Welcome to Photo Friday! Each Friday, we share photo collections of our favourite shots from our sponsor sites around the world.
This past week, many Canadians across the country celebrated Canada Day in bold red and white outfits. Each of the 15 countries where we work have their own traditional colours and customs for celebrating, too! This week, we’re showcasing our top 5 “international dress” photos that we’ve collected during our travels. Whether it be a celebration, holiday, or daily expression of culture, we hope you’ll love learning about the significance of different clothing styles around the world.
#5: Lovely lacework
Women and girls in Paraguay wear an a’o poi top with their formal attire, bearing the famous Parguayan lacework sleeves. These girls are also modeling the custom of wearing their hair in a braid or a bun. You can also spot a flower tucked in there, too!
Welcome to our fourth Photo Friday! Each Friday, we share photo collections of our absolute favourite shots from our sponsor sites around the world.
Even during the most busy and stressful times, it’s important to practice mindfulness, prayer, and relaxation. This week, we’re sharing our top 5 peaceful photos that we’ve gathered from our sites. Take a deep breath, relax, and let these serene photos fill you with gentle peace.
#5: A boundless blue sky
This stunning shot is from our Leventate Mujer site in Bolivia. Llamas, alpacas, and other livestock are commonly kept by farming families in Bolivia for their valuable wool, which can be woven into garments. This woman, baby, and her animals all seem to be enjoying the beautiful blue sky and light, airy clouds on this sunny day.
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.
When Scolastica’s mother passed away, she and her sister’s life changed forever. The two sisters from Nanyuki, Kenya, had to leave their lives behind and move in with their uncle, who offered to adopt the girls into his family. Scolastica’s uncle has a wife and children of his own, and works as a casual laborer to make ends meet. The family doesn’t own land and lives in a rented house, and the financial burden of two extra children caused them to quickly fall behind.
Twin brothers Valentyn and Mykhaylo live in a small, rural village near our Ternopil site in Ukraine. Natalya, their mom, suffers from multiple sclerosis. She’s unable to work, and must receive regular treatments for her illness. Her husband, Andriy, commutes 40 kms to work daily, while Natalya stays home and cares for the family.
“I do all the jobs around the house myself,” says Natalya. “My mother, Maria, also lives with us, and she has a severe form of diabetes and also requires care. I am not afraid of work, and when i’m feeling well, I’m not worried. But I often feel weakness in my arms and legs, get headaches, and get tired easily.” she says.
In Ukraine, beds remain one of the most frequently requested items from our gift catalogue. The majority of the families at our sites in Ukraine are large, and often times their homes are small. Children share beds with siblings and parents, with often up to four people sharing one small bed.
Over the years, we’ve used generous donations through our gift catalogue to replace broken beds with new ones, or provide bunk beds to siblings so that children could sleep in their own beds. Sofa beds are also a popular choice, as many families have limited living space- sofa beds can be used as a sitting couch during the day, and a bed at night.
Starehe Girls’ Centre, located in Nairobi, Kenya, is the only chance some girls get at a quality education. The boarding school was founded in 2005, and offers education to economically disadvantaged girls. The centre boasts an extremely high standard of education, and is meant to prepare girls to continue their studies competitively in university.
Starehe Girls’ Centre works in tandem with Chalice sponsorship to allow girls from poor backgrounds to attend. It also receives our support for sports teams, school gardens, student clubs, and more. “The Centre sets out to not merely provide food, clothing, and protection to girls in need, but to restore them in self-confidence so often injured by earlier misfortune in life,” says Sr. Jane our Starehe Girl’s site director.