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Markham, Ontario
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L3R 8G6

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1200 Denison Street
Markham, Ontario
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L3R 8G6

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How tears are being transformed to laughter in Nicaragua

CCFC is helping communities lead positive, sustainable change today

By Sandra Upeslacis, director, Strategic Communications

On my recent visit to Managua, Nicaragua, I met children thrilled to be starting their winter vacation. Playing tag in the street, their grins and giddy laughter said it all: “School’s out, and we’re free!” 

These children had the same joyous expression my son always exudes when he’s on a school break. Children everywhere truly are the same. They play, laugh, learn and explore with open hearts and curious minds. 

Each trip to a country where Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) works offers an unvarnished view of other cultures and ways of life. We are literally invited into people’s homes and neighbourhoods to learn about what’s going well and what needs mending. The experience can be crushing and invigorating at the same time. 

On this trip, my colleagues and I met a multigenerational family living in a cramped, corrugated metal hut held together with barbed wire. A baby was crawling on the mud floor. I quietly wished them greater comforts and hoped their children would soon all have a chance to attend school. 

One of the women thanked us with a nod as she accepted a mosquito net to protect her children from malaria, dengue and other diseases. Standing in the rubble of a community centre destroyed by an earthquake a few years ago, I wondered how the local volunteers could greet us with such pride and enthusiasm for the activities they continue to run in borrowed spaces. 

When a youth leader told me he was sick of living beside a garbage dump, I was in awe of how his group of more than 20 volunteers managed to stand up against violent gang members and convinced them to help make their neighbourhood safer. 

Change begins with one individual. In Nicaragua, I met several exceptional people who are engaging their family, neighbours, friends, community leaders, teachers and others to address urgent problems together — today. With the help of Canadian donors and local partners in the countries where we work, CCFC is making change happen.

The proof is in this video of Nicaragua children playing a simple game of tag, just as my son did with his friends only a few years ago.

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About Christian Children's Fund of Canada:

Christian Children's Fund of Canada (CCFC) is a child-focused international development organization and a member of ChildFund Alliance. For more than 50 years, CCFC has been helping children and families of all faiths move from poverty to self-reliance. CCFC supports children and communities in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Nicaragua and Paraguay. Currently, CCFC has almost 50,000 children sponsored, benefiting nearly 400,000 people around the world.