Photo Friday: Our top 5 ‘Festive Food’ photos!

Welcome to Photo Friday! It’s the time of week we sure our favourite snaps from our sponsor sites around the world. 

Our American neighbours just celebrated Thanksgiving, with delicious food all ‘round! And while we wait for the coming of Christ, there’s no reason we can’t have a sneak peek at some of the delicious eats awaiting us in December. Ukraine has plenty of those, and our top 5 ‘Festive Food’ photos will show you just go good Ukranian treats can be. (Hint: a lot of bread.) 

#5: The Best Bread

YUM! Ukranian bread is sometimes given as a gift when a respected person arrives. If it tastes half as good as it looks, it’d be hard not to feel welcome.  

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Pochaiv Program Will Bring Hope to Teens

Take a moment, and think of a young person in your life. Maybe it’s a child, or a sibling, or a friend’s child. Now, imagine that person is usually sent to live with relatives so their parents can find work in another country – and then, picture even that work disappearing when COVID-19 hit. Think of how stressed they and their family would be, and how alcohol advertised on TV might become appealing. 

For children and young people at our Pochaiv site, this kind of upset is a daily reality. As the stresses built up among families when parents lost work, young people began struggling with addiction. Something had to be done.  

Fortunately, Chalice’s Pochaiv site has recently partnered with a local community centre called the St. John Bosco Christian Youth Centre, and the nearby church to uplift youth struggling with addiction in the community of Ivano-Frankivsk.  

Through this Chalice project, there are plans to renovate part of the youth centre into an addictions facility where professionals will offer therapy and activities to teens and parents. Staff will purchase necessary learning materials, furniture, and equipment. Through Chalice’s support, the site will employ facilitators for the program’s inaugural year.  

Every week, teens will have two 45-minute sessions with a psychologist, one in a group of ten and the other in individual therapy. Parents will also meet weekly in groups of ten. The site is even planning field trips, including one to a swimming pool, a theatre, and a monastery. All activities will, of course, follow public health guidelines.  

The initiative is poised to strengthen the youth and their parents, equipping them to move forward together. The youth will learn tools to overcome addiction it, while parents will learn how to support their teens through the journey. Both groups will learn to communicate and have difficult, but constructive and caring, conversations.  

The Pochaiv site will establish and support the program in its first year, and a local church will continue it after. 

Through their hard work, they will offer hope to 140 sponsored teens struggling with addiction, and through them, reach 280 of their family members. 100 non-sponsored children will also be touched by the ray of light that is this program. 

When you think of that child or young person in your life, we ask that you remember and uplift the children at our Pochaiv site. Pray for their healing, and we’ll keep your loved ones in our prayers, too.  

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Photo Friday: Our top 5 ‘Joy of Winter’ photos!

Welcome to Photo Friday! Each Friday, we share photo collections of our favourite shots from our sponsor sites around the world. 

Winds are biting at your face, while your feet are covered in slush. It’s time to put on your gloves, step out the door, and own up to the truth: winter is coming. 

But never fear! Winter is actually a time of joy, togetherness and laughter. This week, our top 5 ‘Joy of Winter’ photos celebrate what a beautiful time of year the frostiest season is.  

#5: Playtime

What’s better than playing outside in the snow with friends? Okay, if your response is, “Literally anything else”, then maybe this blog’s not for you. Everyone else: there’s nothing more joyful than seeing kids having a blast during winter.  

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Sponsorship is Music to Iryna’s Ears

Beautiful young Iryna was the first daughter born to her parents. They were already wrangling three sons by the time she came along, and it was, well, a lot. With a baby and three young boys, her mother Olha gave up her job as a music teacher to focus on being a full-time mom. Despite Iryna’s father working as a driver, the family struggled to make ends meet.  

On top of that, Iryna has a weak immune system and fell sick often as a child. That’s why the family was thrilled when Iryna and her brother Bohdan were chosen by Chalice sponsors. Iryna was only one-and-a-half years old at the time!  

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Photo Friday: Our top 5 ‘Overcoming Challenges’ photos!

Welcome to Photo Friday! Each Friday, we share photo collections of our favourite shots from our sponsor sites around the world. 

Have you ever heard of ‘No-spend November?’ Or ‘Movember?’ November is the month of challenges, and the people at our Ukraine site in Europe have faced their fair share of challenges.  

