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.
When Scolastica’s mother passed away, she and her sister’s life changed forever. The two sisters from Nanyuki, Kenya, had to leave their lives behind and move in with their uncle, who offered to adopt the girls into his family. Scolastica’s uncle has a wife and children of his own, and works as a casual laborer to make ends meet. The family doesn’t own land and lives in a rented house, and the financial burden of two extra children caused them to quickly fall behind.
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.
Laurette faced poverty and hardship from a very early age. Both of her parents were peasant farmers in Western Kenya, and struggled to meet the basic needs of Laurette and her younger brother. They would often go days without a proper meal, and had to borrow food from relatives. The family couldn’t afford to purchase shoes or clothing, so the children went barefoot and wore makeshift clothing made from rugs.
At just eight years old, Laurette’s mom passed away from pneumonia. Laurette had to step up and help raise her younger brother, who was just five years old. She would accompany her father to work on farms, and do many of the household chores.
Four years later, when Laurette was 12, her dad suddenly passed away, too. Orphaned, Laurette and her brother were shuffled between family members. It was an incredibly difficult time for both children.