Aug 22 2012

Mothers in Mexico create positive change

Violence is a challenge that many families in Mexico face. In several communities the drug and gang violence has increased dramatically, which has driven some sponsored friends and their families from their homes.

The project staffs have to think of creative ways to help sponsored friends and their families while protecting themselves at the same time.

The Hope for a Family program conducts activities in safe locations that raise awareness among families about positive values and conflict resolution.

Many of the families are led by single mothers, and CFCA small community groups provide mothers with livelihood training workshops, encouragement and support.

We asked two of these mothers, Gloria and Maty, how the Hope for a Family program has helped them with the challenges they face.

Gloria

Gloria, CFCA staff member

Gloria is a CFCA staff member in Guadalupe, Mexico. She is the regional contact person.

Gloria’s 16-year-old son, Juan, was sponsored for 10 years. She was once the leader of her mothers committee and is now in charge of serving eight smaller CFCA communities in the Guadalupe project.

Describe some of the biggest challenges that you have faced as a mother and as a woman.

As a mother, my challenge is raising my child. He is becoming a teenager and his behavior has changed.

I [hope] he will keep practicing values that I, as his mother, tried to instill in him to be a better person.

As a woman, I wish to overcome [obstacles] in life with the opportunities that CFCA offers me. I am very thankful.

How and why did you decide to be a leader in your mothers committee?

I was elected by many mothers and I wanted to participate; of course, I never imagined being in the place that I am now.

What did you learn from this experience and how has it helped you personally?

I learned to listen to people and to help others in need. My participation gave me a lot of satisfaction.
Read more

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Jun 23 2012

CFCA in the blogosphere: CatholicMom.com + an Abigail update

CFCA blogItís our privilege to announce two recent blog posts that feature CFCA:

1) “Karen ó Friend of the Month” from CatholicMom.com

Lisa Hendey has graciously partnered with us by featuring a monthly invitation on CatholicMom.com to consider sponsoring a friend through CFCA. This month we chose to tell Karen’s story.

“Karen is one of more than 1,000 Colombian children on CFCAís waiting list for sponsorship. Sheís 3 years old and has three older siblings. Although both her parents work outside the home, their combined income is too low to meet their familyís needs. Her favorite school subject is drawing, and she likes to play with dolls.”

Read the full blog post here

2) CFCA: an Abigail update

Bobbi has kindly posted on her blog another letter from Abigail, a child her family sponsors in Mexico.

Here is an excerpt from Bobbi’s story:

“I am blown away that her mother and grandparents consider me a member of their family now and that Abigail is praying that Our Lady of Guadalupe watches over me and ‘covers me with her mantle.’ How beautiful! I love the fact that we are helping Abigail financially, yet we are the ones receiving the blessings of this little girl’s love and prayers.”

Read the full blog post: CFCA and an Abigail update

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Apr 23 2012

How culturally aware are you? Take our quiz to learn more!

CFCA is an international organization that serves sponsored children, youth and the elderly in 22 developing countries.

Our Kansas City staff traverses the globe to monitor and support our programs, and they put together this informal quiz about different cultures and their traditions.

Take time to answer each question before scrolling down to see the answer. Give yourself one point for each correct answer. There are 12 questions total.

Bathroom scaleWe can’t guarantee that taking this quiz will increase your “cultural awareness quotient,” but it’s almost certain to raise your “enjoyment factor!”

1) People say that you “have a lot of weight.” It’s actually a compliment, though you may not feel that way. You’ve traveled to … ?

  • Uganda
  • Central American countries, and some African countries
  • Pretty much any country outside the Western world
  • Philippines, Ecuador and Mexico See the answer!
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Dec 29 2011

‘A meal with a taste of gratitude’ from Mexico

By Omar Z˙niga GarcÌa, CFCA staff member in Merida, Mexico

Mothers of CFCA sponsored children in Merida, Mexico

Mothers of sponsored children in Merida, Mexico, prepare a delicious meal to thank local CFCA staff members.

The mothers of sponsored children in Merida, Mexico, helped us realize the importance of a voice tuned in to the needs of the people.

There are 363 sponsored friends (344 sponsored children and 19 sponsored elderly) in this Yucatan community of CFCAís Merida project.

On weekends, people from different neighborhoods gather at the downtown CFCA office.

On Dec. 5, 2011, a CFCA mothers group invited the Merida project staff members to a meal to thank them for all the attention and work done for sponsored friends and their families.

