Ivanna's Story - Chalice Sponsored Child from UkraineIvanna was nine, when the Site field worker did the first home visit fo.r Ivanna in 2002, and they discovered that the family of a mother, a granny and 3 children were living in a tight basement with no means for a living except for a small granny’s pension which was enough for some foods and firewood only. Mother was unemployed at the time because jobs were not available in their village like elsewhere in the rural area. Ivanna got opportunities to follow her dreams thanks to her sponsor. The children wore shabby and torn clothes to school. They had only one good pair of sneakers for all of the three to wear. They often had to miss the school because they either got sick or didn’t have proper outfit. Mother could not apply for social welfare for her children because they were so poor she didn’t have the money to pay for a bus ticket to get to the district centre. They survived by feeding from their vegetable garden where they grew potatoes, beets, carrots, and other produce.

When the field worker offered help through Chalice Sponsorship Program, the mother didn’t believe her at first and was reluctant, because they had spent all their life struggling with their problems on their own. It is impossible to describe their big excited eyes when they received their first sponsorship benefits a few months later – plenty of good food, hygiene products and even candies for the children! Next came school supplies, brand new clothes, good-sized footwear, wool blankets – their basic necessities. That was the time when they have regained their trust and faith. Sponsorship has become a blessing for this family, but the true miracle for them has become personal contact with the sponsor, her moral and spiritual support for the child and the whole family. Before that, no one had ever cared for them. Sponsorship became an incentive to grow and improve their living.

It showed them a light at the end of the tunnel. Mother could get to the district centre and applied for the social welfare.  They started receiving some financial assistance from the government. With time she could find some small job. They started doing some improvements in their house and within several years moved from the basement to the rooms. Ivanna tried very hard to keep up well at school and had a dream to receive a post graduate education in banking. But she knew their family could never afford it. It is her sponsor who has made her dream come true. She not only cared to find out about Ivanna aptitudes, but has given her money to cover the tuition fee and supplies. Last year Ivanna graduated from village school and entered Ternopil Institute for Social and Informational Technologies, the International Economy Department. She is doing very well there. Ivanna is very happy. Ivanna has gained more confidence in her future live with gratefulness and gratitude in her heart to her sponsor, to Chalice and to God for changing her life.



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