Category Archives: Uncategorized

A closer look: Pochaiv site, Ukraine

We’re going on mission! From July 6-20th, 2020, we will be travelling with a team of Canadian volunteers to our Pochaiv site in Ukraine. This incredible mission of love, well being, and prosperity will allow volunteers to serve and support our brothers and sisters in Ukraine, all while learning about Ukrainian culture and customs. Let’s take a closer look at our Pochaiv site and all of the ways mission volunteers can get involved.

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Smashing misconceptions in Kodaikanal, India

Gender discrimination happens no matter where you live. Despite the efforts of the United Nations and many other organizations all over the world, this form of discrimination is still persistent in all areas of public and private life around the world today.

Our partners at our sites work diligently in their communities to break the many barriers caused by gender discrimination. Through workshops, information sessions and resources given to parents of sponsored children, progress is being made, especially in improving educational opportunities for girls.

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Vulnerable students can now attend school safely

St. Odilia’s School, a part of Chalice’s Kawambwa site, is located in the remote community of Mporokoso, Zambia. Community members must travel to access basic amenities, such as the hospital and retail district. This is a challenge for St. Odilia’s students, because of the 172 students enrolled, almost a quarter of them are blind or partially-sighted. Another 15% of the students have albinism. These children are vulnerable because there is a rare but prevailing traditional ritual in the region that involves harming albino people.

Since it’s too hazardous for the students to rely on walking or public transit, they must be shuttled to any daily activity. It was a profound blessing when generous donors covered the cost of a 30-seater bus for the school! They also covered the cost of insurance, fuel, and tires. As soon as the bus was registered, the Sisters and children had a celebration and blessed it in gratitude!

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How sponsorship supports the whole family

Child sponsorship is not just designed to benefit a child in need; it benefits their entire family. Our approach is all about sustainability. With the right support, families can gain the tools and knowledge necessary to take steps towards a better future. The Bustamente family is an inspiring example of the lasting effects that sponsorship has on each member of a family!

Gladys and Reynaldo have five children, and live in the rural mountains of La Paz, Bolivia, a fair distance from the urban bustle of the city. Raising five children on Reynaldo’s income as a carpenter proved to be impossible. It was incredibly difficult for Gladys and Reynaldo to provide enough food for all of their children. This, in turn, affected the children’s ability to attend and succeed in school.

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“If love is in your heart, you are in the palms of God”

Katya, a young woman from our Ternopil site in Ukraine, has a favourite quote that she often reflects on: “If love is in your heart, you are in the palms of God.” Katya’s been sponsored for the past 11 years, and tries her best to spread the love of God with others. “The main calling of each person is to love others and be ready to help them, therefore fulfilling God’s will,” Katya smiles.

Looking at sincere, balanced, and thoughtful Katya, it’s hard to believe that she’s lived through so much tragedy and sadness. When Katya was just two years old, her mother passed away in a car accident. Katya and her siblings were left orphaned and heartbroken. Their loving grandmother adopted the four children, and tried her best to provide for a good life for them.

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Families spread Christmas cheer in Peru

In Peru, Christmas is the one of the most cherished times of the year. Sponsored children and families at our PINIFE site in Peru eagerly anticipate the Christmas season and joyfully celebrate together. During this time, they share love and warmth not only with each other, but with those in need throughout their community through thoughtful gifts and acts of service. 

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Scolastica’s sponsor encourages her to shine

 

When Scolastica’s mother passed away, she and her sister’s life changed forever. The two sisters from Nanyuki, Kenya, had to leave their lives behind and move in with their uncle, who offered to adopt the girls into his family. Scolastica’s uncle has a wife and children of his own, and works as a casual laborer to make ends meet. The family doesn’t own land and lives in a rented house, and the financial burden of two extra children caused them to quickly fall behind.

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Laurette works towards her dream of becoming a doctor

Laurette faced poverty and hardship from a very early age. Both of her parents were peasant farmers in Western Kenya, and struggled to meet the basic needs of Laurette and her younger brother. They would often go days without a proper meal, and had to borrow food from relatives. The family couldn’t afford to purchase shoes or clothing, so the children went barefoot and wore makeshift clothing made from rugs.

At just eight years old, Laurette’s mom passed away from pneumonia. Laurette had to step up and help raise her younger brother, who was just five years old. She would accompany her father to work on farms, and do many of the household chores.

Four years later, when Laurette was 12, her dad suddenly passed away, too. Orphaned, Laurette and her brother were shuffled between family members. It was an incredibly difficult time for both children.

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Overflowing joy: The gift of well water

Twin brothers Valentyn and Mykhaylo live in a small, rural village near our Ternopil site in Ukraine. Natalya, their mom, suffers from multiple sclerosis. She’s unable to work, and must receive regular treatments for her illness. Her husband, Andriy, commutes 40 kms to work daily, while Natalya stays home and cares for the family.

“I do all the jobs around the house myself,” says Natalya. “My mother, Maria, also lives with us, and she has a severe form of diabetes and also requires care. I am not afraid of work, and when i’m feeling well, I’m not worried. But I often feel weakness in my arms and legs, get headaches, and get tired easily.” she says.

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Beds keep kids cozy in Ternopil, Ukraine

In Ukraine, beds remain one of the most frequently requested items from our gift catalogue. The majority of the families at our sites in Ukraine are large, and often times their homes are small. Children share beds with siblings and parents, with often up to four people sharing one small bed.

Over the years, we’ve used generous donations through our gift catalogue to replace broken beds with new ones, or provide bunk beds to siblings so that children could sleep in their own beds. Sofa beds are also a popular choice, as many families have limited living space- sofa beds can be used as a sitting couch during the day, and a bed at night.

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