Tag: Liberia

Dec 29 2009

Let’s all go for a Walk2gether

CFCA staff in Kansas City walk around the warehouse.CFCA staff members in Kansas City took a symbolic walk of solidarity on Dec. 29, the same day that the 8,000-mile Walk2gether started in Guatemala.

Approximately 60 employees met in the community room at 9 a.m. to hear a report about the launch of Walk2gether, pray for the safety of the walkers and then make a short walk of solidarity.

Because a pre-Christmas blizzard left high snow drifts and dangerous ice on sidewalks, the walk was held inside instead of outdoors as originally planned. The Kansas City walkers followed a mile-long route marked by yellow boot prints inside the warehouse that is part of the CFCA headquarters.

The walk in Kansas City occurred at about the time the Guatemala walkers, led by CFCA President Bob Hentzen, were scheduled to make their first stop for breakfast. They began at about 4 a.m. and were due to walk 24 miles on the first day of the journey.

Other CFCA projects and employees held their own symbolic events for the Walk2gether kick-off.

At the Monrovia project in Liberia, staff and sponsored members spent the day volunteering at community hospitals.

In Ecuador, the Guayaquil project hosted solidarity walks 10 kilometers in length in areas where they have sponsored members.

The Bluefields subprojects in the northeast corner of Nicaragua will have a night vigil, where families, sponsored members and staff will join together in prayer. Throughout the duration of the walk, they will hold morning prayers and ask God to give both physical and spiritual strength to the walkers and to all of the families who will accompany them on this journey.

One employee, Jerry Gladbach of the Child Services department in Kansas City, made his own show of support for Walk2gether. He strapped cleats onto winter boots and walked 1-1/2 miles to work over snow and ice.

“I’m trying to be in solidarity with the walkers,” Gladbach said.

During the community meeting in Kansas City, CEO Paco Wertin led a prayer of blessing for the walk and its participants.

“Bob’s walk of unity unites all cultures, genders and creeds,” Wertin said. “It’s a way that helps us hear the cry of those living in poverty. He is carrying a message that you are not alone. Because they walk, we walk.”

Visit Walk2gether.org to learn more about why Bob is walking.

You can also send messages of support and encouragement that Bob will share with the families of sponsored members and the CFCA staff in the communities he visits.

Aug 11 2009

August isn’t back-to-school month for everyone

As U.S. students prepare for the onset of school, students in other countries have already taken mid-terms.

That’s right. For students in many countries where CFCA works, school does not start in August or September.

The school year in Central America started in January or February. Those lucky children are only two months away from the end of school. Schoolchildren in India and the Philippines are already into their third month of the school year. And students in Kenyaówell, they follow the British system and attend school all year, with long breaks at the end of each quarter.

Find the school calendar for your friend on the graph below.

School calendar

Related links
Time for school

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

Mar 9 2009

Indian women and the Liberian police force

By Janet Tinsley, Africa project director, international programs

As we were driving through Monrovia during a recent project visit to Liberia, a unit of U.N. soldiers caught my attention. United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) troops, or ìblue hatsî as they are commonly known, are a familiar sight around the city, and they eventually blend into the background after a day or so in the country. But this particular unit captured my attention because they were unique ñ they were all Indian women.

Immediately, I turned to our project coordinator who was sitting next to me in the taxi and asked her about them. She explained that they were a special unit of Indian police officers who had been sent to Liberia to serve as U.N. police officers. She said they were also meant to be an inspiration to Liberian women to join the Liberian police.

I was intrigued. The notion of an all-female U.N. peace-keeping unit was interesting enough, because I was not aware of any other. But the fact that they were from India, another country where CFCA works and one with its own unique issues around the status of women, was exciting to me.

When I got home, I did some digging, and I learned that the U.N. has so far sent three all-female Indian units since 2007 to serve in Liberia. The most recent unit was deployed in early February of this year. They are known as the Indian Formed Police Unit (FPU), and their official mission is to provide crowd and traffic control, anti-robbery patrols, and protection for UNMIL staff and assets. But the less tangible attributes they bring to the job may even be more important.

Research from around the world shows that women police officers are adept at resolving conflicts through non-violent means. In a war-weary country like Liberia, this is a very valuable skill, and this makes the FPUís mission very important. The Indian officers also spend time with schoolgirls teaching self-defense techniques, self-esteem and even Indian dance. The presence of the female officers has been an inspiration to young Liberian women and girls, and the nation has seen an increase of women applying to join the Liberian police force.

The Indian women are certainly an inspiration to me, and I hope their presence leaves a lasting impression on the Liberian people, especially the girls, for whom the sky is the limit.

Learn more

Liberia gets all-female peacekeeping force

Indian Women police inspire Liberian women to join Liberiaís police force

Liberian police graduate record number of women

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.

Sep 2 2008

“CFCA came in with HOPE…”

The following letter was written by a sponsored†youth in Liberia.†He writes about the challenges he has overcome after 14 years of civil unrest in his country and about how CFCA has been a constant†source of hope in his life. We hope you’ll read his letter to you.

My name is Nyankoi. I was born on Sept. 9, 1986. I am a Liberian. As most Liberians, I have had my share of trauma, challenges and difficulties in life.

After 14 years of civil unrest, I am happy to be among the living. During the years of civil war, my mother and I went to the hinterland along with my brothers. We went to our village from Monrovia where we lived prior to the war. We returned to Monrovia in 1991 and I started pre-school, which was at first free. I attended for a year and could not continue because of financial reasons. My late father was not working then and hence things were very difficult.

It was there and then that CFCA came in with HOPE. It is often said that a man can live without food for seven days, without water for three days, but no man can live without HOPE for a second. It is in this light that I can never forget the pit of sorrow CFCA took me from.

I became a part of the CFCA program in 1994 when I was 8 years old and in the second grade. I was accepted into the program when my father asked the priest at our parish for assistance in getting me to school. It was then that Father Jackson decided that I should get on the program because of my financial status. Since then there has never been a turning back because I took it as a challenge and never repeated a single class throughout my entire school year.

Today, I am proud to say that because of CFCA, I am who I am. My entire high school and even to some extent my college fees have been paid through the service-scholarship by CFCA. Throughout my high school years, I had many tough times but I believe that tough times donít last but tough people do. This has moved me to persevere in all I do. …
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