Tag: Philippines

Feb 6 2013

Indigenous group obtains recognition of ancestral lands


Chieftain Rogelio plays a tune for his grandson, Erick, right-center, and two other children, Myrna, left, and Joshua, far right.

Deep in the lush mountains of the northern Philippines, an indigenous tribe lives respectfully with nature.

Meet the Dumagats.

The Dumagat indigenous community has lived in the mountains and lowlands of the Philippines for a thousand years.

They have slowly been pushed out of their home by logging, overfishing and encroaching landowners.

They could do nothing to address these problems because they never officially held a title to their lands.

And without guidance and assistance, they were hesitant to begin the painstaking documentation needed to obtain a title.

Until they partnered with CFCA.

Read the amazing story of the Dumagat indigenous community and how they worked with local CFCA staffers to gain the recognition of their ancestral domain.

Dec 13 2012

‘A blessing in my life:’ Kasey’s sponsorship experience

By Kasey, who sponsors Amelia through CFCA

Amelia, left, and Kasey, right.

Amelia, left, and Kasey, right.

I heard about CFCA through an online search.

I knew I wanted to sponsor through a reputable program, and after extensive research and finding that CFCA’s values lined up with my own beliefs, I knew I had found the right place.

I searched the profiles and determined that a woman named Fabiana needed my help most.

Her story resonated with me. For $30 a month, I could help this elderly widow off of her straw bed on the ground and change her whole life.

When I got her first letter, I cried. I read it over and over and then wrote back saying that, although she thought I was a blessing to her life, she was also a blessing in mine.

The gratitude I felt through her handwritten words spoke to my heart.

I carried them close until about a year later when she passed away. I mourned her passing but rejoiced in knowing that I brought her great comfort in that past year.

CFCA then found me Amelia, and although from a different continent and telling a different tale, I was written into her story. Read more

Nov 26 2012

‘Rise and Dream’ family movie night: One sponsor’s experience

Rise and Dream movie night with Newpower family

CFCA sponsor Christine Newpower with her son, Paul, 13, and her daughters, Sarah, 9, and Grace, 7. Along with the film DVD and a music CD, the “Rise and Dream” movie night kit contains a planning guide, invitations and other materials to help make your movie night a fun and successful experience.

Great learning opportunities can sometimes occur right in your living room!

Christine Newpower, a sponsor from California, read about the special “Rise and Dream” movie night kit offer extended to CFCA sponsors and volunteers in one of our newsletters.

Christine, who grew up abroad and remembers her Southeast Asian roots, saw the film as an opportunity to teach her children about global poverty.

“We wanted our children to understand how blessed they are in comparison to children growing up in poverty overseas,” she said. “We also wanted to provide that extra connection, knowing that a large part of our extended family still lives there.”

Christine ordered and received a “Rise and Dream” DVD and movie night kit in July and organized a family movie night for her husband and their three children.

“After dinner, we set up our family room with sodas, popcorn, pretzels and chips,” Christine said. “We turned off the lights and drew the blinds for the full theater experience.”

In more ways than one, the film’s setting hit home for the Newpowers. The family sponsors Jasmine, a 9-year-old in the Philippines. Christine’s children have expressed interest in meeting Jasmine someday on a CFCA trip. Read more

Nov 16 2012

Philippines: Natural wonders, challenges abound

Join us as we celebrate Geography Awareness Week with National Geographic and friends. This year’s theme is “Geography: Declare Your Interdependence.”

QUESTION: Approximately 8,600 CFCA sponsored friends live near this active volcano in the Bicol region of the Philippines. What is the name of this beautiful, symmetrical mountain?

ANSWER: Mayon Volcano

Mayon Volcano in the Philippines

Mayon Volcano in the Philippines.

The Mayon Volcano is the most active volcano in the Philippines.

It is located about 8 miles from Legazpi City. This distinctive landmark is the symbol of the province and region. It is surrounded by verdant rice paddies and fields.

