Category Archives: Health

Break the barriers: Thank you for the gift of hearing

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.

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Elder sponsorship gives Isodoro and Nati comfort and security

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.

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Mother and medical student: Nadia’s journey

With Mother’s Day quickly approaching, we’d like to recognize all of the incredible and hard working mothers around the world. Despite poverty and obstacles, we see the love of mothers shine through and persevere in every site in which we work.

In Paraguay, especially in poorer areas, many children are raised in single parent families, with mothers usually taking the role as primary caregiver. Nadia, from our CMAVIL site in Paraguay, was raised by her mother, Bernarda. When Nadia was very young, she had constant issues with her ears, and required expensive surgeries. Her mother was determined to help Nadia, and declared: “I will get those surgeries if I have to pick up every can in the city to pay for it!”

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Mother from Samar makes a full recovery

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.

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Zero Cavities Project spreads smiles in Tondo

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.

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Nutrition program provides nearly 150,000 meals last year in Tondo

In the Philippines, many children living in poverty are in poor health. Malnutrition, leading to anemia and poor dental health, is one of the most urgent issues at many of our Filipino sites. Through the support of our sponsors and donors, we work with our local partners to implement nutrition programs to help nourish hungry children and families.

In addition to sponsorship, our Tondo site in the Philippines provides regular daily meals supported through our nutrition program. Vitamins and extra supplements are also provided to anemic and vitamin deficient children.

So far, the children in Tondo have greatly benefited from the regular, healthy meals. In our 2017-2018 year, 144,551 meals were fed to children in need. Sponsored children aren’t the only ones who benefit- the coordinators were given permission to feed other children who were hungry and came asking for food, as long as the children in the program were fed.

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Maksym receives life saving treatment for Lyme disease

Last September, Maskym, a sponsored child from our Ternopil site in Ukraine, came home from school with a sharp headache and high fever. Svitlana, his mother, kept Maksym home from school for two days thinking he had the flu. Maksym, however, just kept getting sicker. Svitlana also noticed that his head was constantly tilting to one side.

Svitlana brought Maksym to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with swelling of the brain. Treatment, however, had no effect. Maksym was quickly transferred to larger hospital where he underwent a variety of blood tests. It was soon discovered that he suffered from Lyme Disease. After a few days of antibiotics, he improved and was sent home.

Just one month later, Maksym became sick once again. Doctors informed the family that Maksym would need to be treated for upwards of one year to see improvement. Worst of all, the disease had caused many complications, such as inflammation of the brain stem, chest, stomach, heart, and kidney and pancreas issues.

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Nutrition workshops empower hardworking mothers

Nutrition is the foundation to a healthy life. Kids who eat healthy, well-balanced meals every day have the fuel to excel. Nourished children learn better in class, and have the energy to laugh, run, and play. In communities near our CMAVIL site in Paraguay, healthy eating isn’t always common knowledge. Many parents come from a background where they never learned healthy eating habits. It can be hard for busy mothers to make sure their children get the proper nourishment, especially those without access to resources or education.

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A small gift makes a big difference

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.

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WASH provides clean, safe spaces in India

With 1.3 billion residents, India is a densely populated country. Thanks to rapid population growth, the economy is booming. India, however, also faces serious social, economic, and environmental issues. One concerning issue is the lack of toilet facilities. 600 million people, almost half of India’s population, don’t have access to toilets.

India’s toilet crisis has a severe impact on public health. Improper toilets and outdoor washroom use contaminates drinking water. Poor, rural communities are among the most affected. Young children are especially vulnerable to preventable diarrheal diseases spread by contaminated water. These diseases claim the lives of 300,000 Indian children aged five and under each year.

Lack of privacy is also an issue of safety, women’s rights, and human dignity. Women, children, and the elderly are at risk for assault and harassment when using the washroom outside. “Young ladies especially are not safe alone,” says Vimala, a mother from our Tamil Site. People often travel in small groups for protection, and sometimes have to miss work or school.

Recognizing this as a serious issue, Chalice launched India’s WASH project (water, sanitation, and hygiene). WASH aims to educate communities about the importance of personal and environmental toilet hygiene to prevent the spread of dangerous diseases.

WASH is also constructing 505 sanitary toilets in seven of our sponsor site communities. The recipients are so grateful that they’re helping out with labour and donating small amounts to buy building materials.

 

Thanks to the support of our donors, we’ve completed 96 of the 505 latrines planned, and more are currently under construction. Elizabeth Rani, mother of three, is thankful for the safety the new latrine near her home provides. “Now, my children can go to the toilet without fear,” she smiles.

If you’re interested in supporting this project, please click here.