Tag: Poverty

Nov 26 2012

‘Rise and Dream’ family movie night: One sponsor’s experience

Rise and Dream movie night with Newpower family

CFCA sponsor Christine Newpower with her son, Paul, 13, and her daughters, Sarah, 9, and Grace, 7. Along with the film DVD and a music CD, the “Rise and Dream” movie night kit contains a planning guide, invitations and other materials to help make your movie night a fun and successful experience.

Great learning opportunities can sometimes occur right in your living room!

Christine Newpower, a sponsor from California, read about the special “Rise and Dream” movie night kit offer extended to CFCA sponsors and volunteers in one of our newsletters.

Christine, who grew up abroad and remembers her Southeast Asian roots, saw the film as an opportunity to teach her children about global poverty.

“We wanted our children to understand how blessed they are in comparison to children growing up in poverty overseas,” she said. “We also wanted to provide that extra connection, knowing that a large part of our extended family still lives there.”

Christine ordered and received a “Rise and Dream” DVD and movie night kit in July and organized a family movie night for her husband and their three children.

“After dinner, we set up our family room with sodas, popcorn, pretzels and chips,” Christine said. “We turned off the lights and drew the blinds for the full theater experience.”

In more ways than one, the film’s setting hit home for the Newpowers. The family sponsors Jasmine, a 9-year-old in the Philippines. Christine’s children have expressed interest in meeting Jasmine someday on a CFCA trip. Read more

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Nov 12 2012

Costa Rica: Looking beyond rose-colored glasses

Join us as we celebrate Geography Awareness Week with National Geographic and friends. This year’s theme is “Geography: Declare Your Interdependence.”

Many of us think of a tropical paradise when we hear any reference to Costa Rica.

Costa Rica mapTruth be told, it is a country of economic contrasts: posh shopping malls and crowded slums, luxury hotels and thatch-roofed villages.

Tourism and development help some, but leave others struggling to overcome the challenges of poverty.

CFCA serves more than 6,700 children and youth through the San Jose project in Costa Rica. CFCA mothers groups there started with 15 moms. Today, 2,700 mothers of CFCA sponsored children in Costa Rica belong to mothers groups.

Many families in Costa Rica face a harsh reality. They live in slums and near river basins or dangerous areas threatened by landslides.

In these rough areas, hope can seem like itís just out of armís reach. But the CFCA mothers groups can give families a much-needed boost. Read more

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Oct 31 2012

Visiting sponsored aging friends in Guatemala

CFCA in Guatemala: Olga Argueta and Cleta, sponsored aging friend

From left are Olga Argueta, CFCA staff member in Guatemala, and Cleta, a sponsored aging friend.

In the countries where we work, the elderly often have no one to depend on for their well-being. They receive no social security and may not be able to count on family members for support, as adult children are often occupied with their own survival.

About three years ago, a community in Guatemala noticed some of our sponsored aging friends had difficulties traveling to the local CFCA office for birthday celebrations, Christmas celebrations and other CFCA activities. So they decided to take the celebrations to the sponsored friends’ own homes, and that’s how regular visits to sponsored elderly began!

In the words of Olga Argueta, CFCA staff member in Guatemala

Every three months we plan one whole day for visiting the elderly. We have identified six friends of the 50 sponsored aging friends in our community who have difficulties moving around, and they are the ones we visit. Read more

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Oct 30 2012

Wisdom of the Ages: Regeena, 67, from India

Regeena, CFCA sponsored aging friend in IndiaRegeena is a 67-year-old widow in India, living in a home for the elderly. She has three grown children and seven grandchildren. When Regeena was younger, she worked in a mill. Regeena lost a foot in an accident at the mill and now has a prosthetic foot.

Regeena has been sponsored since 2007 and enjoys being part of CFCA. “I like visiting [with the CFCA staff members] and making them happy,” she said.

What is your secret for a long life?

I used to work in a mill. That was very good exercise for me. I lost my leg while working and now I use a prosthetic foot.

What advice do you have for young people?

My advice for young people is that they should study well, obey their elders and take care of their grandparents.

What is the most important thing your mother taught you?

My mother taught me to be clean and to work nicely. She always taught me to pray to God.

Tell us something special about yourself. Read Regeena’s answer

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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 21 2012

CFCA scholar in Kenya: ‘Life changed after sponsorship’

Peter is a former sponsored child who was orphaned in childhood. In addition to facing conditions of poverty, two of his sisters have special needs.

Peter, CFCA scholar and former sponsored childDespite the challenges he has faced, Peter is positive about his life. He recently graduated from school with help from a CFCA scholarship and is studying for a degree in supply management. He hopes to be a procurement officer in a big firm someday.

Tell us about yourself.

I am 23 years old, I have five siblings, and my father and mother passed away. My grandmother is the one who has taken care of all of us.

Two of my sisters have special needs. This further complicated our life, since they needed specific care and medication.

It was difficult growing up because I lacked basic needs. In 2003, I got sponsored after my uncle told me about the CFCA sponsorship program.

It was strenuous to get school fees after my mother passed away in 2000, but my uncle and aunt offered to assist. Life changed after sponsorship; I went to a private school and performed well.

On holidays I work to help buy medicine for my sisters.

What are you doing now?

I’m studying for a diploma in supplies and management. I am in my final year. I would like to be a procurement officer. I would like to improve the livelihood of my family.

What are your future plans?

I would like to advance in my education.

What’s your message to your sponsor?

I would like to tell him that I really appreciate the support and assistance that he has offered me up to this point. Were it not for his help, I would not have been able to pursue my education and make something out of my life.

What’s your relationship with the CFCA staff?

I have a friendly relationship with them. They encourage and motivate me. I also get nutritional benefits and clothing, birthday and Christmas parties, and access to counseling.

Your advice to other sponsored youth?

They should take life seriously as they have an opportunity to change their lives. They should not take their sponsorship for granted.

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Sep 6 2012

CFCA helps youth in El Salvador fight gang pressure

In some parts of El Salvador, crime is a big problem. Gangs try to convince youth that crime can provide a better life with little effort.

CFCA scholars and sponsored youth in El Salvador

Cristian, center, is a youth sponsored through CFCA in El Salvador. On his right is Luis, a CFCA scholar, playing the guitar.

We recently talked with Yesenia Alfaro, CFCA project coordinator in Santa Ana, who said the moral support of sponsorship is helping youth resist the lure of crime and gangs.

What are the challenges that youth in El Salvador face?

They live with discouragement, with an education system that is not the best.

If they can succeed in school or in high school, the percentage of college graduates is very low. Even if they finish college, the employment opportunities are minimal.

Keeping young people motivated requires hard work and effort, because they have all these situations. In a numerous family, the oldest sibling often has to sacrifice their education.

Single mothers have to raise their children as a mother and as a father. This is also one of the difficulties that young people have, in that there is no father figure in many homes.

I believe the hardest part is that young people are constantly invited to be part of a gang and are vulnerable because they have so many needs and few options.

The gang members say to young people, “You can’t earn in the decent way, but there is an easy way to earn money. You’ll have everything easily and faster.”

Sometimes the youth believe them and join the gang. But sometimes they don’t want to get involved, and then gangs try to hurt them or their family members.

Do you know a story of a youth involved with gangs? Read more

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