“With my hard work and with the help I was given, my dream to have a small diner became a reality,” said Bercy, one of the mothers. “When I received my sponsorship benefit, I put aside some products that donít spoil, such as oil and beans. This happened for two years. Today, I have my diner named ‘Noy’ after my son.” Read more

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Nov 4 2011

CFCA in the blogosphere: Jose Miguel + Abigal’s letter

CFCA blogIt’s our privilege to announce two wonderful blog posts from CFCA sponsors:

1) Jose Miguel ~ Sponsorship & Prayers ~ ANSWERED!

Less than a week after Tina Fisher posted a picture of Jose Miguel to her blog, seeking a sponsor for him, he was sponsored!

Here’s his story:

“Jose†Miguel was born on April 28, 2010 to a mother who is 20 years old and a father who is 25.†He likes to play with cars and is learning Spanish.† He is said to be so sweet and has special needs regarding his health,†he has Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus.

“His†mother and father both work, yet they have so many problems as their income is too low to cover all the needs for little Jose Miguel.† He lives in a home with mud walls, a zinc roof, and a dirt floor.† He sleeps on a wooden bed, cooking is done by firewood and lastly, six people live in this home.††The family income is about $15 USD per month.

“My prayers, if it’s God’s will, are for me to use my blog & tweeting to help this family gain†sponsorship.† Sponsorship is $30 USD per month.†”

Read the full blog post: Jose Miguel

2) CFCA: Our first letter from Abigal

Bobbi posted an absolutely must-read story about receiving her first letter from Abigal, a child her family sponsors in Mexico. She also features pictures of other children awaiting sponsorship. Here’s an excerpt:

“This little girl living in poverty is praying for me, that I will be blessed. It’s amazing. I am trying to help out by giving to someone else and instead I am the one who receives the blessings. God is so good. …

“There are many, many more kids looking for sponsors, as well as teens and elderly. Advent will be here before you know it. As you prepare to welcome the Christ Child in your heart, prayerfully consider welcoming one of these children into your heart as well.”

Read the full blog post: Our first letter from Abigal

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Oct 10 2011

Helping sponsored friends despite economic insecurity, inflation

Beth, mother of CFCA sponsored child and beekeeper in Nairobi, Kenya

Beth, a mother of CFCA sponsored children in Kenya, started beekeeping to generate more income for her family and rely less on sponsorship benefits. This becomes even more important during unstable economic times.

Inflation is a daily reality for many of the families CFCA serves. Despite these and other economic challenges, we remain committed to helping families find long-term, sustainable solutions to poverty.

The following post has been adapted from an article written by Janet Tinsley, CFCA project director.

By now, we are all familiar with the nearly constant news about economic crises around the world:

  • a stock market crash sends economic shock waves across the globe
  • a civil war impedes the distribution of oil and drives up transportation costs
  • severe drought conditions cut off peopleís access to adequate food supplies and means of income, etc.

All people worldwide are affected in some way by fluctuations in the global economy.

Since 2006, the worldwide purchasing power of sponsorship contributions ñ $30 a month ñ has decreased 5 percent, and in some countries where we work it has fallen more than 20 percent.

We hear from projects all the time about rising prices, inflation and economic crises in the countries where we work.

Meanwhile, we often hear from sponsors about how difficult it is for them to meet their monthly contribution in the midst of rising prices, inflation and economic crises in their own country.

What does this mean for project teams struggling to provide quality benefits and services for sponsored friends? Read our answer

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Sep 12 2011

How CFCA projects worldwide celebrate Christmas, part 1

Even though it’s only September, it’s never too early to start thinking about sending your sponsored friend a Christmas card! Because mail can be slow, we recommend scheduling six to eight weeks for a letter to arrive at your friend’s project.

We interviewed several CFCA projects around the world about last year’s Christmas celebrations for sponsored friends and their families. Here are the answers from three projects: Merida, Mexico; Santa Ana, El Salvador; and Bogota, Colombia.

Sponsored children select their own gifts in a CFCA Christmas celebration in Bogota, Colombia

Sponsored friends buy their own gifts during CFCA Christmas celebrations in Bogota, Colombia.

How do you select the types of gifts for sponsored children?

Merida: When Christmas approaches, one thinks about cold days coming. Those lucky enough to live close to family take this time to meet, and those who are not as close spend time with friends. The point is to spend time with those around us.

But while this season fills us with smiles, snow, warm clothing and abundant food, Christmas is a moment of reflection. Christmas is the date when Jesus Christ was born.

Christmas is a moment of humility that fills our hearts, but not with chocolates, stuffed turkey or Christmas carols. We must open our hearts to peace, love, happiness, contentment, and give back for all the blessings we have received. Read more

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