On August 8, 2018, Lesya and her family endured an unexpected disaster. A fire, caused by an electrical short circuit, blazed throughout Lesya’s family home near our Ternopil site in the Ukraine. The fire damaged much of their kitchen and furniture, and destroyed the roof and beams in their nearby barn and shed. Lesya’s mother, Halyna, raises her four children alone, and is unable to work full-time. The family survives on their garden and small poultry farm. The damage caused by the fire was devastating to the family’s daily lives and to their livelihood.
Khrystyna is a creative, smart and hardworking young lady from our Ternopil site in the Ukraine. She has endured many hardships from a young age. Her father passed away when she was very young, and shortly afterwards her mother was diagnosed with cancer. All of the family’s savings was spent on her mother’s treatments, and it was very difficult to make ends meet.
When Khrystyna was 11, she was accepted into Chalice’s sponsorship program and was chosen by a generous sponsor shortly after. Although Khrystyna’s life has been anything but easy, she continues to persevere. She’s incredibly motivated and has always shown a thirst for knowledge.
Farming can be a tough way to make a living. Harsh weather, drought, and quick changes in seasons can spell an early end to a year’s worth of work. In Kenya, farming and agriculture is a source of livelihood for many families. Many parents at our Baraka site are farmers, and can only work when the conditions are right. It can be difficult for parents without full-time work to budget and provide for their children year round. Many people take odd jobs throughout the year to try to make ends meet.
Family Circle members at our Baraka site, comprised of parents and guardians of sponsored children, meet regularly to discuss their family budgets. Many members began to discuss ways to supplement their income, and began researching different business ventures. They discovered that raising chickens, a very common practice in Baraka, can be turned into a profitable small business with a little extra effort. Chickens are easy to raise, provide extra nutrition for the family, and both chicks and eggs can be sold for a profit.
Eighteen years ago, little Andrews set off alone from his rural home in Wa, Ghana, for his first day of primary school. Andrews was excited that instead of caring for cattle alongside his family all day, that he would be attending classes, meetings new friends, and learning.
As he set off for school, his father stood in the doorway, crossing his arms disapprovingly. He didn’t want Andrews to attend school, as he was the first born boy in a family of sixteen children, and was needed to work on the farm. At the time, his family didn’t see the value in education.
Andrews desired to attend school so much that he went on his own without support. He had to combine his farming chores and schooling to be able to produce enough food to feed everyone in the family. He often went to school for the entire day and went straight to working on the farm without anything to eat. He attended class barefoot and couldn’t afford books, but stayed positive and focused despite his challenges.
When Sandya was a small girl, she didn’t have an easy daily life. Sandya is from a tribal village in Mangalagiri, India, and grew up in a small thatched hut with her parents and five siblings. Her parents woke up early each day, working long hours as manual laborers to provide for their family.
Even with all of their hard work, Sandya’s parents still didn’t make nearly enough to provide their children with food, clothing and education. Sandya used to trek deep into the nearby forests with her siblings to collect firewood, leaves and herbal medicines that they would sell at at low price to try to support the family.
Theresa, from Serenje, Zambia, had to leave her mother and father when she was very young. Theresa comes from a large family, and has three sisters and five brothers. Her parents, who work as farmers, cannot provide for all of their children, especially when rainfall is scarce and crops are poor. When Theresa’s older brother was old enough for a job of his own, he took Theresa and one of her sisters to live with him, his wife, and their child in another town.
When Theresa first went to live with her brother, they all lived in a tiny thatched hut in a mission compound. The hut was small, uncomfortable, and worst of all, unsafe. The three women in the hut didn’t feel secure at night, and Theresa’s brother feared for the safety of his newborn. They wished desperately for a safer home, but Theresa’s brother didn’t make enough as a general worker to send Theresa and her sister to school, let alone purchase a new home.
This September, we’ve heard many inspiring back-to-school stories from our sites. Kind donors have made it possible for many classrooms to be stocked with essential school supplies, and sponsorship allows children to attend school with the proper care and nourishment they need to thrive.
Our sites are dedicated to making sure every single child gets the support needed to shine in the classroom. For some children, this means extra study time and tutoring, or specific equipment needed for school. Site staff and teachers pay close attention to make sure students are successful!
Franco, 13, is from our Levetante Mujer site in Bolivia. For the past few years, Franco had been falling behind in his classes. He didn’t seem to understand material written on the board, and constantly complained of headaches and blurry vision. He was frustrated with his classes, and wasn’t excited to go to school in the mornings.
Saidia Children’s Home, located in Kenya, is an oasis for children in need. Orphaned children without any family to care for them are sent to start new lives at the home. There’s also room for children from impoverished families, whose parents can no longer support them. Kids at the home receive healthy food, formal education, proper health care, and most importantly, love.
The social workers and staff at the home care deeply for the children, and want to provide the best care possible. The Children’s Home, however, lacked one very important feature. There was no shower facilities for the 55 resident children to use.
Serhiy was just 11 years old when he became an orphan. After their parent’s deaths, Serhiy and his brother were adopted by their grandparents, who brought them into their home with loving arms. They tried their best to care for the boys, but hardship and poverty made it difficult.
Serhiy was a shy, intelligent and quiet boy. In 2006, Serhiy was accepted into our sponsorship program. Someone saw Serhiy’s potential, and chose to sponsor him. With love and support, Serhiy began to come out of his shell. He discovered a deep love for music, and began practicing the piano at school. Continue reading
Sharon grew up in a large, loving family in Kakamega County in western Kenya. She has an older sister, and three younger siblings. Her parents worked as manual laborers, putting in long hours to provide for their children. In 2001, Sharon’s father passed away suddenly from a heart attack, leaving the family devastated. Sharon’s mother, left to raise her five children alone, could barely provide enough food to feed the family, and struggled to pay school fees.