“Child sponsorship is just a money machine for big organizations.”
“Sometimes the child being sponsored doesn’t even get the money you send.”
“You never know whether your contributions are making a difference.”
“They’ll just sell your information to some marketing company.”
Do any of these sound familiar? Child sponsorship can get a bad rap sometimes, but we’re happy to answer any questions you may have before partnering with us.
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.
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.
Georgina Hartwell sent us this evaluation after she and her husband, Henry, went on a mission awareness trip to Costa Rica. While there they visited Steven, their sponsored friend. We are sharing this evaluation with their permission.
From left are Georgina; Steven, the Hartwells’ sponsored friend; Steven’s sister, Noelia; Steven’s mother, Jolane; and Henry.
Did you find that the orientation and information provided by the CFCA project staff during the trip adequately described the host country and CFCA’s work there?
Would you recommend a CFCA mission awareness trip to others?
Why or why not?
It was up close and personal. We saw our money at work.
Please describe your impressions of the trip and how the trip affected you personally.
I cried a lot. I never felt so loved and appreciated in my life (I’m 68). It was more than I expected. I guess I thought we would view much from afar. We did not. We were so very much “with the people.”
Also, on the trip we celebrated our 47th anniversary. The women of Desamparados surprised us with a beautiful, huge, delicious cake ñ enough to share with all!
The Hartwells’ anniversary cake.
Any additional comments or suggestions?
The week was packed full of activities but I never felt pressured with a time schedule. Yes, there was a schedule but the staff and our wonderful driver, Carlos, always managed to be a bit flexible with a smile!
God bless all aspects and people of CFCA. With the five enclosed brochures you sent us, I will do my best to get five new sponsors.
By Shanxi Omoniyi, web editor and writer
Coffee is cultivated in many of the countries where CFCA works and enjoyed by many of our families. The CFCA community in Kansas City loves coffee, too.
Julie Watson, CFCA graphic designer and coffee club leader
Its rich, earthy aroma greets us most mornings when we arrive at the office, courtesy of Julie Watson, a graphic designer at CFCA. She has other talents besides making our print and online materials beautiful.
She makes fantastic cheesecakes … and fabulous coffee.
Julie started a fund for CFCA coffee lovers to donate toward the cost of providing fresh, gourmet coffees. Employees can also bring their favorite brands in place of money.
We’ve sampled and savored brews from El Salvador, Guatemala, Bolivia and Kenya.
The Juan Ana coffee is a favorite of CFCA coffee lovers. The coffee is cultivated, roasted and packaged by members of the San Lucas Mission in Guatemala. Many of the members of the mission and most of the coffee workers have children in the CFCA sponsorship program.
Michael Calabria, director of planned giving at CFCA, personally orders lavish quantities of dark and medium roast Juan Ana coffees toward the end of the year and offers the coffee for sale to CFCA employees.
“This is the fairest of fair trade coffees,” he said. “Please support our brothers and sisters living in and around the Hermano Pedro Regional Center in San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala.”
Juan Ana coffees
(You can order a bag of Juan Ana coffee and learn more about the San Lucas Mission on its website.)
So now you know a little more about the CFCA community.
We’re passionate about helping children, youth and elderly people around the world.
We’re committed to serving those living in poverty through our Hope for a Family sponsorship program.
And many of us are also dedicated to enjoying the delights of freshly brewed coffee. Excuse me while I get another cup.
Note: Thanks also to one of our sponsors, Joy Noel, who generously donated some coffee from this coffee shop in Missouri, More Than Coffee.
They have walked more than 5,000 miles of the 8,000-mile walk through some of the highest terrain they will encounter: the Altiplano of Peru. Their highest altitude to date was 14,856 feet above sea level.
Thank you for all your prayers and support of Walk2gether during this time.
By Father Mark Lane, CFCA preacher
I wonder whether I will ever forget Juana’s tears.
In October I found myself in a corn field on the outskirts of Solol·, in Guatemala’s central highlands, as a CFCA representative handed over the keys to a new home for Juana and her family.
Juana cries tears of joy upon moving into her new house.
Juana was crying because she was moving 15 feet from her old home ñ a 6-by-6-foot stick and adobe hut with a tin roof and dirt floor ñ to a new 10-by-20-foot concrete, three-room hacienda (Spanish for the main dwelling on an estate or other property) with steel windows and doors, a covered porch and a pristine concrete floor.
Having had to crouch to enter her old house without windows, where every surface seemingly hid under a thick layer of creosote from the open fire, I got a sense of the emotional weight of the gift of her new home: a home as open and full of light as her heart now appeared.
“I keep waking up and touching the walls,” she said. “I can’t believe I am so blessed to call this my home.
“Es un milagro,” she kept repeating. “It is a miracle.”
Now Juana has enough room for her father and two children to sleep in their own beds with a mattress and blankets, instead of huddled together in a hollow in her former hut’s dirt floor.
Despite its poverty, Guatemala is a spectacularly beautiful place. No wonder the Mayans are proud to call it home. High in the mountain range that crosses from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean are 30 or so volcanoes, some active. In the center of that range is Lake Atitlan, which some describe as the most beautiful lake in the world.