Tag: scholar

Oct 30 2013

CFCA sponsored youth: Every day is chance to change your life

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

Here’s one from Sarah Jayne, who is in her final year of college studying secondary education. Congratulations, Sarah Jayne!


Read more

Sep 17 2012

Former scholar in El Salvador now works for CFCA

We can’t say enough good things about our co-workers in the field! They are often the first face of CFCA that our sponsored children and aging friends see.

Jenny Cruz, CFCA staffer in El Salvador

Jenny Cruz, CFCA staffer in El Salvador.

We especially wanted to share Jenny’s story. She started working for CFCA-El Salvador in March 2003.

This is what her colleague, Naresli Calito, says about her: “All families in the sponsorship program and CFCA staff members know her name. She is very responsible and an honest leader in her work area. She knows her potential and she gives her best at work.”

When did you first hear about CFCA?

A [CFCA] social worker came to my house and said, “We want to find sponsors for these two children,” and they were my brother Melvin and my sister Alba.

After they were sponsored, [CFCA] offered me a scholarship in 2001. I remained a scholar until my high school graduation.

How was the experience as a CFCA scholar?

It was a learning experience. Through my community service at the project, I learned everything about the social workers’ job and thanks to that, after I graduated from high school, CFCA offered me a part-time job.

I worked side by side with social workers. They told me, “A number of mothers and their sponsored children will come; you will supervise their letter writing.”

Almost 100 children would make a line for me to review their letters! Read more

Jun 22 2012

Emma, CFCA scholarship student from Costa Rica

By Emma, a CFCA scholar who studies social work at the University of Costa Rica branch at San RamÛnEmma, CFCA scholarship student

Since I was little, my mother always told us, ìYou, your sister and I are family.î And itís true. My mom is Francisca, my sister, Milagro, and yours truly.

This May, it will be 20 years since my father passed away, which means weíve never had a fatherís presence. However, Mom always made an effort to keep us moving forward and to give us, within her means, what we needed.

My mother has worked as a maid since she was 11 years old. Her earnings and the pension we receive for my fatherís death are the only income we have at home.

The CFCA scholarship is a great blessing for my family. Itís a great help for my mother so that she doesnít have to worry about helping me with money to pay for my studies.

I think that without the scholarship, I wouldnít have entered the university because I didnít have the means to do so. All that I have achieved in academics has been thanks first to God, and next to CFCA as a foundation and then to the scholarship because I have been able to pay for all the necessities. 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!)

Sep 30 2011

Girl power: They deserve an education, too

Lucy, CFCA scholar, and Rabuna, a sponsored childIn patriarchal societies, like those in many Tanzania communities, sponsorship enables girls to pursue their education.

The Hope for a Family program in the Dar es Salaam project is aiming to level the playing field in a culture that typically gives boys priority in education.

Girls who wish to continue their education may receive help through sponsorship, providing alternatives to early marriage. The CFCA Scholarship Program provides additional help for older female students.

In a place where most young girls only finish primary school, the CFCA program in Tanzania offers another possibility for them to accomplish their dreams. Lucy is an example of a young woman benefiting from this opportunity.

Read Lucy’s story.

Jun 30 2011

CFCA scholar success stories: In their words

CFCA 2010 Filipino scholars

A group of Filipino CFCA scholars convene in 2010. The scholarship program gives participants an opportunity to meet regularly for mutual advice and support.

Our scholarship program helps youth and young adults continue their education at secondary schools, technical schools and university programs. Here are some beautiful testimonies from current and former CFCA scholars in the Philippines.

Regina: “Being part of the scholarship program is a dream comes true. I cannot imagine my college life without it. After a year of experiences and opportunities, I know that I am ready to face the challenges of my studies without any hesitation. … In fact, I am the only child [in my family] privileged to have college education and because of that, I feel so blessed.”

Karen: “I already graduated from college. For some, this achievement is just normal. But for me who persevered and really strived hard to reach this goal, I treasure it as a great achievement in life. For my education is worth the hardship of my grandparents in the farm field just to send me to school. The hardship I encountered when I must be in school without any amount of money and borrowed from others to have something to eat when I am hungry; the hardships when I walked from school miles away to be home; the patience in getting a special examination permit just to have the examination on time and the love and passion in doing all the projects and assignments; I surpassed [all these] and I am now a teacher.”

Marco: “The CFCA Scholarship Program has a great purpose as it never fails to conduct ethical and enjoyable activities that have brought positive changes to everyone. … CFCA does not only care for us students, but also for our families.”

Renebeth: “I am very grateful to God because I became part of this wonderful foundation: the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA). Through CFCA my life made great changes. I was a young lady with no sense of direction before. When I joined the CFCA Scholarship Program I learned to direct myself for a good life with the help of kind and caring people in CFCA around me and with the help of God. We are one bigger family where you can have friends, brothers, sisters, lots of parents and staff to love and be loved.”

Jun 27 2011

CFCA scholar Jayson: ‘How blessed I am’

Jayson is a young man sponsored as a child in CFCA’s Hope for a Family program in the Philippines. He reflects on his first day of college with gratitude for what sponsorship has done for his education and life.

I became part of the CFCA sponsorship program in 2003. Now I am a first-year college student taking a bachelor’s degree in education.

Jayson, CFCA scholar

Jayson, CFCA scholar

I can still remember my first day as a college student. As I left our house and walked along the street, I saw a little boy crying. I asked him why he was crying.

