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.
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.
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.