Happy Easter… A Symbol of hope, renewal, & new life

Easter reminds us that hope is always possible. When we sometimes find ourselves on life’s dark roads, we can discover the light again if we stay on course.

Easter reminds us that hope is always possible. When we sometimes find ourselves on life’s dark roads, we can discover the light again if we stay on course. When we do, we are renewed in purpose, and optimism is restored. 

For our students, their dreams, self-confidence, and prospects linger unfulfilled on these dim paths. Without literacy, a fundamental right of every human, there is little potential for brighter futures for themselves, their families, and their communities. Alfalit offers educational programs to guide them from the shadows of illiteracy and dismal poverty – they are empowered and enlightened. Just as Alfalit brings new beginnings, so does Easter, the classic symbol of hope and renewal. During this holy time and always, may the Lord shower you and your family with blessings and fill your heart with peace – and light.
Yours with Alfalit,

Catherine F. Penrod

Executive Director

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105

With over 40 years in the banking industry – many at the executive level, Alfalit Board Member Yvonne Debesa is the current Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Sunstate Bank, a community bank serving the South Florida area with branches in Palmetto Bay, West Miami, and Coral Gables. In this role since 2011, she oversees the bank’s branch network, deposit operations, and loan servicing. She is also an advisor to the Board’s Audit Committee, ALCO/Investment, and Director’s Loan Committee and serves on the Executive Management, IT Steering, and Management Compliance Committees.

Yvonne has a deep-rooted love for her community, contributing her time to many boards and community efforts, including those in the education arena. She loves the variety that comes from working at a community bank as it enables her to wear many hats and stay engaged in her community. “A client once told me ‘it does not matter what you do in business or personally – it matters what you do to give back to your community,’ and that really stuck with me,” says Yvonne.
Yvonne and Sunstate Bank have been dedicated supporters of Alfalit’s annual Gala and Golf Tournament events. “Yvonne is a very engaged, thoughtful, and valuable Board member,” said Executive Director Catherine Penrod. Yvonne is also involved with many other civic and business organizations, including the South Florida Banking Institute, Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Banking and Financial Services Committee, Habitat of Miami – Women’s Leadership Council, FIU Alumni Board, and United Way’s Women United.
“You have to have balance in your life,” Yvonne says. “Fulfill your responsibilities and then do what makes you happy. And for me, giving back is fulfilling.”

The purpose of the YPA is to support Alfalit’s mission by leveraging local resources to further empower people with the gift of literacy. It is our goal to generate funds to support the services of Alfalit and to provide awareness about Alfalit.
The YPA’s Membership Program was created to extend additional engagement opportunities to members with the purpose of incentivizing giving and involvement. The YPA’s Membership Program is comprised of adults of all ages that have a passion to empower the less fortunate through literacy.
Any person between the ages of 21-40 can become a member of our impactful organization for the low contribution of $50 per year. Your yearly contribution will be used to contribute to Alfalit’s yearly educational budget, benefit specific campaigns, develop new programs or endow grants or scholarships.

The benefits of becoming a member include:

  • Opportunity to be part of Alfalit’s mission trips.
  • Attend our members-only events. 
  • Take advantage of discounted pricing on event tickets. *
  • Get early access to our events. 
  • Have access to early bird tickets. 
  • Receive a free raffle ticket per event. *
  • Extended bidding time. *
  • Receive members-only gear.

* Excluding Afalit’s Gala and Golf Tournament.

I live in a rural town in Kinshasa. I am 50 years old. Since I finished my studies, I have never worked. I looked for a job for a long time, but without success. I suffered humiliation in the family because of unemployment. I endured so much suffering to the point of deciding to leave our family plot and live with a friend.

In the church, our pastor gives an announcement that Alfacongo is recruiting teachers. I took my test and have been hired as a teacher in Alfacongo since 2020.

The money I earn in Alfacongo allowed me to seek treatment in the hospital because I had suffered from asthma for several years. I regained my good health thanks to Alfacongo if not the disease would have killed me. I had grown very thin, ate very poorly, and ran out of money for treatment.
Today my two children are studying and I pay school fees through my work. My wife sells fish in the market and my household has become very stable.

Thank you Alfacongo

Dukpa Faustin
Basic Education Teacher
Democratic Republic of the Congo

“I spent five years at Alfalit if Alfalit offered more classes/levels, I would continue. I suffered prejudice due to my age and illiterate condition. I couldn’t engage in any business because I didn’t know how to read and do math. I felt shame every day! My son came home from school, he brought his homework and asked for help. I couldn’t understand a thing. I got so mad. I told him to go to his room. I had no motive to be upset with him – the truth is that I was very embarrassed. I decided to look for help. My neighbor told me about Alfalit. I told her I would stay for one month. After a few days, I knew I was in the right place. I committed to studyingand completed the 6-grade level. Today, I look back and see how worth it was to face my fears and shame. I am a different woman. I thank God for Alfalit International and now I have hope. I know that God has a great plan for my life. I have my own business, and I help my children.”

Mariquinha João Manuel
Angola, Graduate

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at the 6th Annual Alfalit International Golf Tournament. This year’s tournament will be on April 24th at the Trump National in Doral, Florida. There are sponsorships available and you can still get a foursome. Come join us for an awesome day of golf, tacos from the Best Taco Truck in Southern Florida, music, silent auction items, and celebrating this time of fellowship together. See you at the Tournament.

When Alfalit International was originally started, one of the main purposes of giving children and adults the gift of literacy was to give them the ability to read the bible. The bible opened their eyes and opened their hearts to God’s love for them and to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Today that tradition continues. When a student graduates they are given a New Testament Bible so they read all about the goodness of our Lord.

In the Bible, Matthew 19:26 says “With God All Things Are Possible”. Your generosity and prayers make it possible for students to enroll in Alfalit’s educational programs. As a student learns to read and write, the impossible becomes possible. A new hope begins to build and the potential for a brighter future for themselves, their families, and their communities begin.

In the spirit of Easter, make a monthly commitment to Alfalit International or even a one-time donation. As God brought Jesus Christ to bring light into our lives, literacy will light a pathway for the children and adults that Alfalit serves.

God Bless you during this Easter season and always.

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