Defying all odds and surprising his doctors at every turn, Vladimir is a fighter. When he was born three months premature near our sponsor site in Asunción, Paraguay, Vladimir’s loving and faithful mother and grandmother were told upon his discharge from the hospital that he would likely only survive for a short eight months.
The doctors, however, didn’t consider the love and determination of Vladimir’s grandmother who used every resource available to her to care for her grandson. She poured her attention into Vladimir who thrived under her constant care. With faith and hope in God, the small family met and overcame every obstacle in their way.
With a mischievous grin and sparkling eyes, Tracey, a non-sponsored child living near our Tondo sponsor site in the Philippines, seems like any other active seven-year-old child. His antics keeps his parents on their toes as they smile with relief and whisper prayers of thanksgiving.
This typical rowdy behaviour brings his parents much joy because unlike most children, Tracey has faced many medical challenges in his young life. He was born with a congenital heart defect known as Tetralogy of Fallot, a rare condition caused by a combination of four heart defects. His parents knew that he would need surgery at some point and worried about how they would ever afford it. His father has only been able to find infrequent contract work, so the family of four survives on their grandfather’s meagre salary as a local police officer.
Our Kawambwa site in Zambia strives to provide care to the local blind and partially sighted children with no other place to turn to for support. Our site’s Sisters partner with two specialized schools for the blind in Zambia that help children access quality education and life skills in a safe, warm, and loving environment. Blessings, who was born blind, never would have had access to an education without the support of her loving sponsor and the dedicated teachers at her new school.
Blessings is the youngest child in a busy family of five. Her father worked as a bricklayer, while her mother took care of the home. Her parents unfortunately didn’t have the means or knowledge to look after a child living with blindness, and struggled to manage Blessings’ disability.
At our Ternopil site in Ukraine, the modern gift of electric stoves are keeping families fed and cozy year-round in the comfort of their homes.
In Canada, stoves are essential household appliances that many families rely on daily to cook safe, convenient meals. In rural Ukraine, however, cooking can be much more complicated. “In many villages, people rely solely on wood stoves or furnaces for cooking,” says Luba, our Ternopil site director. “The furnace is heated daily all year round for cooking or warming up meals.”
Heating a wood stove or furnace is time consuming and high maintenance . It’s especially worrisome for families with young children who can accidently be burned by the hot stove if left unattended. The stove also heats the entire home, which is uncomfortable in the summer months.
Ivanna, a mother of three from our Ternopil site, was constantly managing a wood stove to cook while she stayed home to care for the children. Her husband, Andriy, was often out of the home working seasonal jobs during the day. The gift of an electric stove, donated through our gift catalogue, has been an incredible blessing for the family!
Victoria is an ambitious young woman from a hard-working Catholic family. She and her two siblings grew up near our Mangalagiri site in India. When the children were little, Victoria’s parents struggled with food insecurity, lack of adequate housing, and even lacked enough clothing. The cost of the children’s education was overwhelming, and Victoria often had to ask her classmates to borrow their textbooks and learning materials. Although this was a source of great embarrassment for the young student, Victoria remained focused and studious, and her achievements shone in the classroom.
By God’s grace, a Chalice sponsor chose Victoria when she was in grade two. “This was a turning point in her life,” recall the Sisters who run our Mangalagiri site. Now, her family had access to enough food and clothing for their three children and could afford education costs.
As Victoria continued to thrive in the classroom, she and her sponsor connected closely from the start of her sponsorship. Victoria loved to write to her sponsor about her life and hobbies, even well into her college years. “Growing together is a joyful experience,” observes the Sisters. “A loving bond grew between the sponsor and the child through greeting cards, letters and financial support.”
Edgar is a bright and enthusiastic young man sponsored through our Luis Amigo sponsor site in Guatemala. He has faced many challenges in his young life, but thanks to the support of his sponsor, he has flourished.
“The first letter I received from my sponsor filled me with much joy,” says Edgar. “Each letter is a treasure. She and her family helped me reach my goals, helped me grow and prosper.”
After finishing high school, Edgar was accepted into the business administration degree program at Galileo University. He is grateful for the continued support of his sponsor through his post secondary studies.
Maria, a former sponsored child from our Pochaiv site in Ukraine, is finding great joy and fulfilment in her busy profession as a cook after recently graduating from trade school!
Maria is no stranger to a busy schedule. She comes from a bustling family of five children. Every day, Maria’s father would head to work early in the morning, while her mother would stay home and care for the young children in the home. Even though Maria’s father worked full time, the family still lived in poverty due to his low income. Determined to help to the best of her ability, Maria always pitched in with the household chores. As soon as she was finished, she’d start crocheting! She would diligently knit sweaters to sell to contribute towards household bills.
One year, Maria’s mother heard of Chalice’s sponsorship program, and applied for assistance. When Maria was chosen by a sponsor, she was so happy! From then on, she was able to attend school with supplies, buy books, and attend study groups. “She grew up hardworking and persistent. She wanted to achieve a lot in life because sponsorship motivated her,” says Halyna, our Pochaiv site director.
In a tiny, poor village in the state of Assam, India, Abdul was born to caring parents. While his parents were shocked and confused to see his differently-formed hands, they loved him and were determined to help him reach his full potential.
Abdul’s father left for work early each morning, earning daily wages at the railway station while his mother stayed home to care for him. As he grew, she taught him how to be independent and embrace his abilities. Though his childhood had a lot of challenges, with the unwavering support of his mother, he was admitted to a neighboring school. Initially he found it difficult to write but gradually he learned by holding a pencil with his two fingers. He was not going to let a disability overtake his life.
In 2011, Abdul was overjoyed to learn he had been chosen by a Chalice sponsor, which brought great relief to his family who struggled to afford his schooling. The help, support, and guidance of his sponsor was invaluable, and provided a great source of inspiration for his studies.