Tag: Honduras

Aug 12 2011

CFCA in the blogosphere

We’re grateful for the beautiful testimony thatCFCA blog CFCA sponsor Lynn Woolf posted to her blog this morning about her two sponsored children, Flora in Tanzania and Christian in Honduras.

Here’s an excerpt …

You know the TV commercials for charities helping children in poverty? ìJust $1 a dayî is all thatís needed to†change†a childís life. You know what? Theyíre right. You can change a childís life with $1 a day. But thereís more. Much more ñ†at least with one organization called†Christian Foundation for Children†and Aging†(CFCA).

For my family, itís $1 a day to reach across the world. $1 a day to learn a new culture. $1 a day to feel love for and the love of someone you will† never meet or even talk to on the phone. $1 a day to remind us to stop complaining about what we donít have. $1 a day to teach our kids about the†rewards of charity.

Read the full blog post here

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Jun 15 2011

Honduran boy with epilepsy dreams of becoming an engineer

Here is an interview with Edras, a CFCA sponsored child with epilepsy in Honduras. CFCA helps the family pay for transportation to and from his treatment at a hospital where there are specialists.

How did you feel when you got sponsored?

Edras, sponsored through CFCA in Honduras

Edras, sponsored through CFCA in Honduras.

I felt like the happiest child in the world. I was not sponsored before, but I was always going [to the CFCA office] with Yami [a mother of a CFCA sponsored child and a community volunteer].

One day they filled out some paperwork and quickly my mother came to me happy and told me I was sponsored.

That was the happiest day of my life. I danced, jumped and hugged all my neighbors and friends.

What does sponsorship offer you?

When I get sick my social worker goes with me and my mother and father. When I am sad she cheers me up.

My sponsors John and Terri always cheer me up with letters. I feel happy with their pictures and for the beautiful things they write.

John is my friend, and I always carry his picture in my backpack because he is my sponsor.

Besides the help that my sponsor has provided through CFCA, my parents have also received cement and wood. This way we can live better, and I can share my birthday with my friends.

There is always food on the table, and it helps me to be a better boy in the community.

Your sponsors say you want to become an engineer when you grow up. Why did you choose engineering?


Read more

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Apr 22 2011

CFCA in Honduras improves environment with eco-stoves

To celebrate Earth Day, we wanted to share this report from Ricardo Garcia, project coordinator in Santa Rosa, Honduras. It’s about eco-stoves that help both the environment and the health of our sponsored friends.

In 2008, the Santa Rosa project in Honduras initiated a medical campaign to benefit all the sponsored members and their families.

During the campaign, we learned that many mothers suffered from pulmonary emphysema caused by excessive smoke from cooking food.

Later in 2009, we initiated a reforestation effort because large swaths of trees were being cut in the communities. But the problem wasn’t getting better.

One solution addressed both problems. We decided to build eco-stoves because they use less firewood and they don’t produce smoke in the home.

Getting the program off the ground was difficult because the families were accustomed to seeing lots of smoke in their homes. But they see how much better off they are financially because they don’t buy as much firewood.

Their homes are free from smoke, their food is cooked healthier, and the man does not have to spend so much time gathering firewood. This gives him more time to work.

The project also provides an opportunity for the families to interact because from the beginning, we trained them to build the stoves.

The fathers help other households with the construction and in the process of sharing their knowledge, they support other members of the community and live better together.

The plan is to have enough funds to support this initiative so that someday, all families in the CFCA communities of Santa Rosa who need an eco-stove can have one. This should greatly diminish the deforestation problem.

We also hope to incorporate the support of other organizations and institutions to help us supply so many families.

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Feb 10 2011

Honduras project celebrates 125 sponsored members’ graduation

CFCA graduates in Santa Barbara, Honduras

Despite tremendous obstacles, 125 youth sponsored through CFCA and some scholarship students graduated from high school in December 2010.

My name is Manuel Pineda. I am the coordinator in the CFCA project in Santa Barbara, Honduras.

As coordinator, I have witnessed the efforts made by students in my country to reach their educational goals, especially those who live in rural areas.

