The CFCA project in San Jose, Costa Rica, recently conducted an “encuentro” or gathering with some mothers of sponsored children to emphasize family unity, promote dignity and strengthen their self-esteem. Jean Carlo Arias, CFCA programs director in San Jose, offers his vision of this gathering.
“Be happy, woman; God has made you a life spring.”
Mothers form into small discussion groups during the CFCA encuentro in Costa Rica.
With this phrase by a local CFCA social worker, Leticia Salazar, we gathered more than 100 mothers of sponsored children from the community of Desamparados, southeast from San Jose.
We wanted to motivate them, offer them a way to participate and encourage them in their roles as pillars in their families (most of them were single mothers).
Through motivational lectures and reflections, we tried to show these mothers a vision of the important role they have as mothers in the world and in CFCA’s Hope for a Family program.
“Understanding our real value as women, created as instruments of God to give life, strengthens us very much,” said Lizeth, the mother of sponsored children Yuri Fabiola and Yeudi Antonio.
Most of these mothers live in neighborhoods with economic problems as well as family disintegration.
This is why we try to increase their self-esteem so they can see themselves with love and as agents of change in their communities.
“A mother wears many hats,” said Marilu, the mother of sponsored child Elena. “She can be a doctor, psychologist, teacher, nurse, and adviser. She also is capable of fighting bravely for her children’s well-being. At the same time, we women are willing to progress, become professionals and be successful, in spite of the places and difficult realities we live in.”
Their dignity and value as mothers were strengthened in this meeting, increasing hope in their own homes.
“In this gathering, I learned to value life even more, recognizing that my children are not mistakes,” said Karol, mother of sponsored child Christopher. “They are treasures.”