Kateryna, from Pochaiv, Ukraine, didn’t have an easy childhood. Her mother, the only caretaker of the family, worked her hardest to take care of Kateryna and her two brothers. She took on multiple jobs, including servicing a local cemetery. She worked nearly every day, even on Sundays selling candles and lamps to cemetery visitors.
It was incredibly hard for Kateryna’s mother to afford housing on her small income, so the family lived in the cemetery’s facility building.The family of four shared one tiny room cluttered with landscaping tools, buckets, and shovels. The room had no running water or bathroom facilities. The children, often left alone to entertain themselves, would play between the cemetery graves.
Mykola, 17, is a sponsored child from our Ternopil site in Ukraine. Mykola was born with cerebral palsy, and requires ongoing clinical and therapeutic treatments. He is unable to care for himself and depends on his mother’s help full time, leaving her unable to work. His father is the sole provider for the family, but often struggles because he earns very little income. Mykola’s parents couldn’t afford to continue his costly therapy treatments on their own.
Varalakshmi was a happy child with many dreams for her future. However, at age 15 she was diagnosed with an incurable skin disease that forced her to give up her academic studies and shattered her dreams for the future. Without an education, her mother tried to find a suitable marriage for her, but her skin disease made it difficult. Finally, a young man agreed to marry her, but she would learn too late that he harboured a life-changing secret.
After Ajai’s father passed away in a tragic accident 13 years ago, his mother Sudha struggled to make ends meet. “I was helpless at that time, and did not have the helping hands of relatives,” says Sudha.
In 2015, Ajai was accepted in to the Chalice sponsorship program through our STAR site in India. Thanks to God’s grace, he was chosen by a sponsor shortly after. “Sponsorship eased my burden and allowed my children to be educated to a greater extent,” Sudha explains. Ajai’s now a thriving grade 11 student, and his brother has continued his education in college.