International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking

From its very roots, the Catholic church has sought to fight against human captivity – what in the modern world, we call human trafficking.  

“It is a sin against the dignity of persons and their fundamental rights to reduce them by violence to their productive value or to a source of profit,” says the Catechism of the Catholic Church [pp. 2414]. 

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Fourteen families in Kenya lost everything

They were left with the clothes on their backs. Everything that was in their houses including important documents like title deeds, birth certificates and academic certificates were gone. 

In March 2023, a fire had broken out in Meru, Kenya, and 14 families’ homes were affected 

14 families lost everything in Kenya

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Canadian schools help paint a bigger picture

Meru, Kenya, is full of wildlife and wide-open spaces. The sunsets paint the sky bright and bold colours. The word Meru means ‘shining light.’
However, some areas are not shining quite like others. Kandubai Primary School was one place that was in poor condition. The area around the school is not well supported by public funds, families lack essential resources for their students.

Kenya Meru Kandubai PTA desks nun smile 2023-scr

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Okasana and Ihor’s family can now flourish

Growing like weeds and blooming like flowers. Okasana and Ihor, parents of four who live near Chalice’s Ternopil site in Ukraine, noticed their children growing out of their clothes incredibly fast. The children, two boys and two girls, range in age from six to fifteen. Oksana and Ihor’s biggest challenge will be familiar to any parent of teenagers. “They grow fast,” she says. “They need clothes and footwear most.” Fortunately, generous donations from Chalice donors gave a sense of relief to this family of six. 

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Chalice’s sponsors create childhood memories to last a lifetime

3,2,1… Happy New Year! The best way to brighten up the upcoming year is to shine light into a child’s life. January is a time to reflect. A moment of gratitude often comes when the calendar resets. Adriana, a young girl from Ukraine, finds herself looking back on the year and processing all the moments of her journey. She had a dream of becoming a teacher when she was a young girl. She is 19 now and she has a little slip of paper that takes her back in time.  

Adriana and her twin sister Snizhana are the eldest of a very large family. “I am blessed to have my wonderful parents and 12 siblings: six brothers and six sisters,” she says. “Our parents work very hard to keep such a big family, but I realize how hard it has been for them to provide for us.” Adriana was sponsored through Chalice’s sponsorship program, and it has made a significant impact in her life. “Owing to regular sponsorship support, we have had proper nutrition even in the times when our parents didn’t have any income. Foods, clothing, and school supplies helped us get basic needs.”  


Adriana looks back fondly over eight years of site Christmas celebrations that Chalice’s Ternopil site hosted. “Every performance was appreciated. These moments have become my everlasting memories.” She also “loved to receive a Christmas card from my sponsor.” She would make her own card every year to show how much she appreciated the support. Adriana says, “I owe my happiest moments in life to the site, which has become my second family.” The ongoing support and contact that her sponsor had with her made all the difference. Being present and connected brings life into both the sponsor and the child. It brought so much joy to Adriana’s childhood. 


“My journey with Chalice started eight years ago,” she says. “I remember the day when my mom took me to a place where I wrote my first letter to Chalice. I keep the draft sheet of my first letter and sometimes reread it.” Adriana remembers the moment she was sponsored. She was so excited and grateful that someone who she had never met wanted to support her. “From that day on, my life started to change. The sponsorship program has made a great impact on my family’s life.”  


“The sponsorship program has given me a chance to pursue my dream and achieve my goal to become a teacher.” Adriana will always cherish the opportunity she was given. “Chalice is a gift from Heaven. I am infinitely grateful to the founder of the sponsorship program and all donors who provide such precious support. If it wasn’t for Chalice, my life wouldn’t be so bright.” 


This year, you can be the brightness in a child’s life! Let 2024 be the year of connection and lasting memories. A gift that will stick with a child forever.  


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Joy to the world from Kenya

Joy to the world! That heartwarming Christmas feeling is all around us. There is less than a week left until we celebrate the birth of baby Jesus. The holiday spirit is increasing as we slowly get closer. Parents around the world, and at our Mombasa site in Kenya, wish to make Christmas special for their children, friends, and family. Our Mombasa site looks forwards to their holiday cooking and baking. 

