The beautiful gift of sponsorship can change a child’s life in countless ways. This essential support doesn’t just provide food, medicine, clothing, and shelter; it deeply encourages children to open their eyes to a hopeful future, and focus on their innate potential as a child of God.
Nine-year-old Anhelina lives with her older sister, Anastasiya, and her mom, Olha, near our Ternopil site in Ukraine. Anhelina was born with Down syndrome, while her mom has suffered with a joint disability for many years. Since Anhelina’s birth, the family has struggled financially due to her diagnosis, as her developmental issues require expensive treatment and therapies.
For many years, the family lived in a small wooden carriage as they couldn’t afford a proper home. When Anastasiya started school, they tried to find a better place to live, and borrowed money to purchase a small clay house closer to school. The family’s father, Mykhalio, had to travel abroad to earn money to pay back the debt, and to contribute to medical bills and school fees.
When Anhelina turned five years old, she received the wonderful gift of sponsorship! The support immediately eased the financial burden on the family. On the very day she learned of her sponsor, Anhelina set a goal for herself; to learn how to write so that she could write letters to her sponsor by herself.
Anhelina’s now in grade three, and is working diligently towards her goal. Though she’s still learning how to write, she never misses the opportunity to draw beautiful pictures in letters to her sponsor. She’s learned to read, and loves learning all about Canada, the home country of her beloved sponsor.
Sponsorship has brought countless other opportunities for self-discovery to Anhelina. She enthusiastically participates in activities organized by her sponsor site and the surrounding community. Last summer, Anhelina made quite the achievement by climbing the 2061 meter high mountain “Hoverla” in the west Ukraine with her mother and a volunteer assistant. Anhelina was awarded with a medal for her achievement! Last November, Anhelina was also invited to a fashion show where the models are all children with disabilities. She had a great time meeting friends and showing off her modelling skills.
“Anhelina’s family is happy and grateful to belong to Chalice,” says Luba, our Ternopil site director. “Sponsorship has contributed a lot to her development and successes. Her parents can see that their daughter is connected to a community where she finds friendship and support.”
We offer our deepest thanks to Anhelina’s sponsor for allowing her to flourish and find her purpose in life. God bless!