothers who live in the poorest communities in the world. They are mentally strong, emotionally strong, spiritually strong and, yes, physically strong. Tens of millions of mothers who live in the desperate corners of the planet get up each and every day regardless of how they feel and in spite of the overwhelming and unjust obstacles they face, and they do whatever it takes to give their kids life and a little hope for something better. Each of those women has a strength I canít even understand.

What they often lack is power. Power doesnít always have a lot to do with how strong you are. Power is about living in a society and an economy that allow you to fully use your strength. If you have power, you can use your strength how you see fit. If you donít have power, you are only allowed to use your strength to do the things that no one else wants to do (like carrying buckets of water up a mountain).

Empowering mothers
When CFCA talks about empowering the mothers of sponsored children, we do so with deep respect for the strength these women already demonstrate every day. All weíre doing is looking for ways to support their efforts to create for themselves a little more space, a little more power, so they can more fully use their strength. They deserve at least that much.

An opportunity for mothers(Part 1)
Support in a time of need (Part 2)
Mothers share their talents to improve their community (Part 3)
Creating role models close to home (Part 4)

Dec 31 2008

Ringing in the New Year in the CFCA community

By the CFCA Prayer Team

As we give thanks for the old year and look with anticipation to the new one, let us walk in solidarity with our sisters and brothers around the world throughout the day. We have listed below the time it will be here in the United States when the New Year arrives at each of our projects. We encourage you to say a quick prayer for each of the projects as your day progresses.

Country Pacific Mountain Central Eastern
Philippines 8:00 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 10:00 a.m. 11:00 a.m.
India and Sri Lanka 10:30 a.m. 11:30 a.m. 12:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m.
Tanzania, Uganda,
Madagascar, Kenya
1:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m.
Nigeria 3:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m.
Liberia 4:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m.
Brazil 6:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 8:00 p.m. 9:00 p.m.
Chile 7:00 p.m. 8:00 p.m. 9:00 p.m. 10:00 p.m.
Bolivia, Dominican Republic 8:00 p.m. 9:00 p.m. 10:00 p.m. 11:00 p.m.
Venezuela 8:30 p.m. 9:30 p.m. 10:30 p.m. 11:30 p.m.
Colombia, Ecuador,
Haiti, Jamaica, Peru
9:00 p.m. 10:00 p.m. 11:00 p.m. 12:00 a.m.
Costa Rica, El Salvador,
Guatemala, Honduras,
Mexico, Nicaragua
10:00 p.m. 11:00 p.m. 12:00 a.m.
1:00 a.m.

Please pray:

Gracious God, I pray for my sisters and brothers in ______. May the New Year bring them hope, joy and peace.

And from all of us at CFCA, we pray the New Year also brings you hope, joy and peace!

Receive CFCA’s weekly Prayer Partners e-mail.