Welcome to Photo Friday! Each Friday, we share photo collections of our favourite shots from our sponsor sites around the world.
Here in Canada, people living in the province of Quebec are celebrating Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, a day marking the birth of Saint John the Baptist.
Our Top 5 “Celebration” photos show us all the ways you can celebrate the good things in life – and even keep celebrating when tough times arise.
#5: Sweet Stuff
You can never have too much dessert, right? Hannah, hailing from Tondo, Philippines, seems to think so. She took up a business class while in school, where she came up with the idea for a convenience, candy and dessert shop. A part-time job earned her the money to set up shop, and she opened in 2020.
Here she is, holding her homemade graham balls – a delectable dessert made of graham crackers, condensed milk and peanuts. Yum!
The youngest of three children, Kurtis is bright and determined to succeed. Kurtis and her family have endured many difficult times through the years, including losing her dear father to kidney failure when she was just a toddler. This placed a huge responsibility on her mother who now had to raise her three children alone on meagre wages as a daily labourer.
By the time Kurtis was in the eighth grade, her mother was no longer able to make ends meet on her own. Seeking help from neighbours, she borrowed money to keep her children in school, but as the bills piled up she worried she could lose everything she had worked so hard for.
Up in the mountain-top village of Patchalur-Kurangani, there is a tribal people group who live separately from their nearby communities. Considered separate from India’s traditional caste system, these tribal peoples keep to themselves and largely only interact and intermarry within their own clans.
Last year, several families in this tribal group received goats from our Chalice Gift Catalogue. Goats can be live saving for a family in need. They produce milk, a valuable source of protein for growing children, and can be bred and sold to produce income.
A year after the goats were received, they had bred and multiplied, and the community was ready to celebrate a unique tradition held by all of Chalice’s Indian sites. Each family who receives a goat or goats from the Gift Catalogue, in turn, gives away one goat to another needy family.
Each beneficiary family does this once per year for three years after they received their goats – ultimately giving away three goats. This is known as the annual Goat Hand-Over day!
The group gathered to share with their success with Chalice field workers, and were proud to show how their goats had multiplied. A veterinarian gave a brief presentation to families on how to care for their goats and keep them happy and healthy.
Many villagers expressed how happy they are to be able to share a goat with a neighbour in need. Although they have few possessions and simple homes, they believe that because they have received a valuable gift, it is their duty and honor to share their good fortunes with the whole community.
It was a morning of laughter as the goats passed from one family to another, strengthening the community’s bond and economic future.
Want to share the gift of goats with other communities? You can donate a goat or other animal to a family in need through our Chalice Gift Catalouge.
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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.
India, bustling and beautiful, offers countless historical and cultural experiences. Colourful clothing, rich history, and new connections are just some of the amazing things you’ll discover as a visitor. One of the most important, captivating, and diverse things about India is it’s incredible cuisine.
Characterized by regional ingredients and rich flavours, Indian cuisine is a highlight to locals and visitors alike. Dishes vary regionally due to the availability of ingredients, customs, and preference.
After Ajai’s father passed away in a tragic accident 13 years ago, his mother Sudha struggled to make ends meet. “I was helpless at that time, and did not have the helping hands of relatives,” says Sudha.
In 2015, Ajai was accepted in to the Chalice sponsorship program through our STAR site in India. Thanks to God’s grace, he was chosen by a sponsor shortly after. “Sponsorship eased my burden and allowed my children to be educated to a greater extent,” Sudha explains. Ajai’s now a thriving grade 11 student, and his brother has continued his education in college.
Power for a sewing machine: 220 volts. Power for a chainsaw: 58 volts. Power for an oven: 240 volts. Power for a man or woman to earn a consistent, competitive daily wage: stronger than the sun!
Unemployment among parents is a consistent issue across all of Chalice’s sites. Finding daily wage work (such as agricultural labour) is challenging and often seasonal, and permanent positions a pipe dream to many. Naturally, many people become entrepreneurs, making use of their skills and available resources to start a small business – be it a handicraft, or a service, or an agricultural endeavour.
On my first day in Kumbakonam, the town where Chalice’s Tamil Site is based, my colleagues and I took an evening stroll through a residential neighborhood. I kept seeing chalk designs on the ground in front of the house’s doorway. Some simple, some more elaborate.
My colleague explained to me that this practice is called rangoli, or sometimes kolam. Residents, often women and girls, will draw fresh ones in the mornings and evenings in front of their homes. At times, such as on special occasions or during festivals, the designs will have specific means or honour specific deities. Sometimes they are just decorative and an opportunity to get creative.