Tag: Philippines

Jul 20 2012

‘Rise and Dream’ accepted into three more film festivals

Rise and Dream movie posterGreat news for all who are interested in our documentary film, “Rise and Dream”!

We recently learned that “Rise and Dream” is an official selection in the 2012 Chagrin Documentary Film Fest,† the 2012 Kansas International Film Festival and the Global Peace Film Festival.

The Global Peace Film Festival will be Sept. 18-23 in Orlando, Fla. The other two festivals will be in October 2012. We look forward to sharing the film with these new audiences.

A little context about “Rise and Dream”

The film follows the story of 13 teenagers living with the challenges of poverty in a volatile region of the Philippines. The teens volunteer to learn the music traditions of their culture for a once-in-a-lifetime concert.

The film, produced by CFCA, is intended to give viewers a new understanding of the potential that exists within people living in poverty.

We hope it will raise awareness about the heroic struggles of families trying to break the cycle of extreme poverty seen in developing countries ó where many struggle to live on just a few dollars each day.

To find out more information about where and when to purchase tickets, please visit the “Rise and Dream” website, like our Facebook page or sign up to receive the “Rise and Dream” eNewsletter, which gives exclusive insider information on the latest “Rise and Dream” news.

Jul 13 2012

CFCA scholarship allows sponsored youth to achieve his dreams

The CFCA project in Legazpi, Philippines, recently sent us success stories from young adults who were sponsored through CFCA.

Here’s one from Jeffrey, who is hoping to graduate from college after many challenges along the way.

Jeffrey in the Philippines, sponsored through CFCA as a child My name is Jeffrey. I am 19 years old, the second-oldest child in a family of seven. My father is a hard-working farmer, and my mother is a housewife.

I am very proud of them both, and I am a witness of their unending love, care and support.

I was in grade four when one of the biggest changes in my life happened.

I was recruited as one of the members of the CFCA family through the sponsorship program. It gave me additional self-confidence to pursue my studies.

My father struggled to support my and my brother’s educational needs. So my mother decided to work as a housemaid.

It is very hard waking up early in the morning knowing that your mother is not there, and enjoying those days were never easy for us.

She once said to me, “Anak, kahit mahirap tayo, sainyo naming ibubuhos lahat n gaming pag-asa sa buhay (My child, even though we are poor, we will give to you all we can because you are our hope in our life),” and after saying this, she would surprise me with a big hug.

After finishing grade six as a class salutatorian, my self-determination grew. Read more

Jul 3 2012

Thanks to everyone who came to the ‘Rise and Dream’ screenings!

'Rise and Dream' premiereThanks to all who came to see “Rise and Dream” on Saturday, June 30 at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City!

The event was a huge success, and we are looking forward to sharing the film with as many people as possible.

We had such a positive response to the film from our moviegoers at both the 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. screenings. Here is what a few of them had to say about “Rise and Dream”:

“As someone who has an education degree and who is looking for a teaching job, it was really inspiring to see what the kids were achieving in very difficult circumstances. It was really beautiful, and I was crying as I was watching the concert.”
ó Corinne Stanley

“I wasnít quite aware of how much of an impact [the CFCA scholarship program] has, but the film shows that it doesnít take much to help.”
ó Nancy Shuert

“The film was so uplifting! The [Filipino] people are so beautiful!”
ó Beverly Wharton, CFCA sponsor

Read more about the Kansas City screenings of “Rise and Dream”

Jun 20 2012

Changing one child’s world: New sponsor’s letter

CFCA sponsor and volunteer Steve Taylor is webmaster of his parish website, the St. Jerome Catholic Church in Newport News, Va. Part of the site includes a webpage devoted to his parish’s partnership with CFCA. During the parish’s March sponsorship drive, they found sponsors for 31 children and aging friends.

One of these new sponsors, Lisa Garner, submitted a beautiful letter to her parish explaining her sponsorship experience. It’s our privilege to share it with you!

Dear St. Jerome family,

My family and I recently made the decision to sponsor a child through CFCA, and I wanted to share some of my thoughts about what a wonderful experience it has been so far.

Russel, CFCA sponsored child

A photo of Russel in the Philippines. He is now sponsored by Lisa Garner and her family in Virginia.

