Good dental hygiene is essential for the health and happiness of growing children. In the Philippines, tooth decay is a widespread problem afflicting many children and adults. Last year, at a routine heath check at our sponsor site in Tondo, almost 100% of our 1325 sponsored children had cavities.
Tooth decay and gum disease have a serious effect on both children and adults. Tooth issues can weaken bodily defenses for serious and potentially dangerous diseases and infections. Poor oral health also negatively affects school performance. In the Philippines, toothache is the primary cause of absenteeism, and reduces confidence and self-esteem due to pain and missing or decayed teeth.
Every child deserves to have a strong, beautiful smile. Our new Zero Cavities project aims to treat and eradicate cavities for sponsored children and their siblings at our Tondo site. Children receive dental treatment for current issues, regular fluoride rinses, and are being taught how to properly care for their teeth at home.
Madeline is used to living a busy life. She’s the mother and sole caretaker of Phalancia, Phalanda, Fedelin, Phadelin, and baby Phedjina. The family lives together in Terrier-Rouge, a community near our Haiti North site.
One of Madeline’s children, Phalancia, is sponsored with Chalice. Sponsorship helps Madeline provide better care for her children, but the family still lacks many necessities. For many years, they lived in an inadequate home made of clay, and Madeline constantly worried that it would collapse.
Simón, from our Fatima site in Bolivia, always dreamed of having his own home. In order to save costs, Simón lived with his brother for many years. His room was improvised with plastic walls and tents. It was very cold, and when it rained, the roof leaked. Despite his challenges, Simón always remained cheerful and optimistic, determined to reach his goal.
Simón worked diligently as a bricklayer when his health allowed, and finally saved up enough money to buy a plot of land where he could build a small home! One unexpected day, however, he suffered a pre-stroke, and the whole right side of his body was left paralyzed.
Joseph and Benjamin are brothers from Kyandoo, a small village near our Mercy Care Site in Mwingi, Kenya. When they were still very young, their mother, who was their only caretaker, sadly passed away. After her death, the boys went to live with their grandmother.
Life with their grandmother was full of happy moments! Joseph and Benjamin remember waking early in the morning to a breakfast of hot corn meal porridge that she had lovingly prepared. The boys would fetch firewood and haul water in from the nearby river for her, and she took special care to make sure they were thriving. The happy family did everything together, and the boys’ doting grandmother loved them deeply.
These happy moments were cut short when Joseph and Benjamin’s grandmother fell ill. She quickly deteriorated, and passed away just a short time after. The death of their grandmother deeply affected the young children.
In the Philippines, many children living in poverty are in poor health. Malnutrition, leading to anemia and poor dental health, is one of the most urgent issues at many of our Filipino sites. Through the support of our sponsors and donors, we work with our local partners to implement nutrition programs to help nourish hungry children and families.
In addition to sponsorship, our Tondo site in the Philippines provides regular daily meals supported through our nutrition program. Vitamins and extra supplements are also provided to anemic and vitamin deficient children.
So far, the children in Tondo have greatly benefited from the regular, healthy meals. In our 2017-2018 year, 144,551 meals were fed to children in need. Sponsored children aren’t the only ones who benefit- the coordinators were given permission to feed other children who were hungry and came asking for food, as long as the children in the program were fed.
Last September, Maskym, a sponsored child from our Ternopil site in Ukraine, came home from school with a sharp headache and high fever. Svitlana, his mother, kept Maksym home from school for two days thinking he had the flu. Maksym, however, just kept getting sicker. Svitlana also noticed that his head was constantly tilting to one side.
Svitlana brought Maksym to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with swelling of the brain. Treatment, however, had no effect. Maksym was quickly transferred to larger hospital where he underwent a variety of blood tests. It was soon discovered that he suffered from Lyme Disease. After a few days of antibiotics, he improved and was sent home.
Just one month later, Maksym became sick once again. Doctors informed the family that Maksym would need to be treated for upwards of one year to see improvement. Worst of all, the disease had caused many complications, such as inflammation of the brain stem, chest, stomach, heart, and kidney and pancreas issues.
Rupali, from our Assam site in India, lives with her parents, older sister, and younger brother. Her parents are incredibly hard working, and do everything they can for their children. Her father, Pobin, drives others around in a rickshaw for a living. Even though he’s in poor health, he works nearly every day to make ends meet. Rupali’s mother also works selling small items on the side of the road for extra income.
Despite their dedication and hard work, Rupali’s parents still don’t make enough to support their family. They never received a formal education, making it difficult to find higher paying jobs in the competitive local economy. The family doesn’t own their own land, and struggle to pay rent and afford basic needs.
In northern Ghana, it’s often incredibly difficult for children to attend school. Lack of transportation, public services, and food insecurity all prevent children from attending class. Many young adults move to the prospering southern towns, leading to a further lack of teachers and services.
For over ten years, Chalice has been working in northern Ghana to help bring education, food, and safety to vulnerable children and their families. In 2013, Chalice partnered with the Wa School for the Deaf to help provide even further services to children in need.
St. Don-Bosco special school, built in 2016, is a sub-campus of Wa School for the Deaf which caters specifically to children with intellectual disabilities. The school has 102 teenage students, many of whom are sponsored through Chalice. The students thrive despite their disabilities, and are learning trades such as making soap, detergent, sandals, and beads, and gardening and animal rearing.
Due to its rural location, the school faces its fair share of challenges. Water and sanitation has been an ongoing issue. It’s a monumental task to provide enough safe, clean drinking water for the students, and hard to find enough water for the crops and animals on campus.
This Christmas, whip up this easy, delicious snack that the whole family will love. Kaimati is a traditional fried dumpling coated with sweet vanilla syrup. This indulgent treat is a popular dessert and snack among Swahili and Bajuni communities in Kenya- we received this recipe straight from one of our Kenyan sites!
Kaimatis get their unique flavour from the method of how yeast is combined with the flour. This recipe serves a family of four, but can be doubled for parties or for families with a sweet tooth.