By Regina Mburu, CFCA communications liaison for Africa
On March 4, Kenya held a general election in which the president, senators, county governors and members of parliament were chosen. Regina Mburu, CFCA communications liaison for Africa, is from Kenya and voted in the election. Regina shares her story of voting, of patiently waiting for the results and hoping peace would prevail.
As dawn broke and the sun made its way up to brighten the rather dull skies, my country, Kenya, was ready to usher in a new era ó one that the people hoped would bring along good tidings.
As early as 4 a.m. on March 4, Kenyans were already lined up in different polling stations all over the country, eagerly waiting to cast their votes.
The atmosphere was full of excitement, but at the same time there was tension hidden behind the smiles. The events of the 2007 election, in which more than 1,000 people were killed, were still fresh on the minds of many. Read more
“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies awareness trip participants. You can see Bob’s full update on his Facebook page.
Heartfelt greetings from Kenya.
I am very grateful to the Kansas City awareness trip team and the staff in Kenya for all of their preparation for this journey.
Photo credits for this report go to Regina Mburu, CFCA communications liaison for Africa. Regina was with the group for the entire trip. Don’t miss her latest blog post, which features her reflection about her visit to Madagascar.
The estimated 2012 population in Kenya topped 43 million, with more than 3 million living in Nairobi, the capital and largest city. Read more
You’ve probably heard the English idiom, “Every Tom, Dick and Harry,” to refer to the general population.
For many parts of the world, that wouldn’t make sense because those three names are relatively unusual.
In Madagascar, for example, the idiom might read more like, “Every Haja, Mamy and Andriniaina!”
Here are some common boy and girl names from some countries and regions where CFCA works:
El Salvador, Colombia and other Latin American countries
Names such as Juan, Jose, Ana and Maria abound in Latin American countries. Some common sources of inspiration come from close relatives, famous people, Biblical names and popular foreign names.
“Many years ago you could choose a foreign name without a problem, but nowadays you have to prove the meaning and the origin when you go to get the baby’s birth certificate in the city hall,” said Naresli Calito, a CFCA staffer in El Salvador. Read more
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.
We give you a window into several CFCA communities, to gauge the success of the Hope for a Family sponsorship program.
Hope for a Family in Nakuru, KenyaA stone art gallery is tucked away down a bustling street in Nakuru,Kenya. Inside, beautiful wood and glass pieces, intricately woven baskets and skillfully sewn dresses are displayed across the spacious room.
The owners, Patrick and Rose, are passionate about their work.
Like entrepreneurs around the world, they honed their skills and opened this shop as a way to provide for their family.
Patrick and Rose are part of the CFCA family in Nakuru, Kenya.
Their son, Kevin, is sponsored, and Rose is a member of a CFCA mothers group in the area. The family was able to attain a loan to start their business through Rose’s mothers group. Read more
Today is Election Day in the United States.We are especially grateful today that we live in a country where we have the freedom to vote and make our voices heard.
At CFCA, we try to operate as though our sponsored friends are voting on every decision we make.
Read what some of our staff members had to say:
“When we face difficult decisions, we try to see the situation from the perspective of sponsored friends and their families. Ö How can we listen to them more closely, see CFCAís work through their eyes, amplify their voices and be guided by their wisdom?”
ó Dan Pearson, director of international programs
“For financial decisions, our platform is simple but taken very seriously: What is in the best interests of the children, youth and aging friends we are blessed to serve? For CFCA, election time comes each time a donor is considering a gift. We welcome being accountable for their vote.”
ó Bill Hansen, accounting manager for the finance department
“The children, youth and elderly are present among us daily in child services through their photos and family profiles. We take great care with every detail shared about each life. We wish to present them in their best light, as we know they would vote to be presented as dignified human beings with as much to give as they will receive.”
ó Marcia Willman, director of child services
“Every member of the CFCA community of compassion has a voice and a vote. We listen carefully to one another and the belief we have, one in the other, is a daily vote of confidence. This vote of confidence, this faith in one another is at the heart of sponsors walking a path into solidarity with sponsored friends and their families, who are walking a path out of poverty.”
ó Paco Wertin, CEO for CFCA
By Regina Muburu, CFCA communications correspondent for Africa
It is a hot Tuesday afternoon and sponsored children are gathered at a local CFCA office in Kenya, with their books and pens, keenly following what they are being taught.
The teachers of the day are Vincent, who is pursuing a degree in business administration and accounting, and his colleague, Kevin, who is enrolled at a local university studying for a bachelor of commerce degree.
The two students are both 23 years old and part of the CFCA Scholarship Program.
“As scholars we volunteer hours of community service to the CFCA office helping out in various duties. It is during this period that we noticed that the children in our area were not performing well [in school],” Vincent said. “Looking at the report cards as scholarship students, we felt there was a need to step in and help.”
The two scholars decided to create an academic club for sponsored children who needed extra help with their studies.
The club is facilitated by 17 scholars who choose different subjects, in which they excel, to tutor the sponsored children. These subjects include mathematics, business education, science and geography. Read more
When Collins, a young boy in Kenya, joined the Hope for a Family sponsorship program, his mother Roseline embraced the CFCA mothers group and took steps to transform her family’s life.
“In our group we share ideas on business ventures and we also encourage each other on personal matters. Ö Our slogan is ‘Jikaze,’ which means ‘do not give up,'” Roseline said.
Through the Hope for a Family sponsorship program, CFCA offers opportunities for families to achieve economic self-sufficiency through mothers groups and other activities.
Roseline is the secretary for her mothers group. She takes the minutes at each meeting and is also the signatory.
Through the mothers group, Roseline has been able to start her own business, something that would not have been possible without the loan she received from her mothers group last September.
Roseline used the loan to purchase 23 tins of millet, which is a type of grain grown widely around the world for cereal. Roseline re-sells the millet to earn additional income for her family.
She has since opened a bank account to save the profits she earns because she is planning to expand her business in the future.
“I would like to encourage my fellow mothers to work hard and make use of the help that CFCA gives them through the CFCA support groups,” Roseline said. “My wish is to see my children succeed in life and help the needy in society.”
Busy as a bee! The phrase fits Wanjiru, mother of three children in the Hope for a Family sponsorship program, since she started harvesting honey to provide for her family.
CFCA helped Wanjiru with the protective gear she needed, and she now feels much more confident when working with the bees.
Wanjiru sells her honey locally and in different quantities so it is affordable for everyone.
Watch the video to learn more about how Wanjiru harvests honey.
“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.
Photo credits for Kenya and Uganda go to Regina Muburu, CFCA communications liaison for Africa. Photo credits for Madagascar go to Paul Pearce, CFCA director of global strategy.
It’s always a joy to be in touch with you, this time from Africa. Together with Paul Pearce, CFCA director of global strategy, and Karen Allemang, CFCA trips and international volunteer manager.
I had the privilege of accompanying a wonderful group of CFCA sponsors on this September 2012 journey to Kenya and Uganda.
Paul and I also visited the CFCA project in Antsirabe, Madagascar. Read more