A 10 p.m. curfew, quarantining and phases for reopening. Sound familiar?
There is hardly anywhere in the world COVID-19 hasn’t touched, and our sites in Chile have been hit hard. In fact, one in 10 families involved with Chalice in the country has had contact with the virus.
Though the pandemic is ongoing, moments of hope continue. Chalice supporters, along with staff at our Santiago site, orchestrated one of them.
Staff found out this year the site would have access to a COVID money fund, and began figuring out how to distribute the money to those in need. In the end, they chose more than 100 children and their families to receive funding.
Some people just have a way with words. If you’re not convinced, ask translator/teacher Lorenzo.
In Chile, where Lorenzo is from, the disparity between low-and-high-income is often stark. At our Arica site, Chalice partners with religious organizations to offer medical checkups and skill training.
And, of course, sponsorship.
A generous donor has been sponsoring Lorenzo since he was six years old, opening doors that began his path towards success.
With a smile as bright as the sun, Juan Carlos is an attentive and loving kid to his mother Marisol. He loves helping her around the house, and is a fast learner. You can’t see it on his face, but Juan Carlos has been through a lot to get to where he is today.
When he was only little, Marisol found out he would have lifelong troubles with mobility. That’s because Juan Carlos had cerebral palsy, a common disorder that affects movement. He also had poor vision and hearing.
Marisol discovered with time he needed a unique diet, and medicines her insurance didn’t cover. For the devoted single mother and her son, it was a hard time without much hope on the horizon.
“In those moments of grief and despair, Chalice appeared”, wrote the Santiago site staff.
So far, Chalice’s COVID-19 disaster fund has distributed nearly $613,000 to families at our sites who have been hit the hardest by the global pandemic. At our Arica site in Chile, $12,453.35 was used to help sponsored children and elders, including non-sponsored elders with chronic medical conditions who were abandoned by their families and are living alone.
In Chile, elders over the age of 75 were prohibited from going outside regularly due to the pandemic, forcing them to make quick outings to higher priced neighborhood convenience stores because they had no one to travel to nearby cheaper supermarkets for them. While elders in Chile do receive a small pension, it is barely enough to survive. Without family support, most seniors live a lonely existence, unable to afford their medications or nutritious food. According to a report by the Ministry of Social Development, the price of a basic food basket rose in October 2019, then again in January, and doubled in April 2020, making it even harder for poor elders and families to make ends meet.