Wednesday, May 19, 2010

maybe one of these kids has been waiting for YOU.

Ok. So, I work for an organization called CFCA (if you hadn't figured that out already from my rambling travel-ogs and bleeding heart quotes). To be honest, I have been with CFCA for about 4.5 years and can say with sincerity that I am really excited about the work that we're doing.

CFCA operates through the model of sponsorship. That means that individuals have the opportunity to partner with one child, youth, or aging to help her/his family bring themselves out of poverty. This is a pretty exciting concept.

Usually, I'm a skeptic about this sort of thing, but I have seen and experienced what this program can do for families. These are NOT the stories like "oh, my life was so awful and sad before CFCA, but then my sponsor came along and made my life better and saved me." These are stories of empowerment, of individuals joining together to form community, of children reaching their desired potential, of relationships being formed across caste and religion and culture, of social change.


So, the reason I'm telling you all of this NOW is because I have given myself a personal mission. A few weeks ago I agreed to "take" 5 kids to find sponsors for them. So far, I haven't done a very good job. But I am determined to find sponsors for these 5 BEFORE June 7th.

[edit: while I was writing this, my mom, dad, and sister agreed to sponsor Susana from Columbia. AWESOME!]

So, here are the remaining FOUR!

Emily, 8, lives in Guatemala. She likes to play with dolls and cars, and is described as "smiling and happy." Her dad is a farmer and her mom is a housewife. [edit: Emily has been sponsored! Thanks Ty & Maddy!]

Mamatha, 10, is from India. Her parents are farmers. Her talents are dancing and drawing, and her job at home is to help her mother with the household work.

Isai is 6 and lives in Mexico. He's "happy, a little grumpy but social and playful." (I love it.) His favorite school subjects are to color and cut. (Again, love it.) He lives with his mother, stepfather, and younger sister. [edit: Isai has been sponsored! Thanks Andrea!]

James, age 5 (almost 6!), is from Kenya. He is an above average student and likes to go to school. His favorite subjects are Kiswahili, English, and Math.

So...I know that I know LOTS of people who would love the experience of being a sponsor...they just don't know it yet. I myself have sponsored a girl named Yesenia from El Salvador for the past 4 years. I even traveled to El Salvador and was able to meet her!

To be a sponsor, you commit to sending $30 per month, which will benefit the child and family that you sponsor. More importantly, however, you exchange letters and are able to build a real relationship with a real person...and I'm pretty convinced that relationships are what change the world.

So, if you're interested in sponsoring one of these FOUR, please let me know. I would be happy to answer any questions you have about sponsorship or about CFCA. (You can find more information about CFCA here, and can even look at profiles of other kids and aging who are waiting for sponsors here. I strongly encourage you, however, to choose one of the four listed above.)

Thanks for reading! Hopefully, my social media bombardment will get these 4 sponsored. :)


Monday, May 10, 2010

organic gardening and life

...I've learned to nurture [the] circle of life, starting with microorganisms in the soil. Working with nature instead of trying to thwart it produces a confluence of benefits, many of them unforeseen. This philosophy also can be applied outside the garden. Take a positive mental attitude, for instance. It doesn't come from excluding or fighting with people whose ideas differ from yours, but rather from welcoming them--like the myriad bugs in the garden--into the debate, learning from them, and discovering how their ideas--distasteful or indifferent though they may be--can enhance your own.
-Jeff Cox

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

People living in poverty have the least access to power to shape policies – to shape their future. But they have the right to a voice. They must not be made to sit in silence as ‘development’ happens around them, at their own expense. True development is impossible without the participation of those concerned. - Nelson Mandela

I may be starting a series of work-related posts soon. (or, this post may be the first of the series.) stay tuned.