I became an active member of CAF in 2017 when I got involved in the organisation of one of their charity concerts meant to support the beneficiaries in India and Cambodia. As a result I was offered the opportunity to accompany the team during the next field trip and I decided to do it.
From the beginning I knew that it was going to be a trip unlike any other. India is a very particular country, facing many societal challenges, and everybody was asking me if I was not afraid of facing India’s daily realities. My thinking at that point was that it was one thing to read and hear about it, and that experiencing it first-hand might offer a completely different perspective. A particularly interesting aspect of the trip that we were about to embark on was the fact that we were going to meet local people and observer their daily lives in their natural environment.
When we arrived in Chennai and went on the first day to meet a few of the beneficiaries of our programme living in the stone quarry in South of Chennai,I was simply overwhelmed. The living conditions there are very difficult. I asked myself what sort of future opportunities the children born over there were going to have in life. I had just one thought in my head: “Our help is just a tiny drop in the vast ocean of their needs”. Only the fact that I was very tired after the long flight from Europe helped me fall asleep that night. My head and heart were filled with conflicting emotions.
During next days we visited various projects supported by CAF and our partner organisations but the biggest part of our time was devoted to meeting children in children’s homes. We spoke to each of them individually, concentrated on their family stories, their daily lives, health, school, hobbies, special needs. On the first day of this so-called monitoring I was astounded by all the information we received but also saddened by the challenges and the amount of hardship endured by those children at such a young age. What stroke me the most were the daily realities of the lives of women and girls in India.
Suddenly though I came to a realization that these girls living in the homes run by nuns were in fact happy, enjoying having a safe harbour and a roof over their heads, home-like conditions, friends, the opportunity to go to school and play and lough in
their spare time. Despite all the difficulties experienced in the past they were
also able to laugh and still remain full of trust and hope for the future. All of that lead me to believe that our tiny drops of help were in fact very important and provided concrete positive input, brought smiles to their faces and made a better future possible in at least a few cases.
While visiting other places and projects we could see many more “drops in the ocean”.
There are numerous organisations from the whole world helping people… and I believe all of their activities are in fact mutually beneficial both for the world as they foster the human spirit and the value of empathy and sharing as well as promote humane values.
One of the girls when encouraged to ask questions said: “Why are you helping us”? To which a member of our team replied: “Do you think we are helping you? My perception is that you help us more than we help you…”
As a result of this trip I made a decision to become a “godmother” (the term that I prefer to use rather than “sponsor”) to Subitha. She turned 18 this year and is now studying to become a nurse.
Sanquimonte – Autumn concert on 8 December 2018 in Brussels’ in Novanöïs (Rue des Ailes 3 Vleugelstraat (Schaarbeek). See Google map at the bottom of this page!
Let’s celebrate autumn with the music of Sanquimonte, an enigmatic band born from the frenetic mix of Brazilian Bossa Nova, French Indie, German Jazz and Spanish Rock passion.
The band will be playing to raise funds for CAF’s future projects for children and families in situations of poverty managed by our partner NGOs in India and Cambodia.
We want to thank the venue Novanöïs for their support in the organisation of this concert.
Doors open: 19h30
Concert starts: 20:30
Place: Novanöïs, Rue des Ailes 3, Schaarbeek, 1030
How to get there? Tram 92 direction “Schaarbeek Gare”, stop: Pogge
Food available upon reservation via email below / Price entry: pre-sale 15€ / at the entrance 17€ (Special price for students, stagiaires, elderly, unemployed: 10€)
Of course I had heard nice stories about CAF from my good friends who were already involved, but it is not until 2017 that I took the leap and decided to accompany them in their annual field trip to Cambodia. Needless to say, it was quite an experience!
I got the opportunity to meet with the local partner LRDE (Le Restaurant des Enfants), observe how it welcomes around hundred poor children every day at its place located in the center of Pnom Penh, and understand how it makes arrangements to offer those kids basic care and provide them whenever possible with the opportunity to go to school.
Then some kind of miracle occurred: a little 6 years old girl came to me and I knew instantly I would become her sponsor.
