Category Archives: Community

COVID-19: updates and information

We at Chalice are closely monitoring updates on the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We are working diligently to ensure that our operations continue safely. We will continue to update all of our supporters with the most recent information we have regarding our response to COVID-19.

Current updates as of March 23, 2020:

-Our head office in Bedford, Nova Scotia, is currently closed to all visitors as a safety precaution until further notice.

-We are still open during our regular hours, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. AST, Monday to Friday. In our efforts to practice social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus, some of our staff is working remotely. We can be contacted at 1.800.776.6855 or by emailing info@chalice.ca. Due to staff working remotely, forwarding may be delayed, but rest assured, we will work to promptly return your inquiry.

-All Parish appeals are suspended until further notice due to the Canadian government’s recommendation to limit social gatherings.

-All international staff travel is suspended until further notice.

– Our July mission to Ukraine has been postponed until 2021 (dates to be confirmed). We continue to prepare for this and our November 2020 mission to India, while remaining attentive to how the situation develops in the weeks and months ahead.

-We are working diligently to ensure that all of our programs continue to run effectively, and that all donations and funds continue to be sent to our sponsor sites in a timely manner.

Sponsored children updates

Africa: 

-All Kenyan schools and colleges are closed in compliance with a directive issued by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday March 16.  All public gatherings have also been suspended so Family Circle meetings in Kenya are on hold until further notice.

-Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania have closed their borders, imposed travel restrictions and blocked foreign entry so there can be no sponsor visits until further notice.

Ukraine:

– Ukraine has closed its borders to all international travel. All schools are closed and there are restrictions on movement within cities and villages. All points of sale are closed with the exception of grocery stores and pharmacies. Public transportation is reduced. All employees are to work from home.

– All parent group meetings and site gatherings are suspended. Our site offices are closed with key staff accessible and working remotely. These current government directed restrictions are in place until March 30. Our sites will continue to monitor the situation and fully comply with all directives put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Haiti:

-Haiti has closed its borders to all international travel from Europe, USA, and Canada.  The border with the Dominican Republic is closed. At this time, our site offices are still open but they have implemented enhanced hygiene practices and readjusted work spaces to provide greater personal space. All parent group meetings and large site gatherings are suspended until further notice.

Latin America:

-Many areas have declared a state of emergency and schools are closed until further notice. Many areas have curfews and mobility restrictions. Staff who can are working from home, and some of our site offices are still open with a restricted staff.

India: 

-All of our site buildings in India are currently closed due to a government order to cease in-person operations. Most of our sites are able to received funds as normal. All schools are closed until further notice, and Family Circle meetings are suspended.

Philippines: 

-Some of our site offices are open with limited staff. All families are given a pass to leave their homes once a day to retrieve groceries and supplies, but the country is otherwise practicing quarantining and social distancing.

 

What can I do to help?

At this time, we have no emergency fund set up specifically for COVID-19, but we will update you as soon as we receive word of any new developments.

Thanks to our many previously existing projects and programs regarding clean water, health, hygiene and sanitation, many of our sponsor sites have good knowledge of proper hygiene practices. You can help support these initiatives by:

Prayer

Please join us in prayer for the health and safety of our sponsored children and their families, the communities where we work, our staff and supporters around the world, and all of those affected by the virus:

“Heavenly Father, during this time of anxiety and distress, we ask for your protection for our sponsored children and elderly, our supporters, staff, volunteers, and all who are burdened in any way by this pandemic. Bless all who are now sick and bring them quickly to restoration of good health. Shield and protect all healthcare workers. Guide governments in their decisions and help them to work together to contain the disease and stop the spread. Welcome into your Kingdom all who have died and bring comfort to their families.

Most Holy Trinity, we place all our hope in you. You are our strength and our shield; in You our hearts trust; so we are helped and our hearts exult; and with our song we give thanks to You. (Psalm 28:7)”

COVID-19 informational resources:

For the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19, please visit the following websites:

Government of Canada 

World Health Organization

A closer look: Pochaiv site, Ukraine

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.

Continue reading

Smashing misconceptions in Kodaikanal, India

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.

Continue reading

Vulnerable students can now attend school safely

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!

Continue reading

How sponsorship supports the whole family

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.

Continue reading

Families spread Christmas cheer in Peru

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. 

Continue reading

Gifts of love bless families in Bolivia

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!

Continue reading

New water project for Asembo, Kenya

“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.

Continue reading

School feeding creates lasting impact

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.

Continue reading

New school building brings joy to staff and students

Our Madurai site in India first began in 1997 in partnership with the Sisters of the Cross of Chavannod. “We aim to empower the poor and downtrodden,” says Sr. Amala, our site director. “We work to identify the capabilities hidden within students and to find creative strategies to convert them in to very useful and relevant skills!”

Today, our Madurai site sponsors over 700 children. Two hundred of these live in the subsite area of Kodaikanal. In this area, many children faced barriers that prevented them from attending school. Continue reading