Celebrating International Literacy Day

Students in Guinea Bissau wearing masks and holding books as
a class is held outside. Photo credit: Alfalit Guinea Bissau, June 2020.

In 1967, UNESCO declared September 8 as International Literacy Day as a reminder that literacy is more than the ability to read and write – it is a matter of dignity and human rights. This year, UNESCO will highlight literacy teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the awareness day. [See below to learn how Alfalit is responding in this crisis.] According to UNESCO, there are 773 million people worldwide who are not literate. As we recognize International Literacy Day, we are reminded that those of us who can read this newsletter are truly blessed.

Alfalit’s team is adapting to challenging times to ensure the safety and well-being of our students and staff – whether in the U.S. or any of the countries we serve. As millions of students head back to school, both virtually and in-person, we are praying for their health and that of all teachers and other staff.


Board Members Spotlight

Dominican Republic, 2012

Carol Brock has served on the Alfalit board for decades and is a true believer in the impact education can have on the lives of our students. Please enjoy the following excerpt from her autobiographical piece, which explains her relationship to Alfalit: “Alfalit board member, Carol Brock, has been active with Alfalit International for nearly twenty years. Most of those years have been as a board member and also on the Executive Committee. Carol was President of her own company, Vendorplus,Inc., an international media fundraising and marketing company, traveling for twenty years overseeing the projects of their sixteen offices in the United States and Canada. Carol developed an early interest in helping people when she taught English in Korea and helped her church resettle refugee families after the Vietnam War. For these refugee efforts, she was named Citizen of the Year. For ten years, Carol was on the city of Coral Gables Senior Citizens’ Advisory Board serving as chairman throughout the critical years of funding and building the current Adult Activities Center. Carol’s interests include Family FaceTimes, swimming, hiking, nature photography, writing, traveling, history, genealogy, and playing the piano. She resides in Coral Gables, Florida from November to April, and alternates the other six months between Warren, Vermont and Vancouver, Canada. She attends First United Methodist Church in Coral Gables. She and her husband, Jasper, have a foster daughter, Claudia, and six-year-old granddaughter, Isabella in Arizona, and they helped raise their nephew Philip now a personal chef in Miami. Thanks to prayer, Carol’s Mom is a recent survivor of Covid at age 94…Continue Reading.


Face Masks and COVID-19 Information Leaflet
distribution. Photo credit: Alfalit International,
Ecuador, June 2020.

Thanks to the continued generosity of many, we have facilitated the distribution of over 9,500 masks in Latin America and Africa. Affiliate directors and staff are hard at work supplying students, teachers, and other vulnerable populations, including ethnic and indigenous minorities, with much-needed food, safety instructions and pamphlets, and mental health resources. In Florida, one anonymous donor generously donated 3,000 masks which were distributed locally to people who are homeless, various Miami churches, and Alfalit students, staff, and teachers.

To Our Anonymous Donor—thank you for your continued dedication to education and your commitment to serving as Christ intended. We hope to continue to expand similar initiatives in the future to ensure the wellbeing of our communities at home and abroad.

When asked why the masks were provided to Alfalit for distribution, our anonymous donor simply said, “Alfalit is an organization that cares deeply about people. Alfalit is always helping people.”

To find out how you can help our students in these pandemic times call us at 305-597-9077 or email [email protected].


Peas of Mind

Ruth and Charles Dow ready to begin their missionary work
with Alfalit post-retirement. Photo credit: Decatur, IL
Herald & Review article published on June, 1998.

It can be difficult to juggle a healthy diet in the midst of a pandemic, but longtime missionary and former Alfalit board member Ruth Dow—who has changed lives for decades as a dietitian and university professor—taught her students that through effective and simple methods, it can be done. An Illinois native, Ruth was inspired to teach those with little income about an affordable and nutritious lifestyle after a 1984 mission trip to Mexico. She and her husband Chuck, a United States Marine Corps veteran and agriculture expert, have used their talents in some of the poorest areas of the world. Their goal was simple – to share knowledge so that individuals and families in Latin America, Africa, and the United States could make nutrition and health a priority. Ruth recommends a diverse, nutrient-rich diet of foods such as legumes, starches, good fats, fruits, leafy vegetables, meat, fish, milk and eggs. When running low on one food category, be sure to substitute with a food found in the same category, such as eating cheese or yogurt when no fresh milk is available. Fruits and vegetables can be grown in a container garden in nearly any home and may only require water and direct sunlight (on your patio or balcony) or indirect sunlight (near a window.) To read more about this incredible, talented woman who gave so much of herself to Alfalit students, please read The Naper Settlement’s HERstory. Thank you, Ruth & Chuck!


Mark Your Ball for This Fall

The 5th annual Alfalit Golf Tournament will be held October 10, 2020 at Trump National Doral (Miami). Just a few sponsorship opportunities remain—don’t miss the chance to promote your business… Be sure to purchase a tee sign, too. For more information and registration, please click here or contact Todd Talbott at 323-804-0521


Annual Gala Cancelled – Get Ready for 2021!

While Alfalit’s golf tournament takes place out-of-doors, our Gala is a very well-attended indoor event and social distancing is difficult. In light of COVID-19 and out of concern for our many supporters, the difficult decision to forgo our annual gala was made. We are hopeful that our 2021 gala will more than make up for this lapse. The Gala, our largest fundraising event, isn’t happening, but our costs continue and our students depend on us. We ask everyone to kindly consider making a much needed gift – no matter how large or small.


Online Auction

Looking for another opportunity to support Alfalit- and perhaps cross  someone off of your Christmas list? Check out our new auction website to bid on jewelry, getaways, dinner parties and other must-haves. New items frequently added – click back often!

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