Students are constantly tempted to drop out of school because of burdens such as economic limitations, lack of support and absence of parents, lack of public transportation to school, insufficient and inadequate nutrition, etc.

Manuel Pineda

Manuel Pineda

In December 2010, our CFCA project in Santa Barbara celebrated the graduation of 125 sponsored members and some scholarship students from high school in areas like business administration, social service, Spanish teaching, tourism and automotive mechanics. Some graduated as technicians in refrigeration, computers and nursing.

Many of these students had to work to cover part of their educational expenses. Others had to walk more than 6 miles to get to school, but with the support of CFCA, they have had the chance to reach their professional dreams.

“I thank CFCA for supporting me since fourth grade up to finishing my high school. When my mother passed away, I did receive economic and spiritual support,” said Nancy, a sponsored girl who graduated from high school after studying business administration.

Parents of Mirta, a sponsored girl and now a computer technician, told us, “We had five children and only Mirta has had the chance to give us the joy of seeing her graduate because we never pictured having this in our life.”

I have been able to appreciate the joy of these parents, a couple in their 70s, to see the success of their daughter, which they consider a family achievement.

The graduated students have demonstrated they are capable, with good behavior and great discipline, once given an opportunity. CFCA helps them to overcome the obstacles that they face daily.

When I reflect on these achievements, I see how CFCA is an active source of hope, helping the sponsored members and their families to be strong and to transform their own realities.

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Nov 1 2010

Roundtable sparks discussion among sponsors, sponsored members

By Manuel Pineda, project coordinator, Santa Barbara, Honduras

Jeanne Quackenbush

Jeanne Quackenbush, a sponsor on the CFCA mission awareness trip, hugs one of the sponsored youth at the roundtable discussion.

Forming community in a world where individualism dominates family, social and business relationships stands as one of the greatest challenges we face at CFCA.

Our goal of building communities of compassion is ongoing and systematic as we need to promote a culture of life and values for families, society and the world.

During the June 2010 mission awareness trip, the CFCA project in Santa Barbara organized a roundtable discussion as part of the process of understanding the broader CFCA world.

This developed out of the necessity to place sponsored members, mothers, project teams and sponsors face to face to share, ask questions and learn from different perspectives the rights and responsibilities that each has in this family.

Youth asked sponsors about issues that helped them get a better idea of sponsorsí expectations of their sponsored friends.

Why did they make a commitment to a person that they had never met? What news that you receive from your sponsored friends makes you most happy or sad?

Reyna, who will graduate with a degree in education this year, shared about a change in her worldview: ìMy sponsor has helped me a lot. He has accompanied me in my life and has filled the role of a father that I never had. This has made me understand that now I have to be committed to others.

Lidia, a former scholar and now a member of the Santa Barbara staff, shared: ìIn the most difficult times of my life, when I felt that even my goals had died, CFCA was at my side. … Now I am committed on this team to give my best and serve so that others can achieve their goals and succeed in life.

Sponsors reflect that this learning opportunity was both a favorite and humbling moment.

Rebecca shared that she was impressed with the confidence and leadership the youth demonstrated in organizing the event and was impacted by the articulate way they expressed their hopes and dreams in sophisticated goals.

Roundtable in Honduras

A roundtable discussion takes place between sponsors and sponsored members at a June 2010 CFCA mission awareness trip to Honduras.

Jeanne writes of her surprise to learn that the mothers we met in the roundtable discussion had the same concerns and worries that mothers in the United States have about raising teenagers in these times. They want what I and most of my friends want: to raise happy, well-adjusted, Christian adults.

Mothers, project team members, sponsors and sponsored participants left assured that in this journey, there is always someone by their side encouraging and supporting them.

They understand the generosity they have received in life should be shared with others in this world.

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Oct 11 2010

Sponsorship legacy passes from mother to daughter

We enjoy hearing from sponsors about their mission awareness trips, and this story especially moved us. Mari Wrightís mother started sponsoring Andrea in Honduras when Andrea was only 2 years old. She never visited Andrea, but wrote to her regularly. Mari decided to continue the sponsorship after her mother died in 2003. This year, Mari visited Andrea for the first time and discovered a precious letter that her mother had written back in 1999. Mari recounts her experiences in the following post.

