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
By Amanda Burian, CFCA communications project manager
Not long ago, owning a home that was safe and comfortable seemed like an unattainable dream for Rigoberto and Audelina, the parents of four young children in Guatemala.
“[Owning a home] might have been in my dreams, but it was never considered a reality,” Rigoberto said.
In February, the family received the keys to their very own home. Their dreams were made possible through the support of Ken and Linda Vilag, who sponsor two of their girls: Helen, who goes by her middle name, Dayana; and Natali.
Before receiving support through sponsorship, the family faced many hardships and daily life was a struggle.
They lived on the property of Audelina’s brother and didn’t have much to call their own.
“We only had one room built with tin sheets,” Rigoberto said. “We were all piled up in that room. There was no space for our things, and it was chaotic at times. Read more
A group of mothers and daughters in Honduras recently shared with us a special technique they use to craft environmentally friendly curtains and jewelry from thorns and seeds!
Check out our interview with 10-year-old Tania, a CFCA sponsored child, who describes how she helps her mother make interesting and eco-friendly designs.
I’ll never forget the day I was sponsored because it was my birthday. I was turning 6 years old.
My name is Tania, and since that day I have become part of the beautiful and loving CFCA family.
I help my mother make curtains and bracelets by opening the little holes in the seeds and stringing them together.
I like to make the bracelets, but I don’t like to make the curtains because it takes too much time, and I get bored.
I want to invite my sponsor to come to my community. I would love to meet her and teach her how to make the bracelets and necklaces.
DIY thorn and seed curtains and jewelry in 3 steps:
- The first step is to look for the thorns, which we call “cachitos” or bull’s horns. This is the most difficult part of the process because a large number of stinging ants live inside the thorns and sting our hands.
- Next we have to get seeds. We use a seed called “Lágrimas de San Pedro” or Saint Peter’s Tears. These seeds are usually brought over from another community. We try to use any kind of seeds we can find in our community. We paint the seeds so they are colorful.
- Once we have collected all the necessary materials, we start to make our products. First, we make holes in the seeds and thorns. Next, we create a design and use fishing or metal string to make the curtains and other kinds of jewelry.
Read the full story about mothers making eco-friendly curtains in Honduras
CFCA is not a one-size-fits-all organization. We rely on our field staffs to know the families in each community, to listen to their needs and hopes, and to provide a program that empowers them to build a path out of poverty.
In the final post in this three-part blog series, we give you a window into several CFCA communities, to gauge the success of the Hope for a Family sponsorship program.
It takes 20 minutes on the back of a motorcycle, up steep and narrow dirt roads, to get to Floridalma’s home.
She lives in Chuixilon, a small Guatemalan village, where rolling fields of strawberries are sheltered by the peaks of nearby mountains. It is beautiful and remote. The air smells like strawberries mixed with fresh pine, and only the moon and the stars light the streets at night. Read more
When you sponsor a child or aging friend, you open the door to another culture — your new friend’s culture. By writing to their friends, sponsors deepen this connection across cultural, geographic and economic divides.
These letter-writing ideas can help you on your journey to greater cultural awareness:
- Find some news headlines from your sponsored friend’s country.
These can make great conversation starters. As you search for headlines, pay attention to the news article’s tone as well as the information. Is it lighthearted or somber? Does it focus on institutional matters or social concerns? See who is quoted — politicians, celebrities, government officials, etc.
Practical tip for your next letter: Set aside a few minutes each day for a week to scan some headlines from your sponsored friend’s country. Mention one or two of them and ask your friend for some context. What makes this news? Is it unusual or typical of the challenges the country may be facing?
- Watch the weather and how you react to it.
If you come from a cold climate, you’re probably used to wearing gloves, scarves and winter coats. If your sponsored friend is from a tropical country, she or he may have a hard time relating to descriptions of winter and cold. Read more
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.