Women from our Fatima site in Bolivia had the unique opportunity to strengthen their independence. Over 75 mothers of sponsored children were invited to participate in a two month cooking course organized by our site. This course, however, didn’t just cover household recipes; it featured popular recipes for Bolivian street food.
Street food is quite popular in Bolivia, and is a fast and easy way to make an income. Proper food safety, good recipes, and basic business knowledge are all required for success. With the experience gained from our site’s cooking course, women would be well prepared to run their own small businesses selling delicious food!
Mariya, from Ternopil, Ukraine, comes from a large family. Even though her parents both work full time, they could barely meet the needs of their children. Sponsorship brought great new opportunities for Mariya and her siblings. “From the day I was sponsored, we were able to afford food, school supplies, and household goods. My parents were also able to save for our education and development,” Mariya says.
Thanks to the support, Mariya had the special opportunity to attend music school, and was able to excel in her regular studies, too. She took home many school prizes in academic contests, and always achieved top marks. As she got older, she became especially passionate about English class. “At that time I understood that English and language skills were important for my future. I had extra classes of English with a tutor who inspired me to connect my future with English and teaching,” Mariya explains.
At our Samar site in the Philippines, many parents struggle to find full-time work. Since Samar is an island, industries and businesses are limited, and the most common work for families is fishing or seasonal wage work.
Alicia is a mother from our Samar site, and has two children, Abigail, and Vincent. Both of her children were fortunate to be chosen by kindhearted Chalice sponsors, and receive support to attend school. Alicia and her husband were both blessed to be working full-time, and the family was thriving.
A tragedy struck when Alicia’s husband had to have his arm amputated due to illness. He was left unable to work at his labour job, and Alicia was now the sole wage earner for the family. She had to pick up multiple jobs to make ends meet.
Our Mercy Care site is located in the Mwingi region of Kenya. This area is dry and arid, and usually receives very little rain. Last spring, however, unusually heavy rainfall drenched the region. The soft, dry soil was heavily eroded, devastating farms and roads. Many homes and structures were extensively damaged, as they were not built to withstand rainstorms.
With families and children left vulnerable, we scrambled to provide makeshift shelters. Other families in the community generously offered to share their small homes with displaced families. One of the most affected families was a family of five left homeless, as their entire house collapsed.
Born in a small village where most people have not experienced many luxuries in life, Shane desperately wanted to have an opportunity for better life in the future. Her father worked as security guard and her mother worked in health care, but they didn’t make very much money.
Because of their poverty, her father would have to leave the family behind for long stretches of time for work. Shane spent a lot of time in the care of her mother. With six children in the family, Shane’s mother did her best to be a good role model for her children. She encouraged them to be responsible and ambitious, and instilled in them a desire for education and success.
Even though Shane faced her fair share of obstacles and difficulties, she was never overwhelmed. She entrusted herself to God, and focused on the future. When Shane was in grade four, she was blessed to be chosen by a Chalice sponsor. Sponsorship motivated Shane to excel in her studies, and helped her mother provide for the family.
In Ukraine, beds remain one of the most frequently requested items from our gift catalogue. The majority of the families at our sites in Ukraine are large, and often times their homes are small. Children share beds with siblings and parents, with often up to four people sharing one small bed.
Over the years, we’ve used generous donations through our gift catalogue to replace broken beds with new ones, or provide bunk beds to siblings so that children could sleep in their own beds. Sofa beds are also a popular choice, as many families have limited living space- sofa beds can be used as a sitting couch during the day, and a bed at night.
Starehe Girls’ Centre, located in Nairobi, Kenya, is the only chance some girls get at a quality education. The boarding school was founded in 2005, and offers education to economically disadvantaged girls. The centre boasts an extremely high standard of education, and is meant to prepare girls to continue their studies competitively in university.
Starehe Girls’ Centre works in tandem with Chalice sponsorship to allow girls from poor backgrounds to attend. It also receives our support for sports teams, school gardens, student clubs, and more. “The Centre sets out to not merely provide food, clothing, and protection to girls in need, but to restore them in self-confidence so often injured by earlier misfortune in life,” says Sr. Jane our Starehe Girl’s site director.
Good dental hygiene is essential for the health and happiness of growing children. In the Philippines, tooth decay is a widespread problem afflicting many children and adults. Last year, at a routine heath check at our sponsor site in Tondo, almost 100% of our 1325 sponsored children had cavities.
Tooth decay and gum disease have a serious effect on both children and adults. Tooth issues can weaken bodily defenses for serious and potentially dangerous diseases and infections. Poor oral health also negatively affects school performance. In the Philippines, toothache is the primary cause of absenteeism, and reduces confidence and self-esteem due to pain and missing or decayed teeth.
Every child deserves to have a strong, beautiful smile. Our new Zero Cavities project aims to treat and eradicate cavities for sponsored children and their siblings at our Tondo site. Children receive dental treatment for current issues, regular fluoride rinses, and are being taught how to properly care for their teeth at home.