This summer I was so fortunate to be able to go on a mission awareness trip to Honduras, my first time to visit any CFCA project. I went to meet Andrea, the child I have been sponsoring since 2003.

Andrea and Mari

Andrea, second from left, and Mari, second from right, celebrate at a CFCA birthday party for sponsored friends.

The way I became a sponsor is a story worth telling. In 1998 a devastating hurricane killed many people and did horrendous damage to the small country of Honduras.

My mother, a devout Roman Catholic and resident of Kansas, heard about CFCAís work to help the people there. She wanted to contribute and decided to sponsor a child.

Andrea was then 2 years old. Every year when a photograph came, Mom would show it to me, along with letters written by Andreaís mother.

When my mother died in 2003, I decided to continue the sponsorship.

Before long Andrea learned to write letters, herself. She often would ask me if I could ever come to meet her. Finally this past summer I was able to do so.

From the moment my plane landed in Honduras I felt my motherís blessings close around me. The CFCA project leader, who met me at the airport, exclaimed, ìYou are going to be able to see your child three times, the most of anyone on this trip!î

Our first meeting was at the whole-day celebration held for visiting sponsors, the children and parents ó held at a water park not far from the airport and our hotel.

We spent a wonderful, relaxed day playing and getting to know one another.

When our group went to Andreaís home a few days later, she showed me a letter she had received in 1999 from my mother in Momís own beautiful handwriting.

They had kept the letter and treasured it all the years.

I think all of us had tears in our eyes as I read aloud the sweet message.

Stacy, a representative from the CFCA office in Kansas City, was with us that afternoon and urged me to write this story.

The next day I was in a group of sponsors attending a typical CFCA birthday party for all the children whose birthdays were in that three-month period.

Since Andreaís brother was one of them, she was invited to come too. We sat together and talked in a more easygoing manner as our friendship grew.

Then when it was time for the children to go, there wasnít room on the bus for all of them, so Andrea and her brother were allowed to stay.

One of the CFCA staff drove them home later after finishing the cleanup. That meant I got to spend even more time with her. I was so lucky! I felt I really got to know her and her family.

Andrea and her mother

Andrea and her mother meet Mari.

All the activities planned for us during the trip made plain how much our small monthly contributions are valued by the recipient families.

The very hard-working staff of the CFCA project ó all residents of the area and citizens of Honduras ó are a true inspiration. They create the incredible effectiveness of the program.

Andreaís project leader, has known her family over the many years that he has worked with CFCA.

Even though he is responsible for hundreds of children and their families, he remembers the histories and details of each one. He treated her and her brother with such care. And he welcomed me warmly into their community.

I have been tremendously enriched by this experience. I truly feel that I have a goddaughter now in Honduras.

Thanks, Mom!

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Jun 1 2010

Please pray for families affected by storm

As many of you may know already, Tropical Storm Agatha hit Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador this weekend with devastating results.

Today, we received word that five sponsored children from CFCA’s Atitlan project in Guatemala are confirmed dead from mudslides, with four sponsored children still missing. This is updated from our news story posted yesterday. Our policy is not to release names of the deceased until we are able to contact their sponsors. Projects in Honduras and El Salvador have not reported any deaths.

Staff members in all three countries are still assessing damages. We will update you as we receive more information from the field.

Please pray with us for the precious children who lost their lives and for the healing and comfort of their families, communities and sponsors. We also pray that the four missing children will be found, and for the recovery of all those affected by the storms.

For more details, please see the news story on our website.

Sponsors and others wishing to help may donate to CFCAís Disaster Assistance Fund. One hundred percent of donations to this fund are sent to CFCA projects to help individuals and families affected by disasters. Funds donated are used where they are most needed, and CFCA retains discretion as to the use of the funds. In addition to emergency relief, contributions may be used for long-term assistance.

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