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CFCA stories

Dominican father sets example for a united family

June 16, 2011

When Jose Luis' economic problems became overwhelming, he considered migrating to another city or country to find better opportunities for his family. He had no steady job, and his small tailoring business didn't generate enough income.

But the idea of leaving his wife and three daughters in the Dominican Republic conflicted with his desire for a united family.

Jose Luis and his family in the Dominican Republic
From left are Jose Luis; his wife, Maria; and their daughters,
Canarisis, 12; Farelin, 2; and Kimberly, 8. Canarisis and
Kimberly are sponsored through CFCA's Hope for a Family
program.

"I grew up with my grandpa," Jose Luis, 47, said. "He was a very strict but very responsible man. He taught me to be a good person, husband and father with his own life example."

Canarisis, 12, and Kimberly, 8, needed school supplies, shoes and uniforms. Two-year-old Farelin needed milk, diapers and vitamins.

"I felt like I was stuck. I was just keeping my family's situation from becoming much worse," Jose Luis said.

Jose Luis found support when a nun at his parish asked him to visit the elderly in the community and identify those most in need. It was part of the process of sponsorship through CFCA. Even though helping her did not pay a salary, he gladly accepted.

"I visited many homes and saw the need of so many; this made me glad to be helping," he said.

The nun soon recommended Canarisis and Kimberly for sponsorship. When the girls became sponsored, the economic situation of the family improved and their life changed.

"I used to comment about how difficult it was for me to provide for my family's basic needs," Jose Luis said. "Now, CFCA offers my daughters school supplies, uniforms, shoes, clothing, medical care, food provisions, values lectures, tutoring classes and other help. CFCA has been an enormous blessing for us."

'Together, we can do it'

The benefits Jose Luis' family received from sponsorship opened the door for him to go back to school to study English. He hopes his education will help him find a better job as a teacher or in the tourism industry. He is also setting an example for his daughters.

"When they don't want to get up in the morning to go to school, I wake them up and tell them that going to school is hard for me, also, but together, we can do it," he said.

Jose Luis teaches his daughters why education is important.

"Sometimes my daughters tease me by saying that they will be charcoal vendors when they grow up," he said. "I tell them, 'Good for you, but you need to study math and business. Otherwise, how would you know you are getting paid the right amount? How would you know you are making a profit? You always need to study no matter what you do in life.' "

Jose Luis tries to set an example for others in his community.

"My wife is great," he said. "She takes care of me and loves me. My daughters are wonderful. I tell my friends that they can keep their families together if they try hard enough."

With CFCA's help, his work as a tailor and his determination to finish school, Jose Luis is ready to accept any new challenge.

"I don't care if I have to burn myself out working, but I will see my daughters being professionals," he said. "Someday they will remember me for the example of life I gave them, just like my grandpa gave me."

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