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CANFRO is grateful for the generosity of our donors who have enabled us to fund and implement projects in Oaxaca, Mexico, that target issues of utmost concern: poverty, illiteracy, hunger, gender bias, an inadequate educational system. The stories in this newsletter will acquaint you with the significant impact that our projects have had over the past year. Each project strives to better the lives of the young people of Oaxaca, who lack the resources, the privileges, and the comforts we ourselves are so fortunate to have.

We hope you will consider donating to one or more of these projects. We are a not-for-profit volunteer organization incorporated in the province of Ontario and registered as a charity with Canada Revenue Agency. Donors will receive tax receipts for all donations. For further information please visit our website at
www.canfro.ca
CANFRO has two projects in partnership with El Centro de Esperanza Infantil A.C. (The Centre of Hope for Children): the School Sponsorship Project and the Food Project. The centre is located in the heart of Oaxaca City. Some people may still know this organization by its founding name: Oaxaca Street Children Grassroots.
Our School Sponsorship Project 
with The Centre of Hope for Children

Our SCHOOL SPONSORSHIP PROJECT is based on the premise that education is the key to making life changes. Thirty-four Canadians have sponsored deserving Oaxacan students during the 2016/17 schoolyear (kindergarten to university). Their donations buy uniforms, shoes, supplies, and books, and pay inscription fees. When one member of a family succeeds, the whole family benefits. 

Doug and Penny Hopkins sponsor a student named Carolina in honor of their two grandchildren. Like all sponsors, they look forward to Carolina’s annual letter and share it with their grandchildren knowing that Carolina’s life is so different from theirs. Penny visited the modest family home (one enclosed room and one open room) on a high hilltop overlooking Oaxaca in a pueblo reached by bus and lots of walking. 

Many sponsors form an ongoing relationship with their students and visit them every year with gifts for the whole family.  CEI is proud of its successes. At the end of the 2015-16 school year, eleven students graduated from university. Doug and Penny hope to attend Carolina’s university graduation some day, but for now they are just happy she is doing well in school.  

We are pleased to report that a new donor has come forward to support Carolina’s little brother.

To donate to CANFRO’S SCHOOL SPONSORSHIP PROJECT, please visit our website www.canfro.ca or for more information contact Project Manager Penny Hopkins at pennyhopkins@explornet.com
Our Food Project 
with The Centre of Hope for Children

A teacher in one of Oaxaca’s public schools once asked a sleepy student, “What did you have for breakfast?” The student replied, “Nothing…it wasn’t my turn.” 

CANFRO’s FOOD PROJECT provides a hot, nutritious meal to 30 to 50 students each weekday during the school year. For some students, this may be their only meal of the day. 

This year brothers and sisters who are not enrolled in the FOOD PROJECT program have been invited to join their siblings for this daily meal as part of CANFRO’S effort to relieve the stress faced by parents who are struggling to provide for their families. 

Respectful behavior, proper table manners, and hygiene are important elements of the dining experience.

Sponsors visiting Oaxaca are always welcome to experience the laughter and congenial atmosphere of mealtime at The Centre of Hope for Children.

To donate to CANFRO’S FOOD PROJECT, please visit our website www.canfro.ca or for more information contact Project Manager Penny Hopkins at pennyhopkins@explornet.com
Our Tutor Project
with The Oaxaca Learning Center

Most of you reading this know that Gary Titus died peacefully in Oaxaca on December 6, 2015. Gary, along with Jaasiel Quero, a Oaxacan public school teacher, founded The Oaxaca Learning Center www.tolc.org.mx in 2005 as a nonprofit organization offering free academic tutoring to students fourteen years and older. Hundreds of young people from low-income urban families and from indigenous rural villages have benefited from the tutoring at TOLC. It was Gary’s unique vision to have the center operated by young Mexicans, many of them tutored at TOLC, and he left it in very capable hands.

Jaasiel Quero has gone on to earn a master’s degree in educational evaluation and currently guides TOLC as its president. Karen Lizette Garcia, who is studying food technology engineering, serves as coordinator of TOLC’s Tutor Team. At this time there are six young women and four young men tutoring for a total of 600 hours per month. Instruction is given both individually and in small classes. Tutors come from the same economic class as their students and so operate as excellent role models.