I cannot say that I was completely unaware of CFCA and its mission. I had heard a presentation in the past, and browsed the table of sponsorship packets, but I was not ready to say “yes.”

I was worried about making such a long-term financial commitment while there were financial obligations in my own family that I wasn’t even sure could be met.

I suppose I was afraid, and like many things in life, fear becomes a barrier to doing the right thing.

Recently the opportunity to become a sponsor came around again. I’m sure that in sharing his CFCA mission awareness trip experience with the parish, Steve Taylor piqued a lot of interest.

His talk was moving, and I have since come to see that both he and Judi Allison have a passion and a mission to encourage others to partner with CFCA.

Russel, our sponsored child, is a 10-year-old boy who lives in the Philippines. While looking over all the children in need of sponsorship, I kept coming back to his information packet.

He is a small boy with a big smile, and something else about him, a kindness, or gentleness of some sort that seems to emanate from the inside out.

I put his picture on our refrigerator door and say a little prayer for him, his family and his village every time I see it.
Read more

Jun 19 2012

My journey: A CFCA scholar’s story

The CFCA project in Legazpi, Philippines, recently sent us success stories from young adults who were sponsored through CFCA.

Here’s one from Jeanelle, who is training to be a registered nurse after many challenges along the way. Congratulations, Jeanelle!Jeanelle, CFCA scholar

My life started to change when I was in fourth grade.

My mother had an interview and home visit from the CFCA staff. At that time I started to receive support and benefits from CFCA.

I received a complete set of school supplies, school uniforms, school shoes, groceries, utensils, a bath towel and much more.

When Sir Ed, my sponsor, wrote his first letter to me, I was really excited to read its contents.

One morning, our staff brought good news to us. Sir Ed decided to visit us. We prepared some delicious foods and souvenirs for him.

When Sir Ed arrived, he told us that he wanted an additional sponsored child from our family and chose my sister, Judith Mae.

When it comes to CFCA activities, thanksgiving Mass, recollection, goal orientation related activities and livelihood trainings, my family always made ourselves available.

My mother was chosen as parent leader and CASARO (CFCA Community Adjoins to Strengthen Aging & Children-Sponsorsí Relationship Organization) officer. Read more

Jun 12 2012

‘Rise and Dream’ CFCA scholar graduates in the Philippines

Xarina, CFCA scholar, graduates in the Philippines

Xarina, CFCA scholar and one of the teens featured in the CFCA documentary film, ‘Rise and Dream,’ graduates from nursing school in the Philippines.

In this season of graduations and young adults entering a new chapter of their lives, we have a very special graduation story to share with you!

Xarina, one of the CFCA scholars featured in our “Rise and Dream” documentary film, graduated this May with a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

“When I received my diploma, I was very happy,” Xarina said.

Xarina learned to play the kulintangan and other traditional Filipino instruments as part of her training for the concert in Zamboanga.

The “Rise and Dream” film follows the story of 13 teens living in poverty in the Philippines, who embark on a journey to discover their heritage and perform in a once-in-a-lifetime concert for their community.

We touched base briefly with Xarina in August 2010, when she answered a few of our questions for her about nursing school and the challenges she had faced there.

“As I am getting close to finishing this course, I encountered lots of challenges and greater responsibility in taking care of others is required,” she had said. “I’m still scared if I can cope with the demands of this course but, one thing I’m very sure Ö I will really become a NURSE.”

Her story, as well as the stories of 12 other teenagers, is featured in the “Rise and Dream” film.

(Note: If you live in the Kansas City area, we’d love for you to attend our screening of “Rise and Dream” at 3 p.m. Saturday, June 30, at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Tickets are available here. The 7 p.m. screening has sold out of tickets!)

May 23 2012

Sponsored child overcomes challenges of poverty, now graduating college

The CFCA project in Legazpi, Philippines, recently sent us success stories from young adults who were sponsored through CFCA.

Here’s one from Jenelyn, who was sponsored as a child and will soon graduate with a bachelor’s degree in information technology. She’s the oldest in a family of six children.

When I started going to school, I was given a new hope for a better life for my family.

I knew with enough education I could have the right opportunity to reach my dreams for my family, but it wasn’t easy at all.

