Nov 21 2013

Madagascar: Changing lives through community

Madagascar-FINAL1

Join us as we celebrate Geography Awareness Week with National Geographic and friends. This year’s theme “focuses on how geography enables us all to be intrepid explorers in our own way.”

Today we take a closer look at Madagascar, one of the countries in Africa where we work.

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Apr 11 2013

Mother in Madagascar puts a spin on her career

Marcelline

Marcelline, mother of a CFCA sponsored child in Madagascar, repairs a tire.

Meet Marcelline, a 36-year-old mother of four children in Madagascar. She found a creative way to help her family and break gender barriers, by repairing bicycles! One of her children,12-year-old Elie Jean, is sponsored through CFCA.

Life is very difficult. My husband walked out on us, leaving me with the responsibility of caring for our four children. Luckily, one of my children was sponsored through CFCA.

I tried my best to put my other children in school, but unfortunately one dropped out because I could not keep up with the school fees.

I hardly make enough money to support my children. I thank God because CFCA stepped in and assisted me with the educational expenses for my son. Read more

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Feb 25 2013

A CFCA staffer’s trip to exotic Madagascar

Regina Mburu

Regina Mburu, our communications liaison for Africa, recently returned from a trip to Madagascar to cover the stories of sponsored friends and their families. Regina is from Kenya.

Recently I had the opportunity to visit our CFCA project in Madagascar. I was all packed up and excited at the thought of visiting this beautiful island country.

After a smooth flight, we landed in Antananarivo, the capital city of Madagascar. CFCA staff members were already at the airport waiting for me, and in this land miles away from my motherland, I felt at home.

Our drive to Antsirabe, which is three hours from the capital city, was a bit scary. The road was very curvy with many turns and bends. However, the beautiful landscape and tracks of rice paddies made my fear fade away. Read more

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Jan 29 2013

Mother makes environmentally friendly charcoal in Madagascar

Charcoal-Madagascar

Marie, mother of a CFCA sponsored child in Madagascar.

Meet Marie, mother of three children in Madagascar, who found a creative way to help her family through selling environmentally friendly charcoal made from soil, grass and charcoal powder!

One of her children, 11-year-old Safidison, is sponsored through CFCA.

My husband works in rice fields. I am a housewife.

Before our son was sponsored, we sometimes went hungry because we could not afford to buy food, especially when my husband could not find a job.

Paying school fees for all three children was really a challenge.

Life was not easy. Money was hard to come by since my husband does seasonal work, and the money he made was not enough for our needs. Read more of Marie’s story

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Oct 11 2012

Trip to Africa: ‘Celebrate the unity of our CFCA family’

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies mission awareness trip participants. You can see Bobís full update on his Facebook page.

Photo credits for Kenya and Uganda go to Regina Muburu, CFCA communications liaison for Africa. Photo credits for Madagascar go to Paul Pearce, CFCA director of global strategy.

It’s always a joy to be in touch with you, this time from Africa. Together with Paul Pearce, CFCA director of global strategy, and Karen Allemang, CFCA trips and international volunteer manager.

I had the privilege of accompanying a wonderful group of CFCA sponsors on this September 2012 journey to Kenya and Uganda.

Paul and I also visited the CFCA project in Antsirabe, Madagascar. Read more

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Sep 26 2011

Basket-weaving business supports Madagascar family

While basket weaving may seem like child’s play to some, it is the source of livelihood for FlorÈat and her family of Madagascar.

FlorÈat’s 10-year-old son, Fenosoa, is sponsored through CFCA’s Hope for a Family program. Sponsorship enabled Floreat to save money and grow the business.

FlorÈat now teaches other women to weave baskets so they can generate income for their families.

Read their story.

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Dec 4 2009

Health care around the world

By Kelly Demo, CFCA preacher

As the health care debate in this country rages on, I began to wonder about insurance and government-run health programs in the countries in which CFCA works. Do they have insurance at all? What do government-run programs look like? Are they working, and is there anything that we can learn from them?

The British began large insurance companies in India back in the 1800s to cover their nationals living there. In 1870, Bombay Mutual Life was formed as the first native insurance provider. Since that time, the government-run programs have been by far the largest provider of health insurance. However, since 1999, government deregulation has allowed for more private companies to enter the market. Only .2 percent of Indians are covered by insurance.

A CFCA clinic in IndiaAccording to Dan Pearson, CFCA director of program development and operations, ìThe cost of health care tends to be a lot lower in some countries. When we lived in India, we took my son to a private clinic for stitches. They put him under with anesthesia and everything, and the whole bill was under $40. Even those prices are way beyond what most of the CFCA families can afford, so they let injuries and illnesses go untreated, unless they are life threatening. Preventive health care is not even on the radar for most of the families.î However, CFCA mothers groups in India use their shared resources to respond to familiesí medical needs.

In hearing from many of our families in various projects around the world, not only is insurance not an option for them, but the government-run hospitals and clinics where care is more affordable are of very poor quality.

This is certainly true in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. There is a mandated government-run health care system of which most CFCA employees are a part. However, the care provided is often sub-standard.

Surprisingly, one bright spot in the health care struggle is Madagascar. According to USAID, the agency gave a grant to the government of Madagascar who began five community-based insurance programs in five counties. This was started because often those living in rural communities will have an influx of cash during the harvest and have more ability to attend to health issues, but will be cash poor later in the growing season.

Members of the community make an annual contribution to the insurance fund that can be paid in cash or crops. All of their health care expenses are then covered for that year. In 2005, the child mortality rate in these areas dropped to an astonishing 5 percent because of access to preventive health care and immunizations. The program has been so successful the government is expanding the program across the country.

Clearly, without sponsorship money most of the CFCA families around the world would be without health care benefits. Fortunately, because of sponsorship and special funds like Healthy Communities Fund and Project Needs Fund, CFCA field staff are given the flexibility and resources to help families in times of medical emergencies.

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