Author Archives: Sarah

Chicks change lives for struggling families in Kenya

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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.

The families were all motivated to start their small businesses raising chicks, and were eager to get started. The biggest challenged they faced was that most members had difficulty accessing enough healthy chicks to get started.

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Thanks to the support of our kind donors, the Family Circle members received a group incubator through our gift catalogue! They also received extra live chicks to help get them started. The incubator is able to hold 528 eggs. It takes about one month for the eggs to hatch, so that means up to an astounding 6,336 chicks can be hatched a year!

The incubator was installed at a central local farm for security and easy accessibility. Members from 23 Family Circles are able to bring their eggs for hatching for those who already have hens that are laying eggs, and live chicks were given to families just starting out. By the end of next year, it’s expected that the majority of the families at our Baraka site with have no less than 50 chickens on their farms! They will be in the position to earn extra income and to supplement their children’s nutrition with protein rich eggs.

Want to give the gift of chicks to a family in need? Chicks are one of our most popular items from our gift catalogue. Give a chick- help change a life. 

Krystyna pursues her artistic talents

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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.

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Thanks to the support of her kind sponsor, she was able to pursue her interest in art and discovered she had a special talent for it. For six years, she attended an art school and competed in various art competitions, winning several prizes for her work.

Khrystyna reached her educational goals and now studies at the National University in Ukraine, majoring in Fine Arts. She has written and published two scientific articles about art, and many of her paintings are now showcased in art galleries throughout Ternopil.

Khrystyna is looking forward towards the future and is incredibly thankful she was able to complete her education and pursue her talents. She believes she was able to achieve so much thanks to the support of sponsorship and her sponsor’s strong encouragement.

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Ambitious Andrews graduates with his Bachelor’s degree

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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.

In 2001, Andrews and his siblings were accepted into Chalice’s sponsorship program, and were each chosen by kind sponsors. Sponsorship was a great relief on the entire family, and eased the stress and burden on his parents. When Andrew was in grade three, he received his very first school uniform and sandals. Sponsorship also gave his family the support to receive healthy, daily meals. Andrews no longer had to work on the farm after school to produce enough food for the family.

Andrews felt more confident having the proper clothing, food, and materials to learn. His sponsor offered love and encouragement every step of the way, and urged him to pursue his dreams. In high school, he started to narrow his focus on general sciences in order to pursue a career in health care in the future.

When Andrews graduated, he was thrilled to be accepted into a nursing program at a nearby university in Ghana. Unfortunately, he was not able to afford tuition fees to attend. His sponsor, touched by Andrews’s ambition and drive, offered to cover his university tuition fees! In 2017, Andrews graduated with his Bachelor of Nursing degree.

Today, Andrews is working as a professional nurse, and is currently working at a local hospital doing his mandatory national service. He’s so thrilled to have realized his dream of working in health care, and incredibly grateful to his loving and generous sponsor for all of the support he received.

Follow Chalice on Facebook and Instagram for daily updates from our sponsor sites, impact stories, and more

 

 

Nutrition workshops empower hardworking mothers

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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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Heartfelt letters for the holidays

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One of the greatest joys of sponsoring a child is the opportunity to build a real, lasting connection. Sponsors receive yearly updates on their precious sponsored children, including a new photo and details about school and family life. The most heartwarming, personal touch to these updates are the handwritten letters and pictures from your sponsored child. As a sponsor, you receive a letter twice a year, and are able to send as many letters as you’d like.

Good topics to write about are family, children, friends, hometown, the weather, pets, and hobbies. If you have children in your family, sending their hand-drawn pictures is a big hit. Sponsored children write about similar topics, and often share their hopes, dreams, and hobbies with their sponsors! At Christmas, sponsored children take special care into crafting their letters. They even include a beautiful handmade card to wish their sponsors a warm and joyous Christmas.

Children often write Christmas letters and cards together as a group at school or at their local site, and are given lots of colourful pens and markers to use for their creations. The staff view it as a wonderful opportunity for the children to get creative and have fun with friends!

This year, sponsored children have already started to write their Christmas letters and cards! In some countries, mail takes a very long time to arrive to Canada. Site staff start preparing Christmas packages months in advance so that the correspondence arrives in time for the holidays.

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Eunice, our Tondo site director, says the children genuinely enjoy writing Christmas letters: “The most wonderful time of the year will soon be here! The children are busy preparing to wish their beloved sponsors ‘Merry Christmas’. All are so eager and so joyful to create something nice.”

Children at our Wa site in Ghana, Africa are also among the first to begin writing their letters. “The children always find it exciting to wish their sponsors ‘Merry Christmas’,” says Pele, our Wa site director. “They share their feelings, ideas, thoughts, experiences and prayers. They are so thankful to their sponsors for the loving care and support!”

We hope that the letters and cards that all of our wonderful sponsors will soon be receiving will bring a touch of light and joy to the upcoming Christmas season.

Determination and persistance: Sandya’s story

sandhaWhen 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.

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Safety and comfort for Theresa’s family

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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.

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A small gift makes a big difference

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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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2019 Paraguay Solidarity Tour

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Did you know about Chalice’s mission trips? It’s our joy to provide you with an opportunity to volunteer and experience life at our sponsor sites. Both you and those you meet will be enriched by a life changing exchange.

Our CMAVIL site in Paraguay has invited Chalice volunteers and staff to engage with the community of Villeta! Participants will meet and volunteer with site staff, sponsorship beneficiaries, and children at the nearby community center.

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The gift of music brightens a Ukrainian classroom

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In Pochaiv, Ukraine, tradition and culture is tightly woven into the fabric of the community. Parents and teachers dutifully teach long-standing customs and traditions to younger generations in order to keep Ukrainian culture strong. Pride in one’s culture creates a lasting bond among community members, and strengthens solidarity between families.

Music is an extremely important part of Ukrainian history. The earliest form of Ukrainian music was used to signal community members, imitate the sounds of nature, and to celebrate important events such as births and weddings.

Our Pochaiv site offers an after-school music class where sponsored children learn about traditional Ukrainian music. The children learn the history behind folk songs, instruments and ancient composers. The most exciting part of the class is when the students get a chance to make their own music!

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