He answered, ìI am crying because I only have a notebook and a pen to use in school.î

I realized that I am lucky to be part of the CFCA family receiving a complete set of school supplies before the school year.

I reached the jeepney stop and rode a jeep. Inside the vehicle, I saw a young woman taking pictures of the Mayon Volcano and LigÒon Hill, two tourist spots in Legazpi.

I thought, I am thankful because I have already seen those beautiful views when we had our field trip hosted by CFCA.

When I arrived at school, I noticed that it might rain but had nothing to worry about. I have my umbrella, given by the sponsorship program.

While I was walking, I saw a boy sitting under a tree. He looked sick.

Again, I told myself how lucky I am because CFCA allowed us to undergo medical and dental checkups annually. CFCA also provided vitamins and prescribed medicines for us to become healthy.


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Jan 11 2011

CFCA in Mexico: ‘You want me to be your sponsor?’

Omar Zuniga of the MÈrida, Mexico, project staff sent us this heartwarming report of a friendship that began on a recent mission awareness trip in MÈrida.

The hour-long crossing that the bus was about to begin from Chun-Y· to Carrillo Puerto, Quintana Roo, made Lillian NegrÛn, sponsor of 10 children through CFCA, decide to get off to stretch her legs.

It was an impulse that, she commented afterward, was of divine origin.

Alfredo and Lillian

Alfredo, left, and Lillian meet during a mission awareness trip in MÈrida.

On getting off the bus she met Alfredo, a scholarship student from the CFCA project in MÈrida.

Alfredo has been a scholarship student for a little more than six years and has helped each sponsored child to write their letters and Christmas greetings with the dedication displayed only by teachers who work wholeheartedly at their jobs.

His dedication and excellent work for the MÈrida project has earned him a double scholarship, and he is able to support his family members in a better way.

He has been able to supply his younger brothers with shoes, school uniforms, as well as all their basic needs in the home.

Lillian asked him about his dreams and aspirations, while she was waiting for her bus to leave for its destination.

Alfredo told her that he wanted to finish preparatory school to study for a degree so that he would be able to help his parents and his brothers to have a better future.

To do this, Alfredo would have to stay in Carrillo Puerto and rent a room for students.

If he were to commute daily from his community to the city where the nearest university is, it would cost him about 110 pesos (approximately $8.93 U.S.) a day and would take him an hour and a half each way, plus all the extra expense on days when he would have to stay late at night doing homework and research.

Lillian listened to every point. Finally she surprised the young scholarship student by asking him, without further ado but with her good will, with only the least introduction of greetings and with no more contact than a glance, ìAnd do you want me to be your sponsor?î

Alfredo is an excellent scholarship student who, in the MÈrida project, had excelled and had earned the love and respect of each and every one of the staff members.

He has learned to take advantage of his talents and to focus on a future that has no limits.

Today, Alfredo is a sponsored member of the MÈrida project, and, thanks to Lillian NegrÛn, he will be able to pursue his dreams.

Nov 30 2010

A family transformed through CFCA’s work in El Salvador

We have two new stories on our website, hopeforafamily.org. Even though they focus on two people – Santiago and his son, Cesar – they are all about one incredible family.

Santiago's family

Santiago and his family

Santiago, from El Salvador, credits CFCA sponsorship with giving his family a support network of local CFCA staff, sponsors for his children and other families in the CFCA program.

ìI think the best gift that I could have received from God is to have a group of people who support me,î he said.

His oldest son, Cesar, is planning to study accounting and English. He’s a CFCA scholar and has received educational assistance, clothing and school supplies.

ìWithout CFCA, my parents could not cover these needs and I would have to drop out of school and go out and work to help my parents bring up my siblings,î Cesar said. ìThis is a real impact on my family and on my life.î

In the future, Cesar hopes to start a family, own a home and buy a car.

Read Santiago’s story here.

Read Cesar’s story here.

Jun 23 2008

Scholars rehearsing for concert in Zamboanga

Barclay, left and Xarina playing the kulintangan, a traditional Philippines instrument.

Xarina (foreground) and other CFCA scholar students learned and performed on traditional Filipino instruments for a concert in the jungle surrounding Zamboanga City, Philippines, in January 2008. The concert will be featured in ZAMBOANGA, a documentary film. Visit www.zamboangathemovie.com for more information.

Scholarship students from the Philippines formed a special bond while studying traditional Filipino instruments such as the kulintangan, the dabakan and the agong. The students rehearsed throughout the year for a CFCA concert on Jan. 30 in Zamboanga on the island of Mindanao.

The experience awakened an interest in composing and writing for scholar Xarina, 16. Xarina is featured in the Spring/Summer issue of The Scholar, a CFCA publication that highlights the accomplishments and challenges of students in the CFCA Scholarship Program.

ìI am used to composing in English and Tagalog,î Xarina said. ìNow I am writing in Chavacano [a Filipino dialect]. I am experimenting.î

Hours of rehearsal put a strain on Xarinaís studies, but the hard work paid off.

ìThey did brilliantly,î said Kansas City-based musician Barclay Martin. Martin arranged the concert music and wrote original songs combining traditional Filipino and modern music.

The day after the concert was bittersweet for the students, Martin said.

ìWe played music for each other as a gesture of thanks and to mark a significant life experience for all involved,î he said. ìAs it neared time to leave, members from all of the groups began to laugh, sing and cry out of gratitude for what we had shared.î