Tag: Poverty

Aug 7 2012

Drying potatoes (chuño) in Bolivia

The wisdom and resourcefulness of the families in our sponsorship program never cease to amaze us!

Dehydrating potatoes (chuños) in Bolivia

Dario places chuño, which are dehydrated Andean potatoes, on the ground to dry them.

In just one example, sponsored friends and their families in Bolivia often use chuño, a ubiquitous form of dehydrated Andean potato, to supplement the volume and caloric value of their diets.

Very few crops do well in the high-altitude, arid conditions of the high Andean plateau. But potatoes are one of the crops still vigorously cultivated generation after generation.

Dario is the widowed father of Cristian and Giovana, who are both sponsored in the CFCA Hope for a Family program.

Dario and his family make their humble home against the expansive, deep-blue backdrop of legendary Lake Titicaca.

Most of the family’s income is seasonal, and they must overcome difficulties to make ends meet. Read more

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Aug 3 2012

Wisdom of the Ages: Blanca, 76, and Luis, 77, from Peru

Here is an interview with Blanca, 76, and Luis, 77; two sponsored aging friends in the Hope for a Family program in Lima, Peru. They were married 41 years ago and have supported each other since.

Blanca and Luis, CFCA sponsored aging couple in Lima, Peru.

Blanca, 76, and Luis, 77, are sponsored through CFCA in Peru.

What is your secret for a long life?

Blanca: To laugh when you can and to cry when you have to.

Luis: Do not complain about life, remain joyful and work hard because when working, you forget about problems.

What advice do you have for young people?

Blanca: Stay away from drugs.

Luis: Keep your mind busy doing activities that you enjoy because a free mind tends to think about bad things. Young people must make an effort to find good company, good friends. Read more

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Jul 26 2012

CFCA trip highlights love, solidarity and faith

By Christina Cavanaro, a student from Saint Anselm College who traveled with CFCA to Costa Rica. You can also read an edited version of this blog post at the Catholic Young Woman blog.

Christina Cavanaro with Saida during CFCA trip.

Christina Cavanaro with Saida during a CFCA trip.

When I went with 14 participants to Costa Rica in March 2012, I could not have fathomed the experience we had during our week-long stay.

A group of students from Saint Anselm College of Manchester, N.H., set off to a rural area in Costa Rica to work with CFCA in building a house for a family in need.

We met the family in front of their small house on the outskirts of a small neighborhood in which many Nicaraguan refugees had settled.

Their home, like many in this neighborhood, was built with scrap wood and corrugated metal with one line of electricity.

The family of seven included parents Nelson and Genara, four boys and a young girl. The parents worked hard to provide for their family, but they were simply unable to make ends meet.

The family was chosen by CFCA to live in the house that Saint Anselm would help build. Read more

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Jul 11 2012

Dealing with frequent power blackouts in Kenya

When we flip a switch in the United States, we usually expect electricity to flow and lights to turn on. That’s not always the case in Kenya.

Power blackouts are very common, especially during the rainy season. Joy knows this only too well.

Joy, CFCA sponsored child in Kenya, studying by candlelight during a power blackout

Joy, a CFCA sponsored child, studies by candlelight whenever there is a power blackout at her home in Kenya.

Joy, a child sponsored through CFCA’s Hope for a Family sponsorship program, lives in Kangemi with her family. She goes to a nearby school.

After school, Joy goes home and helps her mother with housework before settling down to do homework. She is lucky that they have electricity in their home.

Many households still depend on paraffin and tin lamps to provide them with light.

Joy has an extra reason she doesn’t want the power to go off, especially if it’s a school day and she has homework!

“My mother lights a candle, but it is dim and I strain so much while reading,” she said.

Despite this, Joy also knows that she is lucky to have electricity at home because most of her friends in school are not as fortunate as she is.

“During weekends my friends come over to watch cartoons on television with me. I am disappointed when the power goes out because that means no cartoons,” she said.

Nevertheless Joy is optimistic that in a few years, life will be better and blackouts will be a thing of the past.

Regina Mburu, our CFCA communications liaison in Kenya, contributed to this report.

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Jul 6 2012

CFCA Communications Centers: Santa Ana, El Salvador

Henry, CFCA communications center in El Salvador

Henry Flores, director of the CFCA Communications Center in El Salvador

Although we call them centers, which sound like big operations, they actually consist of one or a few local staff members. They help us find and feature stories from our sponsored children and aging friends.

We’d like to introduce you to each communications center liaison, continuing with Henry Flores, director of the CFCA Communications Center in El Salvador.

On Jan. 10, 1981, at 3 p.m., my dad, brother and I were at an ice cream shop. My brother was 13 years old and I was 9.

We were eating a vanilla banana split when we heard high-caliber gunshots accompanied by strong detonations, similar to what grenades sound like in Hollywood movies.

Employees started to close the place. Other customers ran out. My dad looked at us, and I saw fear in his eyes.

We ran outside. Gray smoke was in the air. I felt his arm around me. It did not feel like a hug; it felt like protection. I did not know my life was changing to an unexpected future.

That was the day that a 12-year civil war started in my country, El Salvador. The local army base, about two blocks away from the ice cream shop, was under attack.

The civil war caused pain, death and the migration of thousands of Salvadorans, including me.
Read more

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Jun 29 2012

How sponsorship helped change an orphan’s life

Rosemary is from Uganda and was orphaned at age 6.

After her parents passed away, she went to live with her uncle and his seven children.Rosemary, from Uganda

“Coming from a humble background, my parents meant everything to me,” Rosemary said. “After their death, it meant an end to everything, the good dresses and meals on Christmas, etc. The death of both my parents left me in shambles and my whole life was engulfed in misery.”

With the high cost of attending school, Rosemary had no hope that she would ever receive an education.

But when CFCA welcomed Rosemary into the program, her life completely changed.

Read the full story about Rosemary in Uganda.

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Jun 23 2012

CFCA in the blogosphere: CatholicMom.com + an Abigail update

CFCA blogItís our privilege to announce two recent blog posts that feature CFCA:

1) “Karen ó Friend of the Month” from CatholicMom.com

Lisa Hendey has graciously partnered with us by featuring a monthly invitation on CatholicMom.com to consider sponsoring a friend through CFCA. This month we chose to tell Karen’s story.

“Karen is one of more than 1,000 Colombian children on CFCAís waiting list for sponsorship. Sheís 3 years old and has three older siblings. Although both her parents work outside the home, their combined income is too low to meet their familyís needs. Her favorite school subject is drawing, and she likes to play with dolls.”

Read the full blog post here

2) CFCA: an Abigail update

Bobbi has kindly posted on her blog another letter from Abigail, a child her family sponsors in Mexico.

Here is an excerpt from Bobbi’s story:

“I am blown away that her mother and grandparents consider me a member of their family now and that Abigail is praying that Our Lady of Guadalupe watches over me and ‘covers me with her mantle.’ How beautiful! I love the fact that we are helping Abigail financially, yet we are the ones receiving the blessings of this little girl’s love and prayers.”

Read the full blog post: CFCA and an Abigail update

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