But that doesn’t mean challenges can’t be overcome. After all, the families, elders and children at our sponsor sites in Ukraine are radiant and strong. So this Photo Friday, we’re celebrating that strength with our top 5 ‘Overcoming Challenges’ photos! 

#5: Sewing Saviour 

Rokyni Village School near our Pochaiv site had a life-skills class that taught sewing and tailoring – but there was only one sewing machine! With the help of Chalice gift catalogue donations, the school received new sewing machines. Children can learn a skill for life and design their own clothes. 

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Viktoriya Is on the Path to Healing

Like most teenage girls, Viktoriya enjoys reading, painting and chatting with friends online. Despite facing challenges due to a disability, she approaches life with bravery and tenacity, and lives near our Ternopil site in Ukraine.  

When she was still little, her parents noticed she struggled with her mobility. A doctor confirmed she was born with a congenital abnormality in her skeletal system. She went through the first of eight surgeries at just seven months old. Walking short distances requires crutches, and she attends a school for children with special needs. She’s suffered, but keeps her head high. 

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Photo Friday: Our top 5 ‘World Book Lovers’ Day’ photos

Welcome to Photo Friday! Each Friday, we share photo collections of our favourite shots from our sponsor sites around the world. 

Having fun isn’t hard, when you’ve got a library card! 

That’s right: tomorrow is World Book Lovers’ Day, and we’re here to celebrate with a special Photo Friday in its honour. 

Teaching a child to love books is one of the best gifts you can give – and indeed, these photos from our sites in Ukraine demonstrate just that. 

#5: Reading with Mom

Reading a story with Mom or Dad before bed is a beloved childhood memory for many, and every child around the world should have the experience. Just follow the example of this mom at our Pochaiv site. She even chooses books with bright colours, to keep it fun for her kids. 

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Dreams Come True in Pochaiv

This might be a sports story, but it’s not your cliché sports story.  

Some kids grow up hearing the words ‘touchdown’ alongside phrases like ‘She shoots, she scores!’ before they can even walk. But in the Ukraine, there are often barriers to playing sports that keep some kids on the bench. 

Take Kyrylo. He’s dreamed of being an athlete since he was a kid, and loves watching sports on TV. He even heads to the local stadium for a game once in a while. But this young boy, who grew up near our Pochaiv site, was limited to spectating.  

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The Radiance of Ukranian cuisine: Pierogi

Pierogi (also called varenyky) stuffed with potatoes and bacon is one of the most iconic Ukrainian recipes, and families have been enjoying this savoury dish for centuries. The dumplings are often mentioned in Ukrainian folklore songs and literature.

Each Ukrainian host has his or her own recipe for pierogis, but the cooking method remains the same: wrapping unleavened dough around the filling. The fillings for pierogis can include almost anything. Besides potatoes, some of the more popular fillings include minced meat, minced beans, cottage cheese, peas, or cabbage. Dessert fillings can include cherries, raspberries, apples, blueberries, or billberries.

Pierogis have always been, and continue to be, an integral part of festive meals at weddings, christenings, feast days, and church holidays in rural Ukraine.

The most important part of the recipe is preparing the dough. Don’t worry if it doesn’t turn out picture-perfect on the first try though – it can take years of practice!

Did you know? Chalice ensures children have balanced and nutrient-rich diets by implementing school feeding programs through the support of the Chalice Children Nutrition Program.

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Photo Friday: Our top 5 ‘Group’ photos

Welcome to Photo Friday! Each Friday, we share photo collections of our favourite shots from our sponsor sites around the world. 

You’re at an event with some old friends. Everyone is laughing over treats and hot drinks when, suddenly, someone pulls out their phone and says, “Hey…why don’t we take a group photo?”  

Whether gathering at a coffee shop, a school reunion or a wedding, group photos are a well-known (and sometimes feared) part of coming together. They’re also snapshots of important moments in our lives, and show love in action. This week, our top 5 ‘Group’ photos remind us of the joy of gathering with friends and family. 

#5: A Range of Emotions 

At our Haiti North site, these children are showing the varying degrees of emotion people feel when asked to pose for a group photo. Some are camera-ready, some are grimacing, and some are a bit confused. Remind you of anyone? 

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