You know how it goes: you sponsor a child until they reach adulthood, and then they go off to have a successful career.
Nitesh’s job may involve playing with fire, but don’t worry – he’s built a business and a reputation as an expert in just that.
In fact, as a metal fabricator, he finds his passion for the trade grows stronger each day.
But building a successful business took a lot of blood, sweat, and dare we say, fire.
Together, Nitesh and his wife have three children, and they live with his parents. He’s always had a passion for working with metal, and initially trained as a welder.
Though he worked in the field for 10 years, welding took its toll. Despite working hard, he still didn’t earn enough income to support his family.
What he wanted more than anything was to start his own business, but the chances of getting the money together was low.
That was, until his eldest daughter was selected for the Chalice sponsorship program. As it turned out, that little spark was just what Nitesh needed.
When Trina met Vincent at the airport, she burst into tears.
It was an emotional reunion, fit for friends after years apart. And in a way, that was exactly their situation. Though they’d never met in person, Trina and Vincent had known each other for years.
She sponsored him through Chalice when he was still a young man growing up in Kenya. So when they finally met, it was like a friend coming home.
The journey to the airport that day, though, was a long one.
Trina heard about Chalice at her church in Stratford, Ontario, where a Chalice Champion was giving a talk about sponsorship. She was going through a hard time in her life, and the idea of connecting with and supporting someone in need appealed to her.
After Mass, she waited to approach the table at the back, where sponsorship booklets were spread out.
After everyone else had chosen, there were only two people left: an elderly gentleman, and Vincent, who was in his early teen years and based out of the Starehe Boys site. Starehe later became the Nairobi site.
If you thought Chalice was only there for sponsored children, well, think again.
Since the early days of Chalice, we’ve been working to help both sponsored and non-sponsored children around the world live fulfilling lives. Sonu, a non-sponsored young man living near our Assam site, is one of them.
Born into a family that struggled financially, Sonu soon encountered struggles of his own. When he was young, he was diagnosed with polio, an infectious disease that can paralyze parts of the body. Quickly, it eroded his ability to walk, and his mother had to carry him to school. Even as a teenager, he needed to crawl to get around.
Sonu’s parents couldn’t afford to treat him, and his illness quickly grew into a problem with a dead end. Everywhere he went, he needed his parents’ help.
Until, one day, a light appeared in the darkness.
Growing up near our Haiti North site, life wasn’t always easy on Djenica.
Though she was incredibly smart, her parents couldn’t afford the school supplies to further her studies. Even buying food and clothes, the basic necessities, was a challenge for them.
When she was 11 years old, and desperately needed it, Djenica was chosen by a Chalice sponsor.
“After the first sponsor chose me, I began to feel better because I found food, school supplies, shoes, clothes,” she writes.
Not only were the necessities covered, but her family made the most of their family funding bank account.
When women are given opportunities, they are unstoppable. And who knows that better than mother-of-three Lorenza?
This enterprising mother lives near our Ayolas site in Paraguay, and is fortunate two of her children, Cesar David and Rodrigo Ariel, have Chalice sponsors. Lorenza “faces difficulties with courage”, our site staff write, while sharing the values of love and responsibility with her children.
Since two of her children are sponsored, Lorenza is a member of a Chalice Family Circle Group. Parents meet monthly to discuss expenses and empower one another to start small businesses.
Soon, it was Lorenza’s turn to be empowered.
Valens Wolfs doesn’t take credit for a club that sponsored a child for over a decade and inspired students year after year. The credit, he said in an interview, all goes to his students.
When grade 13 was still around, the seasoned teacher taught a class called Science in Society at Father Michael Goetz Secondary School in Mississauga, Ontario. The class covered science’s impact in society throughout the history of technology, and quickly, the word spread: this was the class to take. Soon, enrollment tripled.
Eventually, students who finished the course began asking: “Sir, can we keep meeting?”
Valens, knowing those moments don’t come around every day, jumped at the chance.
“As an educator, doesn’t matter what you’re doing – stop everything, hold the presses, we’ve got interest,” he said.
Thus the SSO Wh5t Club (pronounced ‘So what?) was born. What began as a group of students meeting weekly to discuss an article blossomed into a 25-year club that raised awareness of social justice issues and, eventually, sponsored a child named Samuel through Chalice.
If you ever take a trip to India (post-COVID-19, of course), you might find three women living near our Tamil site. Though they come from very different backgrounds, they all have one thing in common.
Ms. Selvi’s father died not long ago, and she lives in a thatched house with her mother, older brother and younger sister. She completed grade 12, but no further.
Mrs. Priya lives with her mother-in-law, husband and two children. One child is in grade one, while the other is four years old.
Mrs. Easu lives with her husband and two children. She and her husband are both agricultural workers, but the money hasn’t been enough to support the family. They desperately needed another source of income.
It’s a sunny day near our Fatima site in Bolivia, and the winds have slowed. Some might even call it a lucky day.
A group of elders are gathering with families and friends, some for the first time in over a year. It’s to be a meeting of friendly conversation over lunch.
“These diseases are taking our time,” says one woman, Mrs. Cristina. She’s arrived with her granddaughter and grandson and has just spotted a friend. It’s been over a year since she last saw this person.
Incessant words have rung in their ears this year. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been a constant refrain of, “Take care of yourselves, don’t go out or touch other people.” Their lives are lived in confinement, and they can no longer partake in their interests among friends.
Coming from an entrepreneurial family, it’s no surprise Yosebu ended up running a business of his own.
But let’s rewind. He lives near our Mangalagiri site in India, and has two brothers and one sister. Growing up, times were tough. Yosebu’s father struggled to support all his children, so his daughter’s generous Chalice sponsor became a blessing.
Life began to improve, and the family’s basic needs were met. Yosebu’s brother, Solomon Raj, became a mechanic. The Chalice gift catalogue set him up with what he needed to open his own shop, and he’s doing well.