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.

Sixty-seven percent of Antipolo’s kapitbahayans have similar thrift savings plans, Navio said. Their savings are matched by CFCA.

Nazareth’s members also save money to cover their Christmas expenses, such as gifts and family celebrations.

Long term, they want to open a bank to compete with neighborhood lenders who charge high interest rates.

“A lot of work has been delegated to the kapitbahayan,” Navio said. “Even the accounting (with staff supervision) is handled by the families. It’s so exciting. As they become stronger, this is what will lift the community up.”

GOAL: We want to cast vision for the future, and provide families opportunities to achieve their dreams. Families set clear goals for the future, and plan to achieve those goals.

Juan Rene did not let a lack of financial resources dampen his dream of attending the most prestigious agricultural school in Honduras: Escuela Agricola Panamericana El Zamorano.

CFCA scholar, Juan Rene, from Honduras.

Juan Rene, from Honduras, recently graduated with a degree in agriculture. He is a CFCA scholar.

Ten years in the CFCA sponsorship program in the community of Suyapa, Honduras, taught him to aim high. Juan Rene also received a CFCA scholarship.

The CFCA scholarship helped pay for Juan Rene to begin his studies at a public university, but it would not be enough to cover the $15,000 annual tuition at the private Zamorano University.

Still, he dreamed of attending Zamorano.

“I decided to call and ask for an admission test,” Juan Rene said. “Later, I did everything I could to obtain a scholarship to this very prestigious university.”

His persistence paid off. Zamorano awarded Juan Rene a full scholarship. Juan Rene graduated this past spring as an engineer in agricultural administration.

“I am very happy to have been directly part of CFCA,” Juan Rene said. “The day is not far when I will return something as someone who is prepared for society.”

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