“Love begins by taking care of the closest ones – the ones at home.” – St. Mother Teresa
A simple roof over your head can make any place feel like home, with the knowledge you’re protected from the surrounding winds of the world. But for numerous families, like the ones living near our Samar site in the Philippines, that safety isn’t a reality.
Houses in the area are often made of coconut lumber and woven frond shingles, materials that don’t keep out the regular rain and windstorms. Many families, including sponsored ones, struggle with inadequate space and insufficient finances. A new home isn’t in the cards.
Andrea and Leanard live in a small home made of light materials, and when not in school, love helping their parents around the house. They’re budding fishers, regularly heading out with their dad Joel to catch a few big ones. Their mother Lucia is a strong-willed and jolly woman, with a penchant for helping others, fishing and carpentry.
While the city of Manila was still under strict COVID-19 lockdown protocols, the Tondo sponsor site knew there were children in their neighbourhood who didn’t have enough food. In particular, the site staff worried about the neighbourhood of Baseco, one of the largest slums in Manila.
When restrictions lifted enough for site staff to go out, they began delivering pre-packed meals every day to the children of Baseco – none of whom had Chalice sponsors. But the staff longed to see the children eating fresh fruits and vegetables. They imagined a Baseco community garden, cared for by the families.
As soon as gathering limits allowed, it was action time. Thanks to generous supporters of Chalice’s nutrition program, the site staff selected a plot of land by the shore and set to work making their vision a reality.
Our regions are known for their radiant cuisine, and the Philippines are no exception. With more than 100 ethno-linguistic groups scattered throughout the nation, the country’s cuisine reflects the rich diversity of its residents.
Noodles are a common ingredient in Filippino cooking, and pansit is no exception. This stir-fried noodle dish is made with fresh cabbage, sliced chicken, and a helping of soy sauce. It’s the ultimate comforting meal. Bonus points for not needing to turn on the oven, so it’ll keep you cool in the summer.
This dish has also become popular in the island of Guam, one of the Mariana islands in what is known as Micronesia. Residents of the Philippines have a history of migration to Guam, and today, pansit is often eaten on birthdays and New Year’s Eve.
When you make this dish, you can remember all those you support in the Philippines!
Did you know? Chalice ensures children have balanced and nutrient-rich diets by implementing school feeding programs through the support of the Chalice Children Nutrition Program.
Jobert grew up in a family of four in rural Samar in the Philippines. His parents struggled to provide for him and his siblings on only his father’s salary as a janitor.
When he was little, Jobert always looked up to his aunt, who was a teacher. He and his siblings would always play ‘school’ and he was always the teacher. But every year, his parents worried that they would not have enough to give their children the supplies they needed to attend school.
It was December, nearing Christmastime the year Jobert was in grade five, when two Sisters knocked on Jobert’s door. They had come with the good news that Jobert had been selected by a Chalice sponsor!
Eighteen-year-old Mae Joy has had an exceptionally difficult young life. Growing up, she experienced a deeply troubled home life with a father who was unwilling to support her and her five siblings. In addition to this difficult situation, living in the Tondo slum neighbourhood in the Philippines has been a constant struggle. A few years ago, Mae Joy fell ill with severe pneumonia. Her frail health caused her to succumb to a deep depression.
Education is essential to break the cycle of poverty, but children also need to be healthy to be able to learn. Being affected by vision or hearing loss, chronic pain, or mobility problems can severely affect a child’s ability to learn. Donations to Chalice critical needs is one way our supporters help break the barrier poor health can place on a child in need.
Munich, a 17 year old sponsored teenager from our Tondo site in the Philippines, lives with severe mixed hearing loss in both her ears. She had a typical hearing throughout childhood but around the age of 10 her mother noticed that she was having trouble with her hearing. Munich’s family is quite poor. She lives with her parents and seven siblings in the slum and even though it was evident that Munich was in great need of hearing aids to keep up with her school work, a series of unfortunate events befell the family and she didn’t receive the help she needed.
Rosemarie, from Bulacan, Philippines, is the youngest of three children. Both of her parents worked very hard, but barely earned enough to put food on the table. Many days, Rosemarie would go to school without eating anything for the entire day.
While she was still in elementary school, Rosemarie was selected by a Chalice sponsor. Her determination and competitive spirit were fueled even further with the support of sponsorship. Her many talents, such as dancing, drawing, and playing musical instruments were honed by joining school activities. She was a shining star in the classroom, and achieved top marks until she graduated.