January 15, 2011
Feeding Program Success Shows
in Children’s Faces
In August of 2010, one of the program coordinators in St. Vincent contact me concerning funds they had on hand. Because their regular programs were suspended during the summer school break, they had funds on hand that they wanted to use in another direction, but that would be i harmony with our mission.
This coordinator had identified four brothers who were in dire need of feeding assistance. Would CAFC be willing to pay for these boys to have a school lunch each day for the coming school year? The funds on hand would be enough to cover the cost for all four boys. Our response was, "Of course!"
In a recent phone conversation with this coordinator, she told me that one of the boys had been particularly emaciated in August when she first identified his need. But now, after receiving hot, well-balanced lunches at sch each day for four months, the boy was filled out, energetic, and smiling -- a totally different child!
THIS IS WHAT CAFC, INC., IS ABOUT! What a joy to know that the programs - that YOU - are truly making a difference!!! Praise God!
New Program Begins
in Spring Village
While Bob and I were in St. Vincent in November, I was called to meet with the church at Spring Village on the western side of the island. They had requested that I come talk to them about our program on two of my previous visits, but I had been hindered from going either time. This time, however, I was determined to go, so with Bertram Pompey from Brighton as my driver on the roads that were considered too dangerous for me to drive, we made our way up the treacherous windward side of the island.
The church was assembled to hear my description of our program about which they had already heard, but they wanted more information and wanted to be able to ask questions, which I gladly answered. By the time the meeting adjourned, they had committed to doing some research, and I had committed begin woking to raise funds for the program.
By the end of December, the church had identified 25 children who needed assistance, and CAFC, Inc., had committed $125 EC per month to pay for school lunches so those children would have five well-balanced hot meals per week. This is only $42.50 a month in US funds, but is more than our budget allows. By God's grace, however, some one-time onations have been made that have covered this expense for the first couple of months, so on January 3, 2011, the church at Spring Village began paying for the lunches of those 25 children.
These children attend schools in three different communities: Spring Village, Coull's Hill, and Troumaca. Others in those schools are crying fo assistance as well, and families in Rose Hall are asking for help for their children.
Please consider supporting at least one child for only $4 per month US.
Parents Beg for Help
CAFC, Inc., now has five active programs in St. Vincent, reaching into eight communities. Spring Village is helping children there and at Troumaca and Coull's Hill, and Owia is helping children at Sandy Bay as well as in their own community.
As word spreads about the work that is being done, requests are coming in for help that we cannot give because of the limitations of our funds. There is a waiting list of 65 children in the Brighton area who need help, and thlist is growing daily; we are currently feeding 10 children in the Brighton school, but children in other schools in the area are asking for help. There isschool between Spring Village and Troumaca at Rose Hall, and parents from that school are asking to be included in the program that is being run out of Spring Village; but there are no more funds.
The people in Owia are wanting to help the families in Fancy: a case of the needy wanting to help the needier. They want to serve, but have nothing to give.
Thousands of hungry children need you! Please go beyond prayers and give generously.
Continues to Serve
The first feeding program that was organized on St. Vincent was at a daycare in the villge of Brighton on the southeastern tip of the island. On Monday, February 8, 2010, the first hot meals were served to 33 children who had never before received a meal at the daycare. In St. Vincent, most daycares do not provide meals for the children; parents send food from home, if they have any.
According to Bertram Pompey, the coordinator of the program, prior to CAFC's assistance, the children would often bring only a piece of bread or fruit for a lunch, so many of them were going hungry, for the most part.
As we near our one-year anniversary of the program, we continue to feed as many as 35 children per day, Monday through Friday. Because we are responsible for the purchase, preparation, and serving of the meals, this is an expensive program, but well worth the cost and effort to see that these children no longer go hungry through the day.
Mission Trip Set for July
Over the Christmas holidays, one of our grandchildren expressed an int in going to St. Vincent with us. To do this, trip would need to be in the summer, so we set tentative dates of July 21-30. These dates will allow us to arrive on Friday, July 22, in time foe to purchase a local driver's license and pick up a rental vehicle to use for the time that we are there.
