The CFCA project in Legazpi, Philippines, recently sent us success stories from young adults who were sponsored through CFCA.
Here’s one from Charlie, who just graduated with his teaching degree after many challenges along the way. Congratulations, Charlie!
It was soon after third grade when I wanted to fast forward through time, skip this long, dreary school age and enjoy a happy, sufficient job.
I even prayed for a time machine, magic or anything I saw on television that could transform me immediately into being a man.
Desperate as I was, I tried rotating the hour hand of our clock backwards, almost a hundred times, believing that this would change the world’s time.
And, of course, nothing happened, but something was granted.
I was 8 years old, in the fourth grade and in good shape when I was accepted by CFCA as a sponsored child.
I remembered I was taking my annual photograph on one corner of our house. I was greatly hesitant about whether to smile or just to make a normal face to look well-behaved.
Whatever I did, I was happy being one of the sponsored children.
At the onset of my fourth grade up to the last pinch of struggle in my pursuit of a teaching career, I have felt the genuine support of CFCA and, most especially, my sponsors.
I have worked very hard to become successful in my academic career because I know someone is determined to see me stand out in my field.
My father died of pneumonia when I was in my fourth year of high school. His death intensified our family’s needs and my fear of no longer being able to pursue a college degree.
I persevered, and I graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.
CFCA has been a good foundation to my family, which holistically helps develop and improve our life in every aspect.
Now that I completed a degree and am practicing my profession as a substitute teacher, I still want to have a time machine to turn back the time and be, forever, a CFCA sponsored child.
Our CFCA office participates in Cristo Rey Kansas City High School’s work-study program, where students work five days a month at a local company or organization. Dallas Parker, a Cristo Rey student and CFCA communications intern, describes her experience in our Kansas City office.
Working at CFCA has been a great experience for me. I am being exposed to many aspects of mass media and communications. My goal is to be well-rounded in those areas.
Right now, I am a junior at Cristo Rey and participate in its work-study program.
I have not always worked in the communications department at CFCA.
I began working with the child services department. There, I got to see firsthand the letters to sponsors from their sponsored children!
I thought that was the coolest thing ever. I even scanned photos of the actual children being sponsored all over the world, which were then put into the CFCA database.
As a communications intern at CFCA, I have learned a lot about myself. I believe working here has strengthened me spiritually and mentally. Read more
Here are just a couple of the awesome ways that sponsored children, aging friends and their families serve as agents of change in their local communities!
1) Fathers of sponsored children honored for work with blood donations
CFCA-Antipolo was among the national recipients of the Dugong Bayani Awards.
“Dugo” means blood, and “Bayani” means hero.
The award is a special recognition given to a group or organization by the Philippine Blood Center of the Department of Health. The award honors heroism in saving lives through blood donations.
Since 2002, CFCA-Antipolo has held blood drives with the families and the community.
Some communities are partnering with the Philippine National Red Cross and some with the Philippine Blood Center of the health department.
Many sponsored youth and their families, as well as project staffers, are blood donors. The ERPAT fathers groups often spearhead the blood donation activities. (ERPAT stands for Empowerment and Reaffirmation of Paternal Abilities. The groups were started by dads of CFCA sponsored children.) Read more
There is a special spot in the corner classroom of the “Green Neighborhood” in a place called Operation Breakthrough.
With blue and brown eyes shining, pink and purple hair beads flopping, and big smiles on happy faces, preschool children sang songs, created priceless paintings and cut dozens of artistic paper creations for CFCA staff who had come to visit the child care center and preschool, which happens to be just up the street from CFCA offices in Kansas City.
Four-year-old Andrew was particularly eager to make a new friend, immediately slinging his arm around CEO Paco Wertin while CFCA’s Barclay Martin began playing his guitar.
“When you look into those beautiful eyes of the Operation Breakthrough kids, you can’t help but see the children in the countries where we work around the world,” Paco said.
CFCA has made a commitment to benefit 20 children who spend their days in the Green Neighborhood classroom of Operation Breakthrough.
A $15,000 grant will not only fund early education for the children, but will also help social workers provide one-on-one guidance for parents on issues such as housing, job searches and the everyday stress of raising children.
Operation Breakthrough is one place these 3- and 4-year-olds can come to learn, play and be loved in a safe environment, since the world just outside this inner-city child care center can be scary.
One-fourth of the children who arrive at Operation Breakthrough each day are homeless. The sounds of gun shots, police sirens and despairing voices are part of their everyday reality. Read more
For me it was a great blessing to have been sponsored, because in my family we are 11 siblings. For my parents it has been a little bit hard to help every one of us move forward, and much more now that my dad is suffering from health problems, just like my mother.
My sister Selva has already graduated thanks to God and CFCA’s support. Seven of my siblings have already graduated, and only four remain to finish.
It has been a very nice experience to be in CFCA, because besides giving us food, shoes and clothing every month, we have had many activities.
I really liked the CFCA Christmas celebrations. The activities that take place are very nice, and I really like to participate in them.
The CFCA social workers who have helped me for the past 12 years have been very kind, as well as the entire CFCA staff; they have a unique way of caring for the people. Read more
My name is Sabina. I have been sponsored through CFCA for many years.
I was born to a very large family of 11 in a remote village 50 miles (80 kilometers) away from the nearest populated city.
My family has faced many difficulties.
There were days when we only had one meal. I used to join my sisters in carrying firewood from a distant jungle so that my mother could cook. Sometimes, we would collect leaves to sell in order to support ourselves.
When I was old enough to go to school 16 years ago, my parents told me that I needed to stay back and help graze cattle because they could not afford to send both me and my brother to school. I wept for days.
A year later, my life changed. God heard my cry when my family received news that I had been sponsored through CFCA.
Because of sponsorship, my parents could finally afford to send me to school. It was then that I made the serious decision to study hard and support my family.
There were times that I had to discontinue my studies because of poverty, but I can now say that I have graduated at the top of my class, and feel that I can support myself.
I recently accepted a job offer and now work as a branch postmaster in Dumka, India. I am one of the first from my village to work for the government.
Sponsorship has been my miracle. If my sponsor, Antoinette, were not in my life, it would have been an uphill battle to finish school. I would not have been able to complete my education.
She has taken care of me and believed in me so that I could become someone in life. God has done marvelous work in my life through her. I am so thankful.