We just received a wonderful picture at the CRF office of Mayra Valladares with her right arm in a cast. Yep, we are celebrating her arm in a cast because of what it represents to her. It represents the ability to work, care for her children, and to have a little dignity returned to her. You may remember that I wrote about Mayra after my trip to Honduras in April. She is the unfortunate woman who was hit by a car as she walked home on the side of the road. She was badly hurt and barely survived. When I met her, she was back to normal… except for her arm.
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This is a guest post from CRF President Milton Jones’ blog, Through Orange Colored Glasses. Sean Penn has made a lot of headlines at the Cannes Film Festival, and it is not a movie that he is promoting. He is calling for the film industry and any sympathetic heart to finish the task in Haiti. The poverty and the crisis are still there. Others will argue that enough is enough. Too much money and effort went into the Haiti crisis and not nearly enough relief actually happened. They will spin stories of governmental abuse and poorly spent relief money. I think I can argue both sides.
Everyone in the charity world is throwing around the term “microfinance” as the way to help change a poor community. Microfinance principles are based on investments made in the community through small, or micro loans, and then letting the community help themselves through the creation of jobs. Microfinance is something CRF has been dabbling in for the past 5 years, and in those 5 years we have learned what types of projects work the best. It is especially tough in Africa where the loan default rate is very high in microfinance banking. To be successful in Africa, one has to understand the culture of money in Africa. Money is not saved in Africa, it is spent. If you have money… Read more »
What do you do when you hit water? What if you were in the middle of a drought where it hadn’t rained in five years? And then miraculously—you got water! This was the case of some people who lived in the middle of Turkana in the Horn of Africa. It seemed they had no hope. And then CRF brought water to them. What would you do if you were them? Perhaps you have water and aren’t in a drought. But maybe you are going through a spiritual or emotional famine. And so many times in the darkest hour and at the most helpless moment, you get relief. Someone helps you. God graces you. What do you do? I now know… Read more »
Larry Wu, Director of Field Operations, and Milton Jones, CRF CEO, are visiting CRF programs in Central America this week. Here is Larry’s first blog post from the trip. Keep checking back for more! Flying into Tegucigalpa airport, I was thinking to myself how much the mountains around the city looked like the mountains around Kisumu, Kenya. I am familiar with traveling in Kenya, and am equally unfamiliar with travel in Central America. But the similarities don’t end with the topography. It FEELS like I am in a familiar place, meeting familiar people, and hearing familiar stories. Everywhere CRF goes, it seems that poor people live similar lives.