Carmen, a former CFCA scholar in Guatemala, recalls the struggles she overcame to achieve her dream of graduating from high school. She started her own business while in school to provide extra income for her family.
Mounica unrolls a mat onto the earthen floor of her familyís small home in India, getting ready for bed. Her eyes are heavy, but her heart is full.
She used to lie awake at night wondering if she would be sent home from school the next day. Her parents’ unsteady income of $2 a day wasnít enough to pay the required school fees.
But now, thanks to help from generous donors like you, Mounica sleeps soundly, dreaming about the day she will have a class of her own to teach, confident that she will make that dream a reality.
For young people living in poverty, education is the key to a better life. But when you worry daily about having enough food to eat, other necessities like school fees and supplies become a luxury you canít afford.
The CFCA Scholarship Fund helps hard-working teens attend school and pursue their dreams. Because itís those dreams ó to be a teacher, engineer or nurse ó that will enable them to build a path out of poverty.
Your tax-deductible gift to the CFCA Scholarship Fund makes those dreams a reality.
Donate today and give life to a studentís dream.
2012 year-end donations may be made until 11:59 p.m. Dec. 31.
“My advice to fellow students is to be serious,” Purity said.
Purity is a first-year student at South Eastern University in Kenya pursuing a bachelor’s degree in economics, with help from her sponsorship through CFCA and a CFCA scholarship.
“CFCA has helped me throughout my education by providing school fees and uniforms,” Purity said. “I have a good relationship with my sponsor and they encourage me a lot. CFCA has been like a family to me.”
Purity and her four sisters grew up in a mud house on a small piece of land in Kenya. Her mother and father are both skilled farmers and they would try to find work as casual laborers on farms.
Although Purity’s mother and father found work, the humble income they earned was hardly enough to provide for everyone in the family.
“Sometimes we would go to sleep on an empty stomach,” Purity’s mother, Martha, said.
Purity remembers the challenges she faced before sponsorship. Her parents could not afford her school fees and Purity would then be turned away from school. Martha recalls these emotional times and how much it pained her to see her daughter so sad because she could not get an education. Read more
A country that shares a border with the United States, Mexico often has a cost of living similar to the U.S. but with much lower income opportunities. This makes life very challenging for families living in poverty.
In the Cuernavaca project, 14 scholarship students offer their services as assistant teachers to more than 90 sponsored children.
These classes cater to students who cannot attend a regular school because they do not have their birth certificates. Although these classes are not part of a formal study program, they do ensure that children receive a parallel quality education.
These classes are free and offered at the local CFCA office. Some teachers are volunteers who support this educational benefit.
Tell us about yourself and when you became a scholar student in CFCA-Cuernavaca?
My name is Erika, and I am 30 years old. I have been in the scholarship program since 2004.
What are you studying and when will you graduate?
I completed my degree in physical education in 2011. But throughout the year, I have the opportunity to take courses in human development at the CFCA office.
For example, I am currently in an ethics course, which helps us to improve attitudes and behavior. This is a tool that prepares me to work with sponsored children. I’m starting a course on computers and English at a university.
How does the scholarship help you? How do you use it?
It helps me with my transportation costs to come to the local office, so I can take my courses and give my service to sponsored children. It also helps me with food because sometimes I only have soup to eat.
Thanks to the scholarship, I am able to continue preparing for my future.
What is your community service? How many service hours do you give and how do you think this helps your community?
I come to the local CFCA office Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. I work with children up to 7 years old, and assist in their physical and mental development. We also support educational activities through games, songs and stories.
Being a part of CFCA helped me to be the person I am today. I think what I bring to my community is the love I give to the children and I try to give them the desire to be better in life.
The young girls often come to me for advice. I am a confidant for them, and I like to help them.
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.
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
By Harrison Garcia, CFCA communications liaison in Bogota, Colombia
A scholarship means a lot for a youth who wants to continue getting an education.
The CFCA project in Bogota has 14 scholarship students who want to give back after the support they’ve received from CFCA.
We recently chatted with two of them, Ingrid and Samuel, and heard about their hopes and dreams for the future.
After years of sponsorship, both these youth were selected to receive a CFCA scholarship in addition to their sponsorship.
Ingrid, 21, a CFCA scholar
I am learning to be a sports teacher at the National Pedagogic University in Bogota. For me, sponsorship is great and really changed my life. Read more
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.
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
Last week we blogged about the CFCA Scholarship Program, focusing on our project in Guatemala.