Rey, CFCA sponsored child in the PhilippinesRey, 12, and his family have a clear view of Mayon from their home. Rey, who has been sponsored through CFCAís Hope for a Family program since he was 8 years old, rides a bike to school each day and dreams of becoming a doctor.

CFCA’s Hope for a Family sponsorship program serves more than 43,000 children, youth and aging members through five project locations in the Philippines, which are Antipolo, Legazpi, Manila, Quezon City and Zamboanga.

Families in the sponsorship program face challenges such as natural disasters and high unemployment. Flooding, landslides and tsunamis triggered by typhoons are common, as are earthquakes and active volcanoes like Mayon.

Through sponsorship, families receive access to education, nutrition assistance, dental and health care, and more.

Watch Rey share his story in the video below:

Learn more about Geography Awareness Week here.

Nov 9 2012

‘Rise and Dream’: A night of insight and gratitude

Steve Taylor, CFCA sponsor, recently hosted a “Rise and Dream” movie night with others at his parish, St. Jerome Catholic Church, in Virginia.

There was an amazing turnout for the event, and Steve shared his reflection on the evening with us.

Thank you, Steve and St. Jerome parish, for your “Rise and Dream” movie night!

St. Jerome Catholic Church, Newport News, Va., hosted a successful showing of CFCA’s documentary film, “Rise and Dream” to a crowd of approximately 180 parishioners.

The evening’s success was the result of numerous factors centered on St. Jerome’s connection to the Philippines, including Father Henry Diesta, a large spirit-filled Filipino community, a significant number of CFCA sponsored friends in the Philippines and the “Rise and Dream” movie, which was filmed in the Philippines.

The local Filipino community, led by Medy Gameng, supported the evening through delicious Filipino dishes, a folk-dance demonstration by four parish children (video below) and a heartfelt thank you to the parish and the individual sponsors of Filipino children and aging.

CFCA sponsors Gabe Franco and Lisa Garner provided insight into their sponsored friends and the importance of their sponsoring experience. They both requested that attendees consider sponsoring a child or aging person through CFCA.

Although the movie takes place in the Philippines, it represents the 22 countries in which CFCA operates. In all these countries, the children’s needs and conditions are similar and so is their spirit and effort to succeed in school, to help themselves and their families financially.

Steve Taylor, Va.

Oct 2 2012

New sponsor’s experience with CFCA: Missy

We’d like to introduce Missy, a new sponsor, who lives in Chicago. Missy discovered CFCA through our website, www.cfcausa.org, and has been sponsoring since June. She started by sponsoring an aging friend, then added a child and youth to her sponsorships.

Missy, CFCA sponsorHow did you hear about CFCA, and what inspired you to sponsor?

I actually just came across this site while browsing around online. It may have been an “accident,” or perhaps, I was gently brought to it.

My philosophy is no one should ever have to suffer, and that includes people everywhere all over the planet, which basically goes hand in hand with CFCA’s mission: “Our mission is to walk with the poor and marginalized of the world so they may live with dignity and participate fully in society.”

Whatever I can do to help alleviate the suffering of others, I will do so.

So far, has the experience of sponsorship matched up with any expectations you had when you started? Have there been any surprises or new things you’ve learned along the way?

It has really exceeded my expectations. It’s not just a handout each month and that’s the end of it.

What I love is that you help provide essential benefits to help people climb out of poverty.

You also get the chance to be encouraging and to develop a special friendship, which to me is absolutely priceless. Plus, I am inspired by my sponsored friends.

You have sponsored friends across all ages! What have been some of the similarities and differences in getting to know each of them? See Missy’s answer

Sep 20 2012

Good news around the CFCA world

Just a few of the awesome ways that sponsored children, aging friends and their families are serving as agents of change in their local communities!

1) Sponsored seminarians in Philippines ordained to Sacred Order of Deacons

CFCA sponsored seminarians in the Philippines

Seminarians in the Philippines

Malou Navio, our project coordinator in Antipolo, Philippines, told us that six sponsored seminarians were recently ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons, a perpetual vow to religious life made before the vow to priesthood.

