Tag: livelihood programs

Maria Sabina and her son Ronny in their home in El Salvador.
Mar 16 2016

A home for her heart and work for her hands

Maria Sabina and her son Ronny in their home in El Salvador.

Maria Sabina and her son Ronny in their home in El Salvador.

The next time you are at a child’s birthday party and the kids are swinging wildly at a piñata, take a moment to think about Maria Sabina. That brightly colored donkey, fish or bird might just have been made by her own two hands.

The mother of a child in the Unbound sponsorship program, Maria Sabina lives with her husband and two sons in a village in north-central El Salvador. Her son Ronny, 10, has been sponsored by Jackie in Florida since 2012.

Maria Sabina belongs to the Unbound mothers group in her community. As in other locations throughout the Unbound world, her group provides a structure for the mothers of sponsored children to come together and offer each other moral and emotional support.

Keep reading

Jan 4 2013

Widowed mother starts her own business

Md. Baby and her son Anwar.

Md. Baby and her son Anwar.

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. Hereís the story of Md. Baby ó enjoy!

I was married at an early age. My husband died after the birth of our only son Anwar.

Since then, my problems increased.

I learned to sew after my husband passed away, and I used to go the fields to work as a daily laborer to provide for my family.

When I heard about CFCA sponsorship, I went to apply for the program.

The sponsorship program has given a new hope for me in the form of self-help groups.

As I already knew how to sew, I was interested in opening a tailoring shop that also sells sewing items. Read the rest of Md. Baby’s story

Dec 18 2012

‘Pomp and Circumstance:’ Parents graduate in Colombia

Parents of CFCA sponsored children

Parents of CFCA sponsored children stand proudly with their entrepreneurship diplomas.

CFCA believes strongly in the creativity and talents of sponsored families and partners with families throughout the world to unlock their potential.

In Bogota, Colombia, every Friday, leaders from each parents group meet at the CFCA office to participate in a “livelihood projects” class to learn techniques on how to successfully develop their talents and skills into sources of income for their families.

CFCA staffers utilized a local government program focused in the development of professional formation programs.

The main goal is to bring business education to family members of sponsored friends, and have these individuals spread their knowledge to fellow parents in their group.

CFCA staffers have seen many changes in families thanks to this class. Parents have diversified their families’ sources of income and also further developed their skills and talents. Read more

Jul 15 2009

Do all projects have livelihood programs?

Ask Sponsor ServicesQ. Do all projects have livelihood programs? How do the programs work?

A. CFCA’s livelihood initiatives have steadily grown to the point that approximately half of projects now have livelihood programs. The programs are made available to families with a desire and ability to participate.

CFCA’s primary emphasis is sponsorship in which one sponsor partners with one child or aging person and gives that person encouragement, love and financial support in the form of monthly sponsorship benefits.

Because the family is the primary caregiver, livelihood programs are designed to help families generate sustainable income for themselves. They may enhance their ability to gain employment, create a new source of income through starting a business or supplement existing income.

Programs may include skills training, business development training, access to loans, savings to create a loan fund, income-generating activities and individual empowerment to help members develop livelihoods based on skills.

Capital to launch businesses may be provided through CFCA projects, through savings and loan cooperatives created by sponsored members or through sponsor donations.

Donate to CFCA’s livelihood program fund.

Jul 13 2009

‘He is permanently part of my heart now’

A mission awareness trip to Colombia profoundly impacted sponsor Karen Greiber. The following is from a letter she wrote describing her experience.

Hi Everyone,

The trip was amazing — I can’t begin to find the right words. It made a huge difference to me and really changed my perspective on things.

Mom and I flew to Medellin, Colombia. Everywhere was so green and gorgeous! When we arrived, I was told that Karen (my sponsored child from Cali) was already at the project. She and her family had traveled seven and a half hours just to meet me. They said Karen was so excited to meet me that she didn’t sleep at all the night before.

Karen and her sponsored friend, Karen during a Colombia mission awareness tripI had just started sponsoring Karen in December 2008. I had only received one letter and barely knew her.

When we arrived at the project, a huge crowd was waiting for us. The next thing I knew, I was being pushed toward Karen. I gave her a big hug. We walked through the crowd together with everyone cheering. Karen and I tried to communicate through my minimal Spanish. Thank goodness there were many in our group who spoke Spanish and helped translate.

Karen is 12 and filled with smiles. I grew to love her and her mom. I learned that Karen’s family lives in one room that they rent. Her mom works as a housekeeper when she can find work, usually two days a week at most. Karen has three younger siblings. I was told that her family was so grateful that Karen found a sponsor. Most people want to sponsor younger kids.

Later, I learned that only 40 percent of kids go to school in Colombia and only around 30 percent attend higher education. Karenís sponsorship means that she can stay in school. She can even consider going on to a university.

The Cali project is beginning sewing classes for mothers. They were just training instructors. A year from now, they plan to teach sewing in Karenís subproject. Then, Karenís mom can take sewing classes to learn a new trade so she can earn more for the family.

At the second subproject we visited, we entered an auditorium-like place to thunderous applause. I often fought tears while I was in Medellin. The gratitude was so overwhelming.

After the performance, everyone from the crowdóat least 100 peopleócame up to say ìthank you” and give hugs and kisses. Bob Hentzen, CFCA president and co-founder, said the crowd saw us as a representation of all sponsors, and it was their way of saying thank you to their own sponsors. So many people talked about their sponsors. They showed us their letters and told us how much they meant to them.

Rafael with his water-bottle tower.We flew to Cartagena from Medellin. There I met my other sponsored child, Rafael. Rafael meant a lot to me before the trip, but he is permanently a part of my heart now. I love him more than I can put into words!

Rafael has the most beautiful smile. He is all boy, but very respectful, polite and all-around a good boy. His mom is an excellent mother. In Cartagena we were allowed to spend three days with our sponsored children as we went to the different subprojects.

When we went to Rafael’s village, he really came to life. It was so awesome to see him just being a kid! I met his entire family. How I treasure the time we spent there! Susana, Rafael’s mom, welcomed me into their home and family.

People may say we saw some of the worst parts of Colombia, because we saw some of the poorest areas. I disagree: I think we saw some of the best. We spent time with everyday people who were generous, loving and genuine.

I left Colombia absolutely loving the people and the country. I hope someday to return.

God bless,

Visit your friend! Check out our mission awareness trip schedule here.