Photo Friday: Our top 5 “cheerful” photos!

Welcome to Photo Friday! Each Friday, we share photo collections of our favourite shots from our sponsor sites around the world.

In Canada, many holiday festivities have passed and the dreariness of winter is in full swing. It’s in these times that we need to pause and reflect on our blessings, our loved ones, and the things that bring joy, happiness, and cheer to our hearts.

To help bring some light and laughter to your week, we’re sharing our top 5 “cheerful” photos from our sponsor sites! In spite of the many obstacles they face, many of the children and families we serve are filled with the light and love of Christ. We can see their deep inner joy reflected on their faces!

#5: Beaming boys 

These boys from our Mercy Care site in Kenya are eager to pose for a photo with bright, beaming smiles! You can almost hear the laughter and cheer they bring to the scene. Their school is supported by kind Chalice donors, so they receive meals and extra support to ensure that they get the most out of their education.

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Meals made with love: Maria finds fulfilment in her career

Maria, a former sponsored child from our Pochaiv site in Ukraine, is finding great joy and fulfilment in her busy profession as a cook after recently graduating from trade school!

Maria is no stranger to a busy schedule. She comes from a bustling family of five children. Every day, Maria’s father would head to work early in the morning, while her mother would stay home and care for the young children in the home. Even though Maria’s father worked full time, the family still lived in poverty due to his low income. Determined to help to the best of her ability, Maria always pitched in with the household chores. As soon as she was finished, she’d start crocheting! She would diligently knit sweaters to sell to contribute towards household bills.

One year, Maria’s mother heard of Chalice’s sponsorship program, and applied for assistance. When Maria was chosen by a sponsor, she was so happy! From then on, she was able to attend school with supplies, buy books, and attend study groups. “She grew up hardworking and persistent. She wanted to achieve a lot in life because sponsorship motivated her,” says Halyna, our Pochaiv site director.

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Photo Friday: Our top 5 “Grow Faith” photos!

Welcome to Photo Friday! Each Friday, we share photo collections of our favourite shots from our sponsor sites around the world.

Faith thrives in strong, supportive communities. We aim to encourage the faith of our Chalice family around the world, whether it be through sharing the Word of God, through prayer, by encouraging our Sisters and priests, or by giving and children and families the chance to believe in hope and the love of Jesus.

This week, we’re sharing our top 5 “Grow Faith” photos of children, families, and staff at our sites growing and sharing their faith! We are so inspired by the outpouring of resilience and hope we see from our Chalice family each day!

#5: Spread the word

In Catholic communities such as our CMAVIL site in Villeta, Paraguay, a bible is a treasured gift.  Family circles meet for passage readings and reflections to grow and share in their faith journeys. In 2018, it was our site’s goal to provide each of our sponsored families with a bible to encourage daily reading of the Word of God.

In total, 284 families from our CMAVIL site received a bible of their own. They met at the Virgen del Rosaria de Villeta Church to celebrate the occasion!
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The Unshakeable Spirit of Cañete

The formation house of the Sisters of Santa Ana in Cañete is like a bustling village. The Sisters and staff administer our sponsorship program, parents gather for family circle meetings and training, children come for youth groups, and teens meet for Confirmation classes. Families from all over the city also gather for community events and celebrations.

In 2007, a major earthquake rocked Peru, killing 600 people and destroying 76,000 homes. The formation house sustained damage that was never fully addressed. As a result, the Sisters lived with increasing anxiety as they saw the cracks and exposed metal framework corroding. When Peru’s national government warned that more seismic activity is possible, the Sisters contacted Chalice for support, concerned for the safety of the hundreds of people who work and socialize at the house.

Thanks to the generous spirits of Chalice supporters, the renovations were soon underway. Pausing for a few months in the spring, the Sisters have now completed all of the critical work. They have demolished, replaced, or heavily renovated the corroded central support columns, archways, and the security wall around the perimeter. They have also installed non-slip flooring where the previous tiling had collapsed. Approximately 850 people, including 550 sponsored by Chalice, once again have a safe and secure place to meet, work, pray, and play!

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Photo Friday: Our top 5 “New Year’s Inspiration” Photos!

Welcome to Photo Friday! Each Friday, we share photo collections of our favourite shots from our sponsor sites around the world.

It’s 2021, and a new year has just begun! Many of us have made new year’s resolutions of all kinds; to get outdoors more often, to spend more time on hobbies, or to continue to spread God’s love and help others.

This week, we’re sharing a photo collection of children and families from our sites practicing healthy, positive habits! Many of these great habits were made possible thanks to the support of sponsorship and donations made to our other projects and programs. We hope these top 5 “New Year’s Inspiration” photos will motivate you to continue or adopt your own healthy habits this year!

