Katya, a young woman from our Ternopil site in Ukraine, has a favourite quote that she often reflects on: “If love is in your heart, you are in the palms of God.” Katya’s been sponsored for the past 11 years, and tries her best to spread the love of God with others. “The main calling of each person is to love others and be ready to help them, therefore fulfilling God’s will,” Katya smiles.
Looking at sincere, balanced, and thoughtful Katya, it’s hard to believe that she’s lived through so much tragedy and sadness. When Katya was just two years old, her mother passed away in a car accident. Katya and her siblings were left orphaned and heartbroken. Their loving grandmother adopted the four children, and tried her best to provide for a good life for them.
Since 2012, Chalice has worked with partners in Sucre, Bolivia to offer care and services to vulnerable children and families. In addition to sponsorship, our Levántate Mujer site is also involved in our gift catalogue program. At Christmas (and throughout the year,) kind Canadians can purchase gifts through our catalogue to be given to those in need. Thanks to our generous supporters, many children and families from our Levántate Mujer site were blessed with a variety of gifts this year!
Volodya is a energetic, hardworking 11-year-old boy from our Ternopil site in Ukraine. He’s in grade six, and his favourite subjects are computer studies and biology. He’s very social, and enjoys playing soccer with his friends and attending dance and drama club at his local community center. He adores animals, and enjoys taking care of his dog Alfa and cat Murka!
When Volodya was growing up, his life wasn’t always filled with happy moments. When he was born, his father abandoned him and his mother, Svitlana, who was left to raise her new baby alone. Volodya suffered with frequent illnesses, so the family had to spend most of their time at the hospital. Since they were homeless, they lived in the small hospital shelter for a year while Volodya received treatment.
After moving from shelter to shelter for over three years, Svitlana eventually found a shabby apartment that they could afford on her small income as a janitor. The building has no running water, and was in need of many repairs. Svitlana still struggled to pay rent, and the two often didn’t have enough to eat.
Our Madurai site in India first began in 1997 in partnership with the Sisters of the Cross of Chavannod. “We aim to empower the poor and downtrodden,” says Sr. Amala, our site director. “We work to identify the capabilities hidden within students and to find creative strategies to convert them in to very useful and relevant skills!”
Today, our Madurai site sponsors over 700 children. Two hundred of these live in the subsite area of Kodaikanal. In this area, many children faced barriers that prevented them from attending school. Continue reading
For children living in poverty, education is the key to a better future. In many developing countries, however, the schools available to children make it difficult to learn. Some classrooms don’t have enough desks or school supplies for every student. In some communities, there’s not even a school for children to attend.
In Kenya, elementary school is free to attend. Unfortunately, parents are still responsible for books and uniforms, which can be expensive for a struggling family. School infrastructure in Kenya is extremely poor; in many cases, classes are taught in makeshift shacks. Often, there’s no furniture, so children must sit on the floor. This poor learning environment makes it difficult for children to focus on their lessons.
Selva’s son Braulio has been sponsored through our CMAVIL site in Paraguay for 10 years. Sponsorship has been an immense blessing, but when Selva’s husband lost his job, the family’s financial situation became dire. Selva, eager to support her family, had the idea to start a small laundry business!
Laundry work is not regarded as a respectable job in her community, and Selva’s husband tried to persuade her to do something else. Selva, however, was determined she would be able to make her business idea work. When her daughter was let go from her job due to downsizing, the family put the severance pay towards their first industrial washing machine. They named their new small business “J&M Laundry”, after Joseph and Mary from the bible.
Even seemingly minor health issues can stand between a child receiving the most out of their education. Caroline, a sponsored teen from Nakuru, Kenya, lives with her mom and two siblings. Three years ago, Caroline started having issues with her eyesight. Her eyes suddenly became intolerant to bright lights, leading to discomfort in class and while studying. Her aching, red eyes would often trigger severe headaches.
Caroline was given painkillers for some time, but the irritation and headaches became too much to bear. Looking for answers, her mother took her to the hospital. Doctors discovered that Caroline’s brain was unable to adjust to various levels of brightness, causing light sensitivity.
Education is essential to break the cycle of poverty, but children also need to be healthy to be able to learn. Being affected by vision or hearing loss, chronic pain, or mobility problems can severely affect a child’s ability to learn. Donations to Chalice critical needs is one way our supporters help break the barrier poor health can place on a child in need.
Munich, a 17 year old sponsored teenager from our Tondo site in the Philippines, lives with severe mixed hearing loss in both her ears. She had a typical hearing throughout childhood but around the age of 10 her mother noticed that she was having trouble with her hearing. Munich’s family is quite poor. She lives with her parents and seven siblings in the slum and even though it was evident that Munich was in great need of hearing aids to keep up with her school work, a series of unfortunate events befell the family and she didn’t receive the help she needed.
In addition to child sponsorship, Chalice also offers elder sponsorship at many of our sites around the world. Many elders living in poverty no longer have the ability to work for a living, and those without children or family nearby are left to support themselves. Sponsorship gives struggling elders the support they need to receive essential medical care, eat nutritious meals, and live with comfort and dignity.
When Amadeo was just 11 years old, his family was forced to flee their home country due to conflict and war. The family, uprooted from their life, traveled and started anew in Champerico, Guatemala, located near our Luis Amigo site. Amadeo’s father sought work in agriculture, while his mother stayed at home to look after Amadeo and his seven siblings. Even with Amadeo’s father working full-time, the family grew up in extreme poverty, and struggled to afford basic necessities and school costs.
Amadeo was chosen by a Chalice sponsor when he was 14, and the support made a world of difference for his education. Sponsorship covered school fees and supplies, and allowed his parents to provide him and his siblings with better care.