The purpose of the trip will be to purchase and distribute as much food as we can to the village of Fancy, the remotest and most destitute village on St. Vincent. At this time, CAFC does not have a program that reaches the people of Fancy, but after our mission trip, we may be able to set something up.
The planned itinerary is as follows: Saturday - sightsee and prepare for shopping; Sunday - worship in Kingstown and go to the beach; Monday - shop at the grocery stores and the market; Tuesday - divide the food into baskets; Wednesday - deliver the food; Thursday - finalize our work; Friday - begin our return trip home.
The cost of the trip will be about $1500 per person. Please pray about going with us; if you cannot go, perhaps you can contribute to help someone else to go.
Radio Advertising Brings Limited
But Positive Results
In September of last year, we were contacted by Ron Meyers, the manager of one of the local Christian radio stations, WAOY, wanting to talk to us about advertising our mission on the radio station. After discussing the possibilities, we cided to proceed for three months to see what the results would be.
Rhonda recorded an ad at the station that began airing a couple of times a day, and people began commenting on hearing the ads. We received a couple of calls from people wanting more information, but none of them seemed to yeild any results. Then on Christmas day, Rhonda received a text message from an unknown person, who, it turned out, had gotten her number from the radio ad. So this week they met and talkd, and the meeting turned out to be quite productive.
The lady is very interested in the program, wants to go one mission trip, knows a couple of other ladies who may be interested in going, and she is going to talk to her preacher about having us to do a presentation about St. Vincent at their church. Although all of this is tentative, it shows that the Lord is working, touching people's hearts, and moving to grow this ministry.
As of January 1, 2011, WAOY is no longer broadcasting any local news or advertising. The local station is now only a relay for the broadcasts out of Tupelo, MS, so our avenue for advertising through that medium is ended. However, we will be contacti the local TV station and newspapers to try to spread the word of our needs through them.
December 27, 2010
What a year this has been! The Lord has been busy in so many ways, and we have especially felt His presence and power in the development of our feeding programs in the Caribbean. At the beginning of the year, all we had were ideas, plans, hopes, dreams, and most of all, faith that the Lord was guiding us to do something powerful for Him.
Our first program began with a daycare in Brighton with about 25 children who did not receive any food from the time they left home in the morning until they returned home in the evenings, and sometimes they came to the day care hungry. As the feeding program began to grow and word spread of the availability of food for the children, the number of children attending the day care program on a fairly regular basis grew to 45. After the summer break, the number dwindled to about 30, but is again growing, and a new program is being planned in the Brighton community, which will allow us to feed an additional 20 or so children five days a week throughout the school year.
The next program to take shape was the sponsoring of two Bible clubs in the capital city of Kingstown. Each week approximately 50 children are taught Bible stories and Christian principles through these two Bible clubs, and now through the efforts of CAFC, Inc., these children are also receiving a hot meal to feed their stomachs as well as their souls. Plans are underway to begin a third Bible club, and when that club begins, there will be more children who will need to be fed.
Our third program began in one of the most destitute villages on the island, Owia, and involves putting together food baskets for poor families who do not have enough to feed their children. We are currently feeding 33 children through this program, and are looking to go into the schools to feed other needy children as well.
In November CAFC, Inc., undertook another project with the feeding of another group of children attending a Bible club in the village of Prospect. About 25 children are enrolled in this program of whom approximately 15 attend per week.
And now as the year closes and we embark on a new year, we also embark on a new program in the communities of Spring Village and Troumaca. Children who attend the schools in these communities and who cannot afford to pay for their lunches will have their lunches paid for by CAFC, Inc. In doing this, we will be feeding another 27 children five times per week.