“They are very grateful for the thoughtfulness of the sponsorship that constantly supports part of their needs while studying at the seminary,” Malou said.

Several CFCA staffers and fathers of sponsored children came to watch three of these seminarians take their vows at the St. Gregory Cathedral in Legazpi.

CFCA co-founder Bud Hentzen created the CFCA vocations program, which sponsors candidates studying to be priests and religious sisters, in 1996. Read more

Aug 17 2012

‘Rise and Dream’ caption contest!

Q: What’s more fun than a photo caption contest?

A: A photo caption contest that offers a prize for the winning caption!

CFCA’s next caption contest on the “Rise and Dream” Facebook page will end with a prize. The writer of the most “liked” caption will win a DVD of the movie!

Here’s how to enter:

1) Please visit and like the “Rise and Dream” Facebook page.

2) Add your caption for the photo (seen here) as a comment on the “Rise and Dream” Facebook post.†(You may have to like the page, if you haven’t already done so, in order to post a comment.)

Rise and Dream caption contest
If you don’t have a caption to contribute, please feel free to vote for any captions submitted by liking them.


  • Please be kind and clean! We strive to provide a gentle page for our fans, and we may need to hide posts that may be offensive.
  • You may enter as many captions as you like before Friday morning, Aug. 24.
  • Please enter each caption in separate comments.


The winning caption will be the one with the most likes. In the event of a tie or extenuating circumstance, the CFCA social media team will make the final decision.

Here’s a little information about this photograph:

Children wash their bowls at water pumps after having lunch at a special Saturday morning school session in Zamboanga, Philippines. The classes were taught by CFCA scholarship students, and the lunch was a stew cooked by area mothers over an open fire.

Aug 10 2012

How we see success in the lives of families, part 4

This is the final post in our blog series about what success looks like for CFCA. Here are some goals of the Hope for a Family program, and stories that exemplify how those goals are being met worldwide. We hope it encourages you, as it does us, to see hope growing in families.

GOAL: We want to promote a culture of learning, within the program and in the world, adapting and changing as we learn and grow.

Meldred, a CFCA sponsored youth in the PhilippinesThe CFCA Antipolo project in the Philippines is promoting a culture of learning through yearly evaluations with staff and sponsored friends.

Through shared learning with CFCA headquarters in Kansas, the project refined its assessment process and focused on program outcomes (changes and benefits experienced by program participants) in 2011.

The Antipolo project used this outcome measurement model to evaluate one of its socioeconomic programs ñ the Likas-Kayang Pagkain (LKP or Sustainable Food Program).

The program is designed to increase food security for families of sponsored friends through integrated strategies. Read more

Aug 2 2012

How we see success in the lives of families, part 3

We’re posting a series of blog posts on what success looks like for CFCA. Here are some goals of the Hope for a Family program, and stories that exemplify how those goals are being met in the field. We hope it encourages you, as it does us, to see hope growing in families.

GOAL: We want to create communities of equal access, where all are treated with dignity and respect.

Nazareth neighborhood in the Philippines.

Nazareth families live close together in their neighborhood in
Antipolo, Philippines.

In Antipolo, Philippines, the collective effort of CFCA small groups has led to cleaner environments, better performance in school, improved livelihoods, land acquisition and a general feeling of security, said Malou Navio, CFCA-Antipolo coordinator.

The small groups are called “kapitbahayans,” a Tagalog word for “neighborhood,” and consist of parents and guardians of CFCA sponsored children.

Today, the Antipolo project has 593 kapitbahayans serving the needs of 7,332 families in the Hope for a Family sponsorship program.

Members of Kapitbahayan Nazareth, a group of parents and guardians of CFCA sponsored children in Antipolo, can borrow funds from their thrift savings plan to cover emergency needs, housing repairs, education and livelihood projects. Read more