Since then I have been receiving news from her regularly and even pictures thanks to which I can see how nice she is growing. I really hope I can follow her at least until she becomes an adult and is truly able to make her own choices in life.
I totally adhere to CAF’s approach which is also involved in the family micro-business, but always with the ultimate objective of helping parents become autonomous to support the education of their children.
Great Nordic Jazz concert by Glöd on 23 June 2018 in Brussels’ SazzNJazz!
Let’s celebrate the longest day of the year with Nordic Jazz and contribute to making lives of children and families in India and Cambodia better.
Join us for an evening of Nordic sound with smooth vocals, Glöd trio- the Brussels-based outfit featuring vocalist Johanna Bernsel, saxophonist Thomas Kallstenius and pianist Teddy Thomas want to contribute to making Brussels a multi-cultural city full of jazz and world-music.
Doors open: 19h30
Concert starts: 21:00
Place: Sazz n’ Jazz, Boulevard Bischoffsheim 38b, 1000 Bruxelles (near Botanique)
Food available upon reservation (15€) / Price entry: pre-sale 15€ / at the entrance 17€ (Special price for students, elderly, unemployed: 10€)
Celtic Music by Bothan in BrusselsSazz N’Jazz club, 25 November, reserve your tickets today! (Bld Bischoffsheim 38 b, Brussels, next to Botanique)
An amazing Celtic Folk Group is playing for you in Brussels on the 25th of November in an exquisite cosy jazz club. What better way than to celebrate the start of the winter season than to get mesmerised by Celtic music. Bothan especially plays for the benefit of Children are the Future, so the proceeds go to children in need of help in India and Cambodia.
Bothán are a Brussels based folk group comprising Elise Docherty (vocals), Jane McBride (vocals), Andy Upton (guitar), and Alex Smith (everything else). Over the last few years they’ve been building up a reputation for themselves as one of the best folk groups in town. Their music is based on the wonderfully complementary voices of Elise and Jane, with instumental backing from Alex and Andy and their repertoire includes songs for all tastes: traditional favourites, new and innovative arrangements of old ballads, as well as a number of original compositions.
Doors open at 19h30
Dinner available upon reservation for 15 Euro
Concert starts at 21h00
Bld Bischoffsheim 38 b
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This year once again on Saturday evening on April 29th at Sazz n’ Jazz we have a great concert for you that will make you want to sing and dance. Let’s celebrate Spring time with music from all around the world and contribute to the improvement of lives of children and families in Cambodia and India!
Get on the “Bugari Express” and let yourself be taken on a wonderful musical trip across the world, from the Balkans to Argentina. During the event you will also have the opportunity to enjoy a presentation of beautiful pictures from the last trip of CAF volunteers to India and Cambodia (and maybe you want to join us on the next trip?!).
About Bugari Express: The accordionist Stijn Verhofstadt brought together an eclectic group of musicians who are all passionate about Klezmer and Eastern European musics. With the arrival of the singer Chantal Alvares, the group did not only gain a fantastic voice, but also enriched its repertoire with tango and fado due to Chantal’s Portuguese and Argentinean origins.
The band members are: Jef (double bass), Kathleen (violin), Djama (percussion) Chantal (voice), Stijn (accordeon), Philippe (clarinet) and Stanislas (guitar). They will take us on a musical journey through time and space with Gypsy and Balkan music, tango or their own versions of classic hits by bands such as Vaya Con Dios.
Hope you join us. Spread the Word!
Please reserve your tickets by making a bank transfer to CAF´s bank account, indicating in the communication field “your name + Bugari CAF concert”.
CAF ASBL 452 Avenue de la Couronne, 1050 Bruxelles.
IBAN: BE78 7340 0454 7386
BIC: KRED BE BB
– Place: Sazz n’ Jazz, Boulevard Bischoffsheim 38b, 1000 Bruxelles (near botanique)
– Date & Time: April 29. Doors open at 20:00; Concert starts at 21:00
– Price: 15€ per person
If you want more information, our mailing address is:
INFO [AT] CHILDRENARETHEFUTURE.EU