We can feel the excitement in the air. People are ready for celebrations and gatherings with loved ones. Site director, Sr. Janefrances, is aware that some families do not feel as excited as they should. Sr. Janefrances knew that the coming of Advent brings some anxiety for the parents in her community. The cost of essential foods, such as corn flour, has sky-rocketed. Parents could not afford the simple ingredients to bake the most popular treats, like chapatis (flatbread) and mandazi (donuts). Baking is one of their traditions that would normally take place. Purchasing the ingredients was becoming out of reach with the rising prices. 

“It is a time to invite friends and relatives to share meals and drinks as they pause to think the love of God to the world,” Sr. Janefrances said. However, families last year did not have the means to invite people over to host. Thankfully, everyone who gave to Chalice’s Christmas fund in 2022, “relieved the parents who were scratching their heads not knowing how they will celebrate with their children.” 

The Christmas fund reduced heavy stress, allowing families to enjoy their time. “Through the Christmas basket sponsored families received four packets of maize flour,” Sr. Jane described. Flour can be used for variety of dishes, it is in almost all baking recipes. Now, they could make their chapatis and mandazi. “They were very happy for that generous support and went to their homes with great Christmas smile.” Delivering these ingredients meant that families could participate in their holiday activities. The families felt a sense of peace and happiness. “The sponsored families from Kikambala community were thankful for the Christmas basket. Receive their warm deep gratitude from their hearts.” It is safe to say, our donors spread tons of joy, and warmed a lot of hearts in Mombasa.  

Everyone was excited to bring home their baskets to share. Mombasa site is thanking each and every donor in a special way for the kind and generous support they have shown to the three communities we work with. Thank you for thinking and trusting us.” Thanks to our donors for lifting up the Christmas spirits.  

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A Happy Christmas for Everyone!

HO! HO! HO! It is that time of year to get out your Christmas decorations and nativity scenes. This is also a special time of year for Chalice’s Nellore sponsor site in southern India. Site staff love to organize small gatherings for the community to enjoy during the season – everyone looks forward to attending.  

Thanks to everyone who gave to Chalice’s 2022 Christmas fund, the site staff was able to host two Christmas celebrations for the children and parents in the communities they serve. Everyone had a great time, there were a lot of smiles. Christmas celebrations are an important time for the Nellore staff to “spread the message of love and good cheer to the children and their parents.” The children and parents are thankful to experience these events.  


The celebrations began with prayer and song. The children performed creative and well-choreographed dances, poems, skits, and other entertainment for the gathering. They spent a lot of time preparing and practicing. The children focused their play on delivering an important reminder, site staff said: “children gave the message that Christmas is about caring and loving one another and not about gifting.”  

As you can see – they are a highly creative group! “The entire stage was beautifully decorated with balloons and flowers. Children were involved in making the nativity cribs and decorating the premises which brought a festive and happy atmosphere.” They did an excellent job say the staff – and I think we can agree! After the performances, everyone sat down and had a delicious meal together. To top it all off, “Santa Claus, [with] a bag containing gifts and chocolates arrived.” He made sure all the little ones got a chocolate. The children were very excited to see him. 


Site staff were pleased with how the day went, “all the participants were happy and filled with the love, peace, and joy that Christmas offers.” This Christmas, you too can help an event like this one happen by donating to our Christmas fund. Happy Christmas from Chalice’s Nellore sponsor site! 


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To: Ukraine, From: Our Generous Donors at Chalice

-“Christmas is the time to celebrate the love of God.”

The holiday season looks different this year for Ukraine. Hope is more present than ever. Ternopil site director Luba was aware that it was going to be a challenge to get through. This would be the second Christmas since the outbreak of conflict with Russia, the families were not able to celebrate like previous years. However, people in Ukraine are coming together to spread joy their friends and families. “Christmas is the time to celebrate the love of God.”

