Category Archives: Our Impact

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.

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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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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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Solar panels bring water and joy to Saidia

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Saidia Children’s Home, located in Kenya, is an oasis for children in need. Orphaned children without any family to care for them are sent to start new lives at the home. There’s also room for children from impoverished families, whose parents can no longer support them. Kids at the home receive healthy food, formal education, proper health care, and most importantly, love.
The social workers and staff at the home care deeply for the children, and want to provide the best care possible. The Children’s Home, however, lacked one very important feature. There was no shower facilities for the 55 resident children to use.
Without a proper washing area, children were prone to upper respiratory infections and skin irritation. Since the home is located in a rural area, it’s incredibly difficult to set up complex electrical or plumbing systems. Staff thought tirelessly of a work-around.

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Grace thrives in town of Gilgil

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Ten years ago, Grace’s life was turned upside down. After a controversial election, political unrest in her home country of Kenya was at an all-time high. Violent riots were breaking out in many towns. Her hometown of Eldoret, was no longer a safe place for her family.

Grace made the difficult decision to leave her life in Eldoret behind, and flee to Gilgil, a safer area of Kenya. Grace’s husband, however, didn’t agree with her choice, and deserted the family. Grace moved alone with her children to Gilgil to start anew. Rebuilding was difficult- she was struggling to get reestablished, and couldn’t provide enough food to feed her children.

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Daunting deliveries bring hope to needy families

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Most Canadian residents have become accustomed to a certain standard of living. Appliances, like a stove and a fridge, are household necessities. Beds, sheets, and pillows are bedroom staples, and there’s usually light bulbs in every room to light the way when night falls.

In many struggling communities in the developing world, what we view as household basics are unaffordable luxuries. Often, homes don’t have reliable electricity or running water. Individual bedrooms are rare, as are clean beds and bedding. The lack of stoves and refrigeration makes preparing hot, nutritious meals a difficulty.

Our Chalice Gift Catalogue allows donors to purchase much needed items for struggling families. When a donor selects and purchases a gift, the item is bought locally by our site and delivered to a family in need.

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Elder sponsorship brings joy to Viviana

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When Viviana González was a little girl, she inherited a very special talent from her mother. She learned the beautiful art of weaving ñanduti, a rare, artisanal fabric found only in her hometown of Itauguá, Paraguay. Viviana’s still an avid weaver, and she doesn’t let her age of 81 slow her down.

Every morning, Viviana walks four kilometers to the market to stock up on crafting materials, and to buy herself enough food for her daily nutrition. Before she was sponsored, however, Vivian could barely afford what she needed to keep afloat.

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Get a goat, give a goat

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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.

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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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