Warm meals and a balanced home: Volodya’s sponsorship story

Volodya is a energetic, hardworking 11-year-old boy from our Ternopil site in Ukraine. He’s in grade six, and his favourite subjects are computer studies and biology. He’s very social, and enjoys playing soccer with his friends and attending dance and drama club at his local community center. He adores animals, and enjoys taking care of his dog Alfa and cat Murka!

When Volodya was growing up, his life wasn’t always filled with happy moments. When he was born, his father abandoned him and his mother, Svitlana, who was left to raise her new baby alone. Volodya suffered with frequent illnesses, so the family had to spend most of their time at the hospital. Since they were homeless, they lived in the small hospital shelter for a year while Volodya received treatment.

After moving from shelter to shelter for over three years, Svitlana eventually found a shabby apartment that they could afford on her small income as a janitor. The building has no running water, and was in need of many repairs. Svitlana still struggled to pay rent, and the two often didn’t have enough to eat.

Things started to change eight years ago when Volodya was chosen by a Chalice sponsor. The biggest difference was the ability for Svitlana and Volodya to eat healthy, regular meals. With sponsorship funds, they bought things that they couldn’t grow themselves like cooking oil, pasta, cereal, butter, cheese, fish, and meat. They also were able to buy some cooking items for their kitchen.

One of the issues that the family couldn’t solve on their budget was their broken gas stove. It leaked gas and was unsafe to use, so the family had to skip hot meals for a long time.Thanks to a heartfelt donation, the family received a new gas stove this past May through our gift catalogue!

The working stove makes a huge difference for the small family. Volodya is able to enjoy a hot, healthy breakfast before heading to school in the morning, and Svitlana is able to bake bread and sweets, and preserve her garden vegetables in cans to last through the winter.

“The support the family has received has made their home a warm environment filled with life balance,” smiles Luba, our Ternopil site director. “Volodya’s regular nutrition has made him healthier and less susceptible to getting sick. He’s been doing much better in school. The family is deeply grateful to Chalice for the sponsorship and support!”

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