Tobias and his little brother Andrew share games like any other siblings, but something makes then unique, too. In their family, the younger Andrew watches out for the older Tobias.
Tobias lives with his parents and brother in a community near our Don Bosco site, where his parents take great care to keep him healthy. That’s because 13-year-old Tobias is on the autism spectrum, and needs an extra boost of support from his family.
Odalis lives with her grandmother, Doña Aurora, in a two-room brick house near our Luis Amigo sponsor site in Guatemala. Now 22-years-old, Odalis loves to read and play soccer with her friends.
Since her Odalis was small, Aurora always dreamt her granddaughter would complete her studies and have a future full of opportunities. But Aurora had difficulty affording the cost of education, food and other daily needs. Thankfully, a Chalice sponsor chose Odalis in 2010. Through their support, Odalis could thrive in her studies, and look ahead to university.
Some people just have a way with words. If you’re not convinced, ask translator/teacher Lorenzo.
In Chile, where Lorenzo is from, the disparity between low-and-high-income is often stark. At our Arica site, Chalice partners with religious organizations to offer medical checkups and skill training.
And, of course, sponsorship.
A generous donor has been sponsoring Lorenzo since he was six years old, opening doors that began his path towards success.
Ely knows her way around a computer, a cake and a page full of numbers. Determined and hard-working, she’s not one to abandon her goals. But to achieve them, she took a bumpy ride.
In Yapacani, Bolivia, children, adolescents and elders face abandonment. Many children only attend a few grades of primary school, and university? It’s often out-of-the-question.
Ely’s parents are farmers, and supporting their children’s education was hard.
Fortunately, hope arrived. Ely’s Chalice sponsor entered her life, and made the path forward a little brighter.
Through almost 15 years, he’s made a huge difference. Sponsorship meant finances were less concerning, and Ely’s parents could support schooling.
With a heaping helping of hard work and her sponsor’s support, Ely achieved an incredible milestone: university. She studied petroleum engineering, beginning the journey to a fulfilling career.
With a smile as bright as the sun, Juan Carlos is an attentive and loving kid to his mother Marisol. He loves helping her around the house, and is a fast learner. You can’t see it on his face, but Juan Carlos has been through a lot to get to where he is today.
When he was only little, Marisol found out he would have lifelong troubles with mobility. That’s because Juan Carlos had cerebral palsy, a common disorder that affects movement. He also had poor vision and hearing.
Marisol discovered with time he needed a unique diet, and medicines her insurance didn’t cover. For the devoted single mother and her son, it was a hard time without much hope on the horizon.
“In those moments of grief and despair, Chalice appeared”, wrote the Santiago site staff.
“I feel blessed to participate in the sponsorship program,” says 20-year-old Juan who is currently studying medicine in university. He has encountered many obstacles in his young life, but thanks to his sponsor and other Chalice supports he is very close to realizing his dream of working in the medical field.
Growing up in Chiclayo, Peru, his humble and hardworking family struggled to make ends meet. When he was eight, his father passed away, leaving them all devastated. But the following year things started to turn around when Juan was admitted into the sponsorship program and chosen by a sponsor. Slowly but surely their lives steadily improved.
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.
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.
Each year as Christmas approaches, mothers of sponsored children at our PINIFE site in Peru reflect on how they can make the holidays special. A few years ago, Chalice family circles decided that the best way to enjoy Christmas was to share joy and blessings with their neighbors in need.
In the surrounding community, many elders struggle to make ends meet. During Christmas, mothers took time to visit the elderly, sharing in conversation and prayer. This was eye-opening for the mothers, for even though their daily lives are difficult, they met others in as much need as them.
The mothers were moved to give the elders what they could from what little they had, and eagerly gifted food hampers they created at the end of their visits. “They returned home with that experience of feeling joy for giving, thus valuing their own family and getting closer to God who loves us and is always watching over all,” says the Sisters who oversee our PINIFE site.
So far, Chalice’s COVID-19 disaster fund has distributed nearly $613,000 to families at our sites who have been hit the hardest by the global pandemic. At our Arica site in Chile, $12,453.35 was used to help sponsored children and elders, including non-sponsored elders with chronic medical conditions who were abandoned by their families and are living alone.
In Chile, elders over the age of 75 were prohibited from going outside regularly due to the pandemic, forcing them to make quick outings to higher priced neighborhood convenience stores because they had no one to travel to nearby cheaper supermarkets for them. While elders in Chile do receive a small pension, it is barely enough to survive. Without family support, most seniors live a lonely existence, unable to afford their medications or nutritious food. According to a report by the Ministry of Social Development, the price of a basic food basket rose in October 2019, then again in January, and doubled in April 2020, making it even harder for poor elders and families to make ends meet.