Jenelyn, sponsored as a child through CFCA in the PhilippinesI have experienced things that almost stole away my dreams and make me realize how hard it is for people like us to achieve our goals. We almost thought it was impossible to get away from this situation.

I experienced having only a single pad of paper for the whole school year, and I had to ask for pieces of paper from my classmates. Same with pencils and crayons, which I always had to borrow.

I also wasn’t able to participate in some of our activities because I had nothing to use or contribute.

My classmates often teased me about the clothes and the slippers I wore because they all looked old and used.

All I did that time was cry because it would be wrong if I fought back. It would only cause more trouble. I never wanted to give my parents additional problems with my situation in school.

Despite all those things, I never stopped believing in the grace of our Father Almighty. I would be just a sore loser if I let those things hinder me in what I wanted to achieve. Read more

May 9 2012

Sponsored friend extends ‘unending thanks’ to sponsors, CFCA

The CFCA project in Legazpi, Philippines, recently sent us success stories from young adults who were sponsored through CFCA. Here’s one from Raquel, a sponsored child who will soon graduate with a bachelor’s degree in office administration.

My graduation is fast approaching and whether I like it or not, I will soon be leaving CFCA.

Raquel, CFCA sponsored child in the PhilippinesI will be graduating college and will step into a real world. Yes! It is a dream come true!

Nevertheless, I will never forget all the people who have helped me and supported me. People who sat beside me, walked with me, and praised me for every accomplishment I achieved.

Without them, I would never be what I am right now.

December 2003 is the time when I became sponsored through CFCA. I had mixed emotions of excitement, nervousness and happiness.

I even asked myself, what life awaits me in this sponsorship program? What changes will it bring to me?

I took my high school education in a public school. I had to walk about a third of a mile (500 meters) from our house to the main road to catch a jeep going to my school.

My money was always insufficient. My father is a farmer while my mother is a housewife. My mother always borrowed money from our neighbor when I did not have money for my fare.

It was hard ñ but my family never surrendered. Read more

Apr 25 2012

Youth to sponsor: ‘You truly made a difference in my life’

The CFCA project in Legazpi, Philippines, recently sent us success stories from young adults who were sponsored through CFCA. Here’s one from John Paul, a former sponsored child who graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education.

I am John Paul, 20 years of age. I have two sisters and a happy family.

I was born with nothing. My parents are farm laborers who found it really hard to send us to school.

John Paul, former CFCA sponsored child in the Philippines During my childhood, I used to cry before I left for school because I had incomplete school supplies and not a penny to buy snacks. Every day the scenario remained the same.

One day while I was playing under the rain, somebody came to our house and said they were there to help my family.

They were recruiting young children in need like me for sponsorship, and I was one of the chosen ones.

When they saw me, my clothes were full of dirt and my hair needed trimming. They immediately asked a few questions to my mother, and it was my first time to hear the word CFCA.

Because of CFCA, my life was changed. Our family’s emotional and financial burden lightened.

I was given the opportunity to have new clothes, school uniforms, supplies, shoes, new backpacks and all other things I was deprived of before I entered this sponsorship program.

Due to this, I became more productive as a student. Along with perseverance and hard work, I graduated elementary school as valedictorian and secondary as one of the honors students. Read more

Apr 17 2012

‘CFCA is the way of God to show his love to me’

The CFCA project in Legazpi, Philippines, recently sent us success stories from young adults who were sponsored through CFCA. Here’s one from Lea, who is hoping to graduate from college with a bachelor’s degree in biology.

Lea, sponsored through CFCA in the Philippines“God is wonderful; he never gets tired of loving us.”

This is the saying that I will never forget. Because I knew and have proved that this saying is very true.

And did you know who taught me that? My sponsor.

Yes! I am one of the sponsored members of Christian Foundation for Children and Aging.

This foundation is the root of who I am now, and what I will be in the future.

Before I became a member of CFCA at the age of 8, I belonged to a poor family. I always heard my father and mother talk about money.

Because I am the oldest daughter in the family, I experienced many difficulties in life. Sometimes, I needed to give what I had to my youngest sister and brothers, even though in the end I am the one will have nothing.

Our home was very far from the town. It was very hard to walk half a mile to school every day, and when it rained, the road became so muddy.

I cannot help laughing when I remember that I always fell down, and I went home with a muddy bath! Read more