On August 8, 2018, Lesya and her family endured an unexpected disaster. A fire, caused by an electrical short circuit, blazed throughout Lesya’s family home near our Ternopil site in the Ukraine. The fire damaged much of their kitchen and furniture, and destroyed the roof and beams in their nearby barn and shed. Lesya’s mother, Halyna, raises her four children alone, and is unable to work full-time. The family survives on their garden and small poultry farm. The damage caused by the fire was devastating to the family’s daily lives and to their livelihood.
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.
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.
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.