Hello! My name is Samantha, Marketing and Communications Officer here at Save A Family Plan (SAFP).
During our Focus on the Family campaign this past September and October, we heard several stories from our long-time donors about how SAFP has been a multi-generational tradition in their families, with grandparents, parents, and children all getting involved. One of those stories was from the Moraes family. Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with Cyril, Flavy, Divya, Sneha, and Priya Moraes to hear more about their story and I’d like to share it with all of you now.
Looking to give back to families in their home country of India, Cyril and Flavy Moraes began supporting partner families with SAFP in 2012 after reading about our organization in the Catholic Registrar. Since that time, Cyril and Flavy have supported many partner families through our Family Development Program (FDP). Donors in our FDP receive both before and after photos of their partner families, as well as personalized letters. Cyril and Flavy have often kept these photos and letters on their fridge at home as a reminder of their connection to families on the other side of the world. After witnessing how the FDP has significantly changed the lives of these partner families, one by one, each of Cyril and Flavy’s three daughters also joined SAFP as donors themselves.
Last year, seeing the before and after photos of her parents’ most recent partner family evoked Sneha’s desire to help others. She and her fiancée decided to support a family of their own, following in her parents’ footsteps. These photos also led Priya to partner with a family in the FDP. Lastly, Divya joined this recent Moraes family tradition of participating in the FDP after seeing a post on social media from Sneha. All three sisters recognized that the FDP provided them with an opportunity to make a positive, sustainable impact in the lives of families in India.
When asked about their experience as SAFP donors, the Moraes family offered several reasons for why they have enjoyed their involvement with SAFP thus far and why they will continue to support the organization in the future. Their reasons are echoed by many other donors who share a similar experience.
One unique element of the FDP Program is that donors can engage in the personal journey with the families they are supporting through sharing of letters and photos throughout the duration of the program. This provides both donors and partner families with the opportunity to learn more about each other’s cultures and allows donors to see how their support directly contributes to the wellbeing of families enduring the hardships of living in poverty. Cyril and Flavy’s favourite part of the FDP is seeing the children of their partner families grow up over the years through these pictures, appearing both healthy and happy.
For some donors, involvement with SAFP creates a new appreciation for what they have in their own lives and instills a sense of gratitude for the opportunities available to them. Divya experienced this when she read the first letter with a photo of her partner family. This emotional moment reminded her that there are things about her life that she sometimes takes for granted. Similarly, Sneha’s experience resulted in reflections about the privileges surrounding her and the opportunity she has and to pay it forward.
The Moraes family also appreciates that our program creates sustainable change in the lives of their partner families. The FDP is designed to teach participants the skills necessary to start their own small businesses leading to self-sufficiency that will last well beyond the end of the six-year program.
Finally, Priya explained that she appreciates the impact the FDP has on whole families. When each head of household in our program is provided with support, training, access to income and assistance with food, housing, and sanitation, their children have more opportunities, including attending school more regularly. Priya noted that this creates a multi-generational impact in partner families as their children are less likely to fall into the cycle of poverty as they grow up.
None of the accomplishments discussed here would be possible without generous donors such as the Moraes family. Like Sneha, Priya, and Divya, thousands of donors have joined our Family Development Program over the past 57 years in thanks to the encouragement and invitation of their family, friends, and community members. Cyril and Flavy are a perfect example of how our existing donors support SAFP as we continue to grow.