Today’s blog post explores the community service component, which is one of the program’s most important aspects.
Scholarship students provide valuable service hours to CFCA projects and serve as positive role models and mentors for younger children. Read more
Your gift changes the future of a generation, one life at a time: providing access to higher education and unlocking the door to a successful future, free from the binds of poverty.
Scholarship students like Lucy from Tanzania send their most heartfelt thanks.
Donate today. Support students struggling to build a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.
Donations for 2011 must be received online by 11:59 p.m. Central time, Dec. 31.
Note: We value your trust and are committed to financial stewardship. At CFCA 94 percent of our expenses go toward program support.
What has changed since we last heard from you?
I am now in my third year as a nursing student. Classes have just started. I am taking 26 units for this semester, and 16 of those units are solely nursing major subjects and actual field exposure, while the other 10 units are for minor subjects in school. Subjects have gotten more difficult, and the number of required patients to attend to also increases. Each of us will now be handling 15 cases. This sounds both exciting and horrible! I hope that I can make it. Last May, I was elected as president for the nursing official choir called ìSYNAPSEî for the school year 2010-2011.
You were working in the community health clinic three times a week. Has this changed?
I am still doing clinical but this time I am exposed to patients with more serious illnesses, as well as helping patients in pre-op, post-op and under recovery. I still have the same routine three times a week but not in the community clinic, now it is in the hospital with seven rotations required.
At one time you mentioned you were worried about succeeding in your career. How do you feel now?
At this time, it is a mixed emotion. I discovered lots of things to love about nursing. As I am getting close to finishing this course, I encountered lots of challenges and greater responsibility in taking care of others is required. Iím still scared if I can cope with the demands of this course but, one thing Iím very sure … I will really become a NURSE.
What are your favorite subjects now? Last fall, you loved bioethics.
Iím done with bioethics and learned a lot from it but now, believe it or not, I love NCM (Nursing Care Management), which I hated before. NCM gives me a wider scope of understanding patients and what they are going through. Let me differentiate the impact of bioethics and NCM to me: Bioethics helped me understand different people that we met, while NCM taught me how to provide proper care to people we met.
Do you still work with pregnant women?
I was able to personally assist with an actual delivery in the community health center. This is really an overwhelming experience, and the school has really provided me all the knowledge to deal with this. Holding the newborn baby for the first time, wow, I canít really explain.
I was very lucky because after my community exposure, which mostly dealt with pregnant women, my first exposure in the hospital last February was in the OB-GYN ward. Though I already had an idea how to deal with the patients, I was assigned to a serious case. My patient is suffering from DUB (Dyspertinal Uterine Bleeding). This experience gives me an actual case. I was able to apply learning gained in NCM since my patient underwent a hysterectomy.
What about your homework schedule? Do you still stay up late doing homework?
As subjects get more difficult, I have to exert more effort. It is already a normal routine for me to stay up to 2 a.m. to do my homework and report to my hospital duty or classes from 7 a.m to 3 p.m.
What about your dance and music classes? Can you still fit those into your routine? Are there any new developments?
I still sing for weddings and other special occasions if it fits my schedule, especially since I also earn money from this. I am a member of our church choir on Sundays regardless of my hectic schedule. Now that I am the president of the nursing choir, I have to find time for it since we have regular practice, in which I am also really very happy because singing will always be my passion. I was supposed to audition for the dance troupe at the university as a kulintangan* instrumentalist, which I learned in my CFCA workshop. But, my parents did not allow me as they saw my schedules and daily routine and the demand as a nursing student. They again reminded me that education should always be the priority.
Is your service project still writing letters?
I still do the same thing, assist children in their letter- and card-making that is done in our community. Though, our subproject plans to train another group of kulintangan instrumentalists since a number of sponsored children also expressed their desire to learn to play the kulintangan. This sounds exciting, I hope the practice schedule will fit mine, and that this plan will materialize this year.
Do you still plan to graduate in 2012?
I hope to graduate in April 2012 and review for two months as preparation for the nursing board examination in July.
We have enjoyed following your progress through nursing school, Xarina. Is there anything else you would like us to know about your life? How is your family?
My family and I are doing well. My elder brother, Wendell, is in his fourth year as a nursing student, so I am very well guided with what to expect in my own nursing career. I still have my very loving and supportive mother around, which make things light and manageable. I also help my father, who has been sick recently. I monitor his blood pressure and medications.
*The kulintangan is a traditional Filipino instrument.