Welcome to Photo Friday! Each Friday, we share photo collections of our favourite shots from our sponsor sites around the world.
Children and families from our sites love to cultivate their diverse hobbies and talents. Some skills are extremely practical, like crafts, handmade clothing, and handiworks. Mastering these talents can lead to opportunities for increased income, or even a full time business! Other hobbies such as sports gives children the chance to explore their passions and bond with friends.
This week, we’re sharing our top 5 “showing off skills” photos that we’ve collected from our sites. These children, parents, and staff are thrilled to show you their proud accomplishments and creations!
#5: Bragworthy bookmarks
These beautiful bookmarks are made by an artisans’ cooperative located near our Chiclayo site in Peru called “Artesanas por la Vida (Artisans for Life)”. They create unique handicrafts made from traditional fabrics and beads, which they sell to help support their families. Several mothers from our site are a part of the group. We purchased some of their bookmarks and dove ornaments to sell alongside a children’s book we published a few years ago!
When Khrystyna was growing up, her family lived a humble life. Her father worked part-time as a construction worker while her mother stayed home to care for her and her younger brother, Yuri. The family shared one bedroom in Khrysytna’s grandfather’s house, as they couldn’t afford a home of their own. They didn’t have enough money for even the most basic necessities such as food and clothing.
Sponsorship changed everything for not only Khrystyna, but her entire family. When six-year-old Khrystyna was chosen by a Chalice sponsor, her family received food packages, hygiene products, and other household goods! She and her brother started eating healthier food, wearing warm clothing, and had everything they needed to start school.
Eighteen-year-old Mae Joy has had an exceptionally difficult young life. Growing up, she experienced a deeply troubled home life with a father who was unwilling to support her and her five siblings. In addition to this difficult situation, living in the Tondo slum neighbourhood in the Philippines has been a constant struggle. A few years ago, Mae Joy fell ill with severe pneumonia. Her frail health caused her to succumb to a deep depression.
Thirteen-year-old Alina is an outgoing, happy girl who lives with her parents near our Ternopil site in Ukraine. When she was very little, Alina was diagnosed with double-sided deafness. She’s unable to hear any sounds on her own, and must use sign language to communicate with her friends and family.
With the help of hearing aids, Alina is able to hear some faint sounds, which helps keep her safe and alert in public. Despite her disability, Alina is an accomplished student, and a talented swimmer. She’s earned many awards in her endeavors!
Every year, Alina’s parents take her for a hearing checkup at the local hospital. After her last examination, doctors recommended that she wear a better quality hearing aid that will allow her to hear high definition sounds. Her last hearing aid was purchased over six years ago, making the technology obsolete.
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.
This year, bees are all the buzz! Starehe Girls’ School, located in Kenya, is one of many of our sites to start a beekeeping project as a source of honey and income.
Starehe Girls’ School is a boarding school for girls. The school gives many bright, talented students the opportunity to achieve their potential, and prepares them for post-secondary studies. The school also strives to support girls from poor backgrounds who otherwise might not have a chance at getting an education. Chalice sponsorship helps cover tuition for the girls, and our projects and programs help the school run nutrition programs, farming clubs, sports teams, and more.
Our STAR site in India works with many rural communities in the state of Tamil Nadu. A great deal of families in these communities are affected with stigmatized illnesses, which makes it difficult for them find work and housing. Our site also works with many children living with cognitive and physical disabilities. With the right support, these children are able to access essential resources that help them succeed in school, such as nutritious food, medical care, and tutoring! Venkateswari, a young lady currently in our sponsorship program, is a shining example of how the strength and potential of each child can be encouraged through love and support.
St. Odilia’s School, a part of Chalice’s Kawambwa site, is located in the remote community of Mporokoso, Zambia. Community members must travel to access basic amenities, such as the hospital and retail district. This is a challenge for St. Odilia’s students, because of the 172 students enrolled, almost a quarter of them are blind or partially-sighted. Another 15% of the students have albinism. These children are vulnerable because there is a rare but prevailing traditional ritual in the region that involves harming albino people.
Since it’s too hazardous for the students to rely on walking or public transit, they must be shuttled to any daily activity. It was a profound blessing when generous donors covered the cost of a 30-seater bus for the school! They also covered the cost of insurance, fuel, and tires. As soon as the bus was registered, the Sisters and children had a celebration and blessed it in gratitude!
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.
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.