Oleksandr grew up small village in Ukraine with his mom and younger brother. When Oleksandr was eight years old, he was diagnosed with scoliosis, a deformation of the spine. Instead of forming a straight line, his spine was slowly taking on an “S” shape. Over the years, his mother tried many nonsurgical treatments for Oleksandr, hoping to alleviate his pain.
By age 14, his condition worsened significantly. His spinal curve was visible, and he felt a sharp pain in his back while sitting and standing. One of his rib cages became higher than the other, which caused breathing and heart problems. Surgery was the only solution to these complicated issues.
Thanja, a sponsored child from our Imphal site in India, just scored in the top 0.1% on his national high school graduation exams, placing 23rd out of 37,138 students.
A shy village boy, Thanja grew up lacking basic necessities. Before he was sponsored, he had no hope of pursuing education, and limited his dreams. With sponsorship, Thanja was able to attend school, receive proper care, and start planning for his future.
With Mother’s Day quickly approaching, we’d like to recognize all of the incredible and hard working mothers around the world. Despite poverty and obstacles, we see the love of mothers shine through and persevere in every site in which we work.
In Paraguay, especially in poorer areas, many children are raised in single parent families, with mothers usually taking the role as primary caregiver. Nadia, from our CMAVIL site in Paraguay, was raised by her mother, Bernarda. When Nadia was very young, she had constant issues with her ears, and required expensive surgeries. Her mother was determined to help Nadia, and declared: “I will get those surgeries if I have to pick up every can in the city to pay for it!”
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.
Mariya, from Ternopil, Ukraine, comes from a large family. Even though her parents both work full time, they could barely meet the needs of their children. Sponsorship brought great new opportunities for Mariya and her siblings. “From the day I was sponsored, we were able to afford food, school supplies, and household goods. My parents were also able to save for our education and development,” Mariya says.
Thanks to the support, Mariya had the special opportunity to attend music school, and was able to excel in her regular studies, too. She took home many school prizes in academic contests, and always achieved top marks. As she got older, she became especially passionate about English class. “At that time I understood that English and language skills were important for my future. I had extra classes of English with a tutor who inspired me to connect my future with English and teaching,” Mariya explains.
Our Mercy Care site is located in the Mwingi region of Kenya. This area is dry and arid, and usually receives very little rain. Last spring, however, unusually heavy rainfall drenched the region. The soft, dry soil was heavily eroded, devastating farms and roads. Many homes and structures were extensively damaged, as they were not built to withstand rainstorms.
With families and children left vulnerable, we scrambled to provide makeshift shelters. Other families in the community generously offered to share their small homes with displaced families. One of the most affected families was a family of five left homeless, as their entire house collapsed.
Born in a small village where most people have not experienced many luxuries in life, Shane desperately wanted to have an opportunity for better life in the future. Her father worked as security guard and her mother worked in health care, but they didn’t make very much money.
Because of their poverty, her father would have to leave the family behind for long stretches of time for work. Shane spent a lot of time in the care of her mother. With six children in the family, Shane’s mother did her best to be a good role model for her children. She encouraged them to be responsible and ambitious, and instilled in them a desire for education and success.
Even though Shane faced her fair share of obstacles and difficulties, she was never overwhelmed. She entrusted herself to God, and focused on the future. When Shane was in grade four, she was blessed to be chosen by a Chalice sponsor. Sponsorship motivated Shane to excel in her studies, and helped her mother provide for the family.
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.