Tag Archives: family

Oct 12 2013

Bob’s legacy lives on in the families of the Philippines

A memorial mass for Bob Hentzen was celebrated at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Quezon City, Philippines. The mass was attended by 1,000 sponsored children, youth and aging adults, staff members and friends of CFCA from the Quezon, Antipolo and Manila projects.

A memorial mass for Bob Hentzen was celebrated at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Quezon City, Philippines. The mass was attended by 1,000 sponsored children, youth and aging adults, staff members and friends of CFCA from the Quezon, Antipolo and Manila projects.

By Loretta Shea Kline, CFCA communications editor

We got the call while traveling from the picturesque mountain city of Baguio to the charming seaside town of Agoo, where CFCA serves 3,200 families through our project in Quezon City, Philippines.

CFCA’s Philippines communications liaison, Teejay Cabrera, answered his cell phone and listened for a bit. From the look on his face, I could see something was wrong.

“There’s bad news,” he said. “Sir Bob has passed away.”

Disbelief is the best way I can describe our reaction. Bob Hentzen, CFCA president and co-founder, always so strong and so vibrant, had passed away of natural causes Oct. 8, at age 77.

I had just spent a week with Bob and the Rise and Dream tour team in New York, the second leg of a two-city tour that also included Kansas City. It was one of the best weeks of my 13 years at CFCA.

The reaction of audiences to the film and to the talks by Bob and Paul Pearce, CFCA director of global strategy, was special, even more so than usual, I thought. I feel blessed that I had that week with Bob out on the road, hearing his stories and songs as he shared CFCA’s work with students, Filipino communities, CFCA sponsors and others who came to see the film.

Bob believed in personal connection, and he modeled that for all of us on the CFCA staff, at the Kansas City headquarters and in the field.

He led one of the 200 largest nonprofits in America, but he didn’t do it from behind a desk. He led from the road, from the homes of the families CFCA serves in the urban slums and seaside fishing villages.

As we met families in Agoo (pronounced a go’ oh), I felt Bob’s presence there. He believed in the potential of people in poverty to use their talents to stand on their own, and it is happening in Agoo.

Parents of sponsored children showed us the rice mill, tailoring shop, wholesale store, peanut butter production and various food sales operations they began with capital and encouragement from CFCA. The businesses were providing income for parents so they could give their children a better life.

Bob also believed in growing the staff from the grassroots.

Geselle Cipriano, social worker; Miriam Laron, correspondence assistant; and Noel Garcia, livelihood officer; all former sponsored children and college graduates from the community, showed us the bright future of CFCA as they guided us through our visits in Agoo.

The staff is led by Benedictine Sister Mary Josephine Difuntorum, who told me that Bob had inspired her in her work, especially when it came to believing in the families and their ability to achieve their dreams.

“He had the air that attracted people to really want to work with him for the poor,” Sister Mary Josephine said. “Whenever I was near him, I felt the vibration was very strong, to love the very poor ones.”

“He made me realize working with the poor is working with the angels.”

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Sep 18 2013

Old and young in CFCA give reason to hope

Lake Victoria, Kenya

The sun sets over Lake Victoria in Kenya.

By Regina Mburu, CFCA communications liaison for Africa

I settled down in my seat on the bus and buckled my seatbelt, ready for the eight-hour drive to Kisumu City, home to one of our CFCA projects in Kenya.

As the bus made its way through the sometimes rough roads dotted with potholes, I thought about the one-and-a-half weeks I would spend interacting with CFCA families.

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Feb 27 2013

‘Rise and Dream’ family movie night

‘Rise and Dream’ family movie night: One sponsor’s experience (via http://blog.cfcausa.org)

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…

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Oct 15 2008

Blog Action Day: The poor in the Philippines are eating less rice

Report from Trisha Pitts, CFCA project director for the Philippines:

The poor are always the hardest hit and the first to feel the direct impact of problematic conditions. I know this is true of the Philippines. The people are challenged by violent conflict, government land-use policy and turbulent weather.

The direct result is increased hunger and malnutrition for the most vulnerable.

Here’s a rundown of some of the challenges Filipino families face in their daily lives:

1) Violent conflict: Terrorist activity and four decades of fighting over economic and land rights issues have prevented the Mindanao region from fulfilling its promise as “the rice bowl of the Philippines.” Natural resources are vast in Mindanao, but not much agricultural development has taken place due to the ongoing conflict.

Mindanao still ranks lowest in the Philippines in all areas – education, health and economy. The failure to realize Mindanao’s promise as the rice basket for the Philippines has meant more hunger for the poor throughout the country.

2) Land use policy: Similarly, government policy on land use – allowing prime agricultural land to be turned into shopping malls, condominiums and golf courses – has meant that the Philippines, once self-sufficient in rice production, is now the world’s biggest importer of rice.

With food prices rising dramatically all over the world and rice prices reaching record highs, this has translated into less food for the poor.

3) Severe weather: The Philippine islands are at the mercy of the weather. They are impacted by as many as 25 typhoons or tropical storms each year. These storms destroy property and crops, interrupt the livelihoods of fishermen and kill or displace thousands of people. The recent Typhoon Fengshen damaged an estimated 246,000 hectares of rice farms, which drove up the price of rice and decreased the ability of the poor to afford it.

Rice is the staple food of the Philippine diet. Poor Filipinos rely on rice to feed their families. Whether it’s because of violent conflict, goverment policies or damaging weather, the poor are the first to feel the effects of reduced rice production. 


Please visit these blogs from the CFCA community also participating in Blog Action Day ’08:

Bart and Annie’s Big Adventure

Nothin’ But SocNET

Around the World with CFCA

Walk with the Poor

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