Gary’s goal, and now his legacy, is to assist all participating students in realizing their academic, personal, and leadership potential. 

CANFRO is extremely pleased to have The Oaxaca Learning Center as its partner for its TUTOR PROJECT. We are grateful to our Canadian donors who currently support this project. Each tutor receives an average stipend of 2,600 pesos (approximately $170 CDN) per month. Please consider supporting one or more tutors in order to give deserving students the prospect of a brighter, more stable future.

If you are in Oaxaca, you are welcome to observe the lively tutoring sessions or to take advantage of numerous volunteer activities.

To donate to CANFRO’S TUTOR PROJECT, please visit our website www.canfro.ca or for more information contact Project Manager Lynda Wilde at lyndawilde@gmail.com
Our High School Project for Girls 
with Fondo Guadalupe Musaleum

This past year we were able to provide two young women from Oaxaca with a stipend of 2,000 pesos (approximately $130 CDN) per month for their room and board at the Fondo Guadalupe Musalem centre. This has enabled them to stay in school and focus exclusively on their studies. They live with other young women from all over the State of Oaxaca who are already in the program and serve as positive role models.   

One of our stipend recipients shared her remarkable story with us in the following letter, translated from the original Spanish by Sandra Thomson, Project Manager:

“The objective of this letter is to tell you a little about my life and how much the scholarship has helped me. I am sixteen years old from a small village in the Central Valley. I live with my two brothers here in the city of Oaxaca. We rent a small room, my sister, my mother, and I. We have not lived in our village for the past five years. I do not see my father as he is in jail. It is a very difficult situation for me because there are times that I wish to be with my father, times I wish to hear his advice or simply listen to his voice. I studied junior high school in my village and had good grades. The happiest day of my life was when my math teacher told me about this scholarship and when Fondo Guadalupe Musalem called me to say that they were able to help me. That news changed my life forever and that of my family. With my brothers’ limited economic resources the situation was not possible for me to get ahead in school without this support.

Thanks to the scholarship, I am allowed to study and thanks to that, I will be able to help my village. My dream is to do something to change things in my village. The scholarship has been a blessing for me. I am very fortunate to have it and even more because they have shown me many things. For example, to make my own proper decisions, to grow day by day, to learn what others know, strengthening our knowledge. I have seen the examples of other young women who have finished school and now have a good job. I could not be more grateful because in truth the scholarship is necessary to secure my studies.”

We are pleased to report that a new donor has come forward to support two additional scholarship students this coming year with a monthly stipend of 2,000 pesos per student.

To donate to CANFRO’S HIGH SCHOOL PROJECT FOR GIRLS, please visit our website www.canfro.ca or for more information contact Project Manager Sandra Thomson at sj-thomson@shaw.ca
Our Book Project 
with Libros para Pueblos
Every year native librarians representing seventy communities throughout the State of Oaxaca gather in Oaxaca City on a Saturday in February for a day of workshops. There they exchange ideas, make new friends, and receive their yearly set of one hundred books to add to their libraries in their mountain and coastal towns.

Libros para Pueblos www.librosparapueblos.org was founded in 2000 with a straightforward but ambitious objective: to create libraries for indigenous children in the State of Oaxaca. It is a great tribute to the volunteer efforts of this nonprofit organization that today, with many more communities asking to participate, more children throughout all of Oaxaca are reading, expanding their worlds, and planning for a better future. Our young readers are encouraged to take the books home, and read to their siblings, parents, and grandparents. The effects can be far-reaching and long-lasting. 

CANFRO is happy to have Libros para Pueblos as its partner in Oaxaca for its BOOK PROJECT. For years Canadians have been supporting LpP libraries and now are eligible to receive a charitable tax receipt for their donations. 

LpP asks for a five-year commitment to adopt a library at $800 USD per year. This money buys the yearly infusion of one hundred new books, and enables librarians to attend LpP-sponsored workshops and the annual conference. Some donors support individually, but many form a group of family or friends to adopt a library. Of course, a donation of any size is welcome.

If you are in Oaxaca City, please join us on an LpP tour into the mountains to visit one of the small but active libraries in our network of communities. 

To donate to CANFRO’S BOOK PROJECT, please visit our website www.canfro.ca or for more information contact Project Manager Lynda Wilde at lyndawilde@gmail.com
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