#5: Get more physical activity! 

These boys from our Santiago site in Chile love staying active with exercise equipment!  They attend a school for children with motor and intellectual impairments. Equipment such as exercise balls help the children improve their motor skills in physical therapy. The support the school receives from donations through our gift catalogue and other programs has been essential for the success of their students.
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Abdul’s amazing ability

In a tiny, poor village in the state of Assam, India, Abdul was born to caring parents. While his parents were shocked and confused to see his differently-formed hands, they loved him and were determined to help him reach his full potential.

Abdul’s father left for work early each morning, earning daily wages at the railway station while his mother stayed home to care for him. As he grew, she taught him how to be independent and embrace his abilities. Though his childhood had a lot of challenges, with the unwavering support of his mother, he was admitted to a neighboring school. Initially he found it difficult to write but gradually he learned by holding a pencil with his two fingers. He was not going to let a disability overtake his life.

In 2011, Abdul was overjoyed to learn he had been chosen by a Chalice sponsor, which brought great relief to his family who struggled to afford his schooling. The help, support, and guidance of his sponsor was invaluable, and provided a great source of inspiration for his studies.

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Laughter, prayer, and Christmas blessings in Neema, Tanzania

 

The children and staff from our Neema site in Tanzania wish you warm Christmas blessings filled with holy joy, prosperity, and hopeful blessings for the future. 

“Christmas comes to our life every year with new hope and love to each and every person of the world,” says Sr. Mary Grace, our Neema site director.

Last Christmas, children at our Neema site celebrated the Holy Eucharist and offered thoughtful prayers for their beloved sponsors. After prayerfully reflecting upon the birth of Christ, children and their families enjoyed a delicious lunch together. The menu included chicken, chips, salad, rice, and fruit, favourites of many! It was one of the most enjoyable moments of the year.

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Photo Friday: Our top 5 “Christmas card” photos!

Welcome to Photo Friday! Each Friday, we share photo collections of our favourite shots from our sponsor sites around the world.

Every year, sponsored children from all over the world take special time to create a lovely handmade Christmas card for their sponsor. These cards come in all shapes and sizes; children make them with craft materials at our sites or at their homes, and let their creativity shine!

This year, we were lucky enough to snap a few quick photos of a handful of beautiful cards from a selection of our sponsor sites! This week, we’re sharing our top 5 “Christmas cards” that we picked from the selection (though we wish we had the space to post them all!). We hope you love the thought and care that went into these adorable cards filled with Christmas joy.

#5: Snowman celebrations

This adorable snowman card crafted by Jhonny from Bolivia is bursting with Christmas cheer! Jhonny coloured the background and little flags with pencil crayon, and used felt to create a jolly snowman, sparkling Christmas tree, and festive presents. He even used some beads to look like snow. What a cute card!  Continue reading

Mothers in Peru spread Christmas cheer with neighbors in need

Each year as Christmas approaches, mothers of sponsored children at our PINIFE site in Peru reflect on how they can make the holidays special. A few years ago, Chalice family circles decided that the best way to enjoy Christmas was to share joy and blessings with their neighbors in need.  

In the surrounding community, many elders struggle to make ends meet. During Christmas, mothers took time to visit the elderly, sharing in conversation and prayer. This was eye-opening for the mothers, for even though their daily lives are difficult, they met others in as much need as them. 

The mothers were moved to give the elders what they could from what little they had, and eagerly gifted food hampers they created at the end of their visits. “They returned home with that experience of feeling joy for giving, thus valuing their own family and getting closer to God who loves us and is always watching over all,” says the Sisters who oversee our PINIFE site. 

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Photo Friday: Our top 5 “Christmas traditions” photos

Welcome to Photo Friday! Each Friday, we share photo collections of our favourite shots from our sponsor sites around the world.

We are blessed to work with diverse communities in countries all around the world. At Christmastime, when families at our sites celebrate the birth of Jesus, they have the opportunity to showcase many wonderful traditions unique to their culture.

This week, we’re sharing our top 5 “Christmas traditions” from our sponsor sites. We hope you enjoy this festive and heartwarming collection!

#5: Dancing shoes in Bolivia

In Bolivia, Christmas celebrations at our sites include games, contests, music, and dancing! Family circles take special care in rehearsing and performing different traditional dances for their peers, and a special greeting dance called “Chuntunquis” to honour the baby Jesus. One year, a group of mothers prepared beautiful dance costumes with recycled materials including rice and sugar bags, and old CDs!  Continue reading