We’re going on mission! From July 6-20th, 2020, we will be travelling with a team of Canadian volunteers to our Pochaiv site in Ukraine. This incredible mission of love, well being, and prosperity will allow volunteers to serve and support our brothers and sisters in Ukraine, all while learning about Ukrainian culture and customs. Let’s take a closer look at our Pochaiv site and all of the ways mission volunteers can get involved.
Gender discrimination happens no matter where you live. Despite the efforts of the United Nations and many other organizations all over the world, this form of discrimination is still persistent in all areas of public and private life around the world today.
Our partners at our sites work diligently in their communities to break the many barriers caused by gender discrimination. Through workshops, information sessions and resources given to parents of sponsored children, progress is being made, especially in improving educational opportunities for girls.
St. Odilia’s School, a part of Chalice’s Kawambwa site, is located in the remote community of Mporokoso, Zambia. Community members must travel to access basic amenities, such as the hospital and retail district. This is a challenge for St. Odilia’s students, because of the 172 students enrolled, almost a quarter of them are blind or partially-sighted. Another 15% of the students have albinism. These children are vulnerable because there is a rare but prevailing traditional ritual in the region that involves harming albino people.
Since it’s too hazardous for the students to rely on walking or public transit, they must be shuttled to any daily activity. It was a profound blessing when generous donors covered the cost of a 30-seater bus for the school! They also covered the cost of insurance, fuel, and tires. As soon as the bus was registered, the Sisters and children had a celebration and blessed it in gratitude!
Child sponsorship is not just designed to benefit a child in need; it benefits their entire family. Our approach is all about sustainability. With the right support, families can gain the tools and knowledge necessary to take steps towards a better future. The Bustamente family is an inspiring example of the lasting effects that sponsorship has on each member of a family!
Gladys and Reynaldo have five children, and live in the rural mountains of La Paz, Bolivia, a fair distance from the urban bustle of the city. Raising five children on Reynaldo’s income as a carpenter proved to be impossible. It was incredibly difficult for Gladys and Reynaldo to provide enough food for all of their children. This, in turn, affected the children’s ability to attend and succeed in school.
Katya, a young woman from our Ternopil site in Ukraine, has a favourite quote that she often reflects on: “If love is in your heart, you are in the palms of God.” Katya’s been sponsored for the past 11 years, and tries her best to spread the love of God with others. “The main calling of each person is to love others and be ready to help them, therefore fulfilling God’s will,” Katya smiles.
Looking at sincere, balanced, and thoughtful Katya, it’s hard to believe that she’s lived through so much tragedy and sadness. When Katya was just two years old, her mother passed away in a car accident. Katya and her siblings were left orphaned and heartbroken. Their loving grandmother adopted the four children, and tried her best to provide for a good life for them.
In Peru, Christmas is the one of the most cherished times of the year. Sponsored children and families at our PINIFE site in Peru eagerly anticipate the Christmas season and joyfully celebrate together. During this time, they share love and warmth not only with each other, but with those in need throughout their community through thoughtful gifts and acts of service.
Since 2012, Chalice has worked with partners in Sucre, Bolivia to offer care and services to vulnerable children and families. In addition to sponsorship, our Levántate Mujer site is also involved in our gift catalogue program. At Christmas (and throughout the year,) kind Canadians can purchase gifts through our catalogue to be given to those in need. Thanks to our generous supporters, many children and families from our Levántate Mujer site were blessed with a variety of gifts this year!
“I remember harvesting beans with my grandmother from her backyard garden. As we would wash and clean them standing over the kitchen sink she would entertain me with stories from when she was a little girl. She grew up on an isolated farm in the country with no electricity or running water. She had many chores to complete before walking to school each morning, one of which included drawing water from their well. It was most certainly a demanding task and quite unpleasant in cold and rainy weather to be sure, but at least she didn’t have to worry about getting attacked by crocodiles or snakes!
As a child I could never understand what it was like for my grandmother to not have access to water inside her home. Even today as an adult who works in international development, knowing the realities million of people around the world face each day, I still find it difficult to comprehend the monumental effort people put forth each day in their quest to gather enough water to meet their daily needs.
This may be the reason that ensuring people have reliable access to safe water is one of my favourite projects. The unification of our generous donors here in Canada which allows for the infrastructure to be built overseas and brings such joy and relief to the families in our sites is a beautiful sight to witness. We are excited to present our most recent water project which will bring treated water to about 4,100 residents and schools within Aduoyo and Kokise villages at our Asembo sponsor site in Kenya.
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.
In 2014, Pope Francis said, “Educating is an act of love; it is like giving life.” If you get the opportunity to visit a school in one of our sites you know this to be true – the children are so happy and so thankful to be able to learn.
But hungry kids can’t learn. One of the ways that Chalice breaks the barrier hunger places on education is through our Nutrition Fund which provided over four million meals last year!
Surrounded by three slums, Muthaiga Primary School, located near our Baraka site in Kenya, rarely receives funds from the Ministry of Education, which places a real burden on them. The children attending school often came hungry and their academics suffered.