Aug 10 2012

How we see success in the lives of families, part 4

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.

Meldred, a CFCA sponsored youth in the PhilippinesThe CFCA Antipolo project in the Philippines is promoting a culture of learning through yearly evaluations with staff and sponsored friends.

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.

“Our learning showed us specific ways we could really improve,” said AJ Montojo, a community worker.

The outcome measurements guided the project to prioritize different business types for small business loans, and revealed the reasons behind loan delinquency.

Because of changes made after the evaluation, 75 percent of delinquent loans have been recovered, and the project has increased clarity on how to better support local farmers.

GOAL: We want families to see themselves as agents of change in their own communities.

When heavy rains washed out the main road to his village near Santa Rosa, Honduras, 31-year-old Gabriel took a stand.

Fathers in Honduras rebuild roadHe rallied support from other fathers of CFCA sponsored children and helped build a new path, connecting their lives to their livelihoods once again.

Residents were unsure how long they would be disconnected from communities around them since local authorities rarely maintain roads outside the city and any repairs are often delayed or inadequate.

So they relied on what they’ve learned through CFCA’s Hope for a Family program and empowered one another to fix the problem.

Women began selling tamales and bread to buy materials and hire masons to repair the road.

Their efforts inspired the involvement of husbands like Gabriel, a father of three, whose daughter Nallely is sponsored.

In all, 19 families totaling more than 100 people used finely pulverized stone, sand and cement to make the repairs.

During the three-week project, Gabriel learned how to mix and pour concrete and found joy in volunteering and working with a team, he said.

“It is very exciting to see the families be the creators of their own changes and being active members of their communities,” Ana Martinez, project director for Honduras, said.

“These types of projects don’t just bring improvements to their community, but bring everyone together to create a sense of community in each one.”

GOAL: We want to ensure long-term sustainability of the program, empowering families to view themselves as responsible for program outcomes in partnership with CFCA.

Monicah, mother of CFCA sponsored child in KenyaMonicah is the treasurer of Bangladesh, her 30-member mothers group in Nairobi, Kenya. One of her eight children, 8-year-old Lona, is sponsored.

Monicah’s seventh-grade education limits her livelihood choices. She used funds she saved from her mothers group to start farming.

“I planted kale, spinach and other vegetables,” she said. “I sold the produce to make money. With the support of the group, I have been able to plant more crops and my farm is doing well.”

This group model, sometimes referred to as the support-group or solidarity-group model, promotes the long-term stability of the family by putting control and decision-making in the hands of parents and giving families a social safety net.

Lillian Naka, the solidarity-group coordinator for CFCA-Nairobi, said the benefits to group members are more than financial.

“Group members support one another in times of need,” Naka said. “They have learned to cooperate toward a common goal and take charge of certain areas of the sponsorship program, such as letter writing.”

CFCA-Nairobi now has more than 6,300 mothers and 230 fathers in these groups.

Naka and other Nairobi staff members are helping the groups understand the goals of the Hope for a Family program and their responsibility toward their own success.

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One thought on “How we see success in the lives of families, part 4”

  1. I am not naive about the circumstance in which my sponsored friends, my Godchildren – mis tres ahijadas, find themselves but using whatever influence I may have, I continually remind them that education is the KEY to the door of opportunity. And getting more education is like getting more keys with which to open many many more doors.

    I have pledged to each of them that I will provide whatever means necessary for them to continue their education for as long as THEY wish. It is up to them and circumstance. I do not and will not impose my hopes and dreams for them upon them but rather will walk alongside them as long as allowed.

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