Learning to knead dough until it feels just right, combining spices that make a meal pop, and turning over a new garden bed to get the most robust growth are just some of the valuable skills that mothers pass on to their children. The warm childhood memories that fill our minds of working side-by-side, as we soak in the knowledge of our mothers and grandmothers are priceless.
We then build our own memories as we teach these same skills to our own children, which connects us all forever. Traditions passed down will live on. Sometimes, they can even be turned a profitable business that can help the family thrive, as is the case with Lourdes.
Children at Holoby Village School enjoy fresh, clean drinking water after a $55,426 donation repaired their contaminated water system.
For a long time, the parents of Holoby village near our Pochaiv site in Ukraine were incredibly worried about the health of their children. Over a span of more than 16 years, their children were born frail and sickly, which only worsened as they grew. Doctors struggled to pinpoint why the children were so sick. No matter what medications they tried, nothing seemed to help, either. A local pediatrician noted several concerning conditions such as allergies and intestinal and liver diseases which tended to become chronic around age seven.
After an investigation by the State Sanitary Epidemiological Service of Ukraine found harmful substances in drinking water, the source of the children’s diseases became clear. Years of drinking contaminated water and eating school lunches prepared with the same contaminated water was causing serious adverse health effects.
Volunteers are at the core of Chalice and make a huge positive impact on the work we do. From the parents who run feeding programs in our sites, to our Chalice Champions in Canada who fundraise and advocate in their parishes, schools, and communities, volunteers help us keep our costs low and impact high.
The ongoing pandemic has drastically changed how we work, but the enthusiasm and dedication of our treasured volunteers is stronger than ever.
Cathy, a Chalice Champion currently living in Nova Scotia was recently inspired by a bingo themed 50/50 fundraiser she participated in this past winter. “When I heard that one of the schools I visited on my mission trip to Tanzania in 2019 was raising money for a library I thought that I could use the same idea,” she explained. “Thinking that it was a good way to connect with family and friends across the country during these lockdown times, I put together an emailing list and sent a message.”
Defying all odds and surprising his doctors at every turn, Vladimir is a fighter. When he was born three months premature near our sponsor site in Asunción, Paraguay, Vladimir’s loving and faithful mother and grandmother were told upon his discharge from the hospital that he would likely only survive for a short eight months.
The doctors, however, didn’t consider the love and determination of Vladimir’s grandmother who used every resource available to her to care for her grandson. She poured her attention into Vladimir who thrived under her constant care. With faith and hope in God, the small family met and overcame every obstacle in their way.
With a mischievous grin and sparkling eyes, Tracey, a non-sponsored child living near our Tondo sponsor site in the Philippines, seems like any other active seven-year-old child. His antics keeps his parents on their toes as they smile with relief and whisper prayers of thanksgiving.
This typical rowdy behaviour brings his parents much joy because unlike most children, Tracey has faced many medical challenges in his young life. He was born with a congenital heart defect known as Tetralogy of Fallot, a rare condition caused by a combination of four heart defects. His parents knew that he would need surgery at some point and worried about how they would ever afford it. His father has only been able to find infrequent contract work, so the family of four survives on their grandfather’s meagre salary as a local police officer.
Our Kawambwa site in Zambia strives to provide care to the local blind and partially sighted children with no other place to turn to for support. Our site’s Sisters partner with two specialized schools for the blind in Zambia that help children access quality education and life skills in a safe, warm, and loving environment. Blessings, who was born blind, never would have had access to an education without the support of her loving sponsor and the dedicated teachers at her new school.
Blessings is the youngest child in a busy family of five. Her father worked as a bricklayer, while her mother took care of the home. Her parents unfortunately didn’t have the means or knowledge to look after a child living with blindness, and struggled to manage Blessings’ disability.
At our Ternopil site in Ukraine, the modern gift of electric stoves are keeping families fed and cozy year-round in the comfort of their homes.
In Canada, stoves are essential household appliances that many families rely on daily to cook safe, convenient meals. In rural Ukraine, however, cooking can be much more complicated. “In many villages, people rely solely on wood stoves or furnaces for cooking,” says Luba, our Ternopil site director. “The furnace is heated daily all year round for cooking or warming up meals.”
Heating a wood stove or furnace is time consuming and high maintenance . It’s especially worrisome for families with young children who can accidently be burned by the hot stove if left unattended. The stove also heats the entire home, which is uncomfortable in the summer months.
Ivanna, a mother of three from our Ternopil site, was constantly managing a wood stove to cook while she stayed home to care for the children. Her husband, Andriy, was often out of the home working seasonal jobs during the day. The gift of an electric stove, donated through our gift catalogue, has been an incredible blessing for the family!
Victoria is an ambitious young woman from a hard-working Catholic family. She and her two siblings grew up near our Mangalagiri site in India. When the children were little, Victoria’s parents struggled with food insecurity, lack of adequate housing, and even lacked enough clothing. The cost of the children’s education was overwhelming, and Victoria often had to ask her classmates to borrow their textbooks and learning materials. Although this was a source of great embarrassment for the young student, Victoria remained focused and studious, and her achievements shone in the classroom.
By God’s grace, a Chalice sponsor chose Victoria when she was in grade two. “This was a turning point in her life,” recall the Sisters who run our Mangalagiri site. Now, her family had access to enough food and clothing for their three children and could afford education costs.
As Victoria continued to thrive in the classroom, she and her sponsor connected closely from the start of her sponsorship. Victoria loved to write to her sponsor about her life and hobbies, even well into her college years. “Growing together is a joyful experience,” observes the Sisters. “A loving bond grew between the sponsor and the child through greeting cards, letters and financial support.”
Edgar is a bright and enthusiastic young man sponsored through our Luis Amigo sponsor site in Guatemala. He has faced many challenges in his young life, but thanks to the support of his sponsor, he has flourished.
“The first letter I received from my sponsor filled me with much joy,” says Edgar. “Each letter is a treasure. She and her family helped me reach my goals, helped me grow and prosper.”
After finishing high school, Edgar was accepted into the business administration degree program at Galileo University. He is grateful for the continued support of his sponsor through his post secondary studies.