This last program is the one that excites us the most, because it is the one that allows us to feed the most number of children at the least cost. However, the other programs that have been started cannot be changed without hurting the children whom we are helping, so those programs will continue. Our budget allows us to fully underwrite all of the four programs that have been operating this year. But we do not have enough money committed to our programs to underwrite the new school lunch programs at Spring Village, Troumaca, and Brighton. The children who are to be fed in these programs come from destitute families whose parents have no jobs or irregular jobs, and who therefore send their children to school with little or no breakfast, no lunch, and no money to purchase a lunch. These children are hungry, and without us they have no hope of satisfying that hunger.
The most exciting part of this program is that for only $.20 a day we can feed a hungry child. For only one dollar a week we can see that a child has a hot, well-balanced meal every day at school. For only four dollars a month we can see a child who is only skin and bones develop into a healthy, strong child with a much better ability to learn and more hope for his future because someone has loved him enough to feed him.
On our contact page is a pledge card that you can print out and on which you can mark one of three options: to feed one child a month, to feed more than one child a month, or to make a one time donation. Please pray about this, and return the pledge card to us with your donation, whether it be four dollars or $400, as soon as possible. Hungry children are waiting on us for their next meal.
In each of our newsletters in the coming year we will introduce you to one or more of the children being fed through the work of CAFC, Inc. We will include photographs and family stories to help you see the faces and understand the needs. The first one is included with this newsletter as a separate item. I hope you will take time to pray for these children.
On Tuesday, January 18, our next meeting of the Board of Directors of CAFC, Inc. will take place at Pass Road Mini Storage at 6:30 PM. This will be an open board meeting, so everyone who is interested in the work of CAFC, Inc., is invited to come. We need not only your financial support, but we also very much need your thoughts, ideas, comments, and suggestions. Please plan to attend this meeting if at all possible and help us to move this program forward to feed as many children as we can in 2011.
We thank God for all of you who have prayed for us this year and who have donated to this work. Please continue to keep us in your prayers, and continue to pray for the children of St. Vincent.
In His Service,
CAFC, Inc., is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. All donations to CAFC, Inc. are fully tax deductible.
CAFC, Inc., is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. All donations to CAFC, Inc. are fully tax deductible.
Meet Junior and Paige
Two of the children that are being fed through our program in Owia are the siblings, Junior and Paige. They live with their mother, another sibling, and their grandparents in Sandy Bay, a village about five miles south of Owia.
In this picture you can see the grandmother, Junior, the mother, and Paige (left to right).
The children’s father works on the St. Vincent island of Mustique, but he has been without work for two weeks. He is gone most of the time, returning home only a few days at a time when he can. The mother and grandparents do not work, but depend on what the father can provide.
The grandfather is well known because he is the smallest man in St. Vincent, standing less than four feet tall. He goes about doing odd jobs and fishing to help provide for the family.
Below: Bob Vaughan, Mark Charles (program coordinator), Little Man (Junior's grandfather), and Junior
This is Douquon. He lives in the small village of Owia on the northeastern side of St. Vincent. He has three brothers who live with him and his mother in a small house on the side of a hill.
Douquon is not able to attend a public school, so he goes to a special school in Sandy Bay. Since his parents don’t have a car and Sandy Bay is several miles away over mountains, his father who lives nearby has to take him in one of the vans that serve as public transportation, but this costs money that he doesn’t always have, and sometimes his dad is sick and not able to take him to school.
Douquon’s brothers are J’Quan, Jevonie, and Davion. They attend the primary school in Owia. Their youngest brother does not attend school yet, but stays home with their mother who is unemployed. Their father is also unemployed; he is a builder who had a job on the nearby island of Bequia, but that job ended, and he has not been able to find anything else yet, except for occasional odd jobs. So often they do not have anything to eat.
When the boys go to school, they do not have anything to take for a lunch, and they do not have money to buy lunch, so they must go hungry until they return home at night, and then they can only hope that their mother has been able to find them something to eat.
Since August 2010, CAFC, Inc., has been providing food to Douquon’s family to help them out. Every two weeks a basket of food is delivered to them to supplement whatever the parents are able to provide. Since food is quite expensive in St. Vincent, the parents are not able to provide much, so this family can use even more help.