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Clean water for Our Lady of Mt. Carmel or Kamuyine school in Kenya!

The community of Mikinduri looks lush and beautiful. It’s as though God made it just for growing bananas and papayas. 

But the people are not thriving as well. Most families in Mikinduri, Kenya, are smallholder farmers, relying on rain-fed agriculture for their livelihoods and daily diets. Weather patterns are changing, and that’s affecting harvests. Food insecurity is widespread. 

Three elementary schools are feeling this the most: Kamuyine Public School, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Primary, and Akaiga Primary. More than 1500 children attend one of these three schools every day. 

There is no water connection at Mt. Carmel, nor in the surrounding village. Akaiga Primary is not connected to any water source and relies on rainfall. Washing, drinking, cooking, and irrigating their farm all depend on harvesting water during the rainy season. Likewise, Kamuyine’s main source of water is rainfall, too. 

During the long dry seasons, children must either carry water from home for drinking, or wait until the end of the school day to get a drink at home. The chore of fetching water falls disproportionately to girls and women, taking them away from their studies or livelihoods. 

 And the dry seasons are getting longer. 

“With the recent changes in climate there’s a prolonged drought,” says Mr. Ogolla, a county official, “the local people are facing starvation and a huge water crisis – with the schools being the most affected.” 

“There’s a looming health hazard to the whole community especially the school-going children.” 

The water they collect from ponds and rivers isn’t safe, and the schools aren’t able to keep sanitary facilities. Children cannot wash their hands properly. As a result, the teachers are seeing a steep rise in absenteeism because the children are sick with waterborne illnesses such as dysentery, cholera and typhoid. These diseases can be recurrent and require costly medication. The children’s health suffers, as do their grades, and their parents struggle to afford the necessary medicine. 

In response to this crisis, Chalice and the Mikinduri sponsor site are drilling borehole wells at each school. Their solar-powered pumps will pipe water to several access points for the students, staff, and families.  

The community-based wells will be used for household and school needs as well as small-scale irrigation farming to grow vegetables and food crops. With a reliable source of water, the communities will be able to cultivate their lands year-round. These lands have great potential to be highly productive, and the families can prosper.   

This noble project will help the schools retain children in school and also offer a source of water for the communities,” says Fr. Lucas, the local pastor. 

“Thank you for your continued support of our community.” 

You can support the borehole well at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel or Kamuyine today! 

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An entrepreneurship gift creates opportunities

At all our sites there are entrepreneurial souls waiting to take the first step towards building their own business. Those first steps often start to happen when parents or guardians join Chalice family circles. During their meeting they start to get trained on in demand skills that will open the doors of opportunities. When a parents are able to open a small business, they start to generate income and provide more support to their families. 

Our Meru site’s parents were prepared to start their own business, they already had experience in farming- the just needed business training. At Meru site, parents are predominantly farmers – so the gifts of animals, tools, and agricultural training are invaluable gifts from the Chalice Gift Catalogue.

Parents from 30 Chalice family circles in the Meru site were able to start group businesses thanks to catalogue gifts. These new collective enterprises will be in areas such as poultry, goat, pig, or sheep farming, vegetable gardens, and fruit nurseries.

The parents are experts around a farm- business management, on the other hand, is less familiar. So, the Meru site staff wanted to prepare them before they embarked on their lives as entrepreneurs.

Partnering with local groups and a technical college, the site staff arranged a training day for all the parents in the 30 family circles.

The facilitator ran through all the foundational concepts: establishing their collective goals as a group and creating a plan and guidelines to get there. He also helped them understand how to layout and manage their project’s budget.

The members of the groups understand that they will reinvest some of their earnings back into their group kitty, ensuring the project is sustainable.

“All the group members were very happy after getting an enriched, enlightened training from the facilitators,” writes Sr. Rosemary, Meru site director.

The groups each received a small amount of seed capital through Chalice.

“They were very grateful,” Sr. Rosemary says. “It was a motivation for the groups.”

The groups each met with Chalice staff and discussed their plans and ideas. Everyone was ready to start their exciting new ventures. 


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