Category Archives: Community

Braille teacher in Zambia encourages students to succeed

A former sponsored child from our Kawambwa site in Zambia has become a valuable asset to a school for blind children thanks to his specialized teaching skills!

Fancy was born with albinism, a rare genetic disorder that affects skin pigment and vision. When Fancy was old enough to go to school, he attended St. Odelia’s School for the Visually Impaired, but his family struggled to afford school fees and other basic needs. When he was nine, Fancy was chosen by a Chalice sponsor, which was a great relief for his family. Throughout the years, he thoroughly enjoyed having close relationship with his sponsor, especially when they wrote to him and sent cards for special occasions. “I felt like I knew them personally,” he smiles. 

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Papa’s dream is alive in Asembo, Kenya

What started as a way to honour the passing of a loved one has uplifted an entire community in Asembo, Kenya.

In 2012, a generous donor contacted us and expressed her desire to support a community in honour of her late husband, who passed away at the age of just 49. Since that day, more than $8,000 has been donated to fishing groups in Asembo through this special “Papa’s Dream Boat Grant”.

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Starehe Girls’ School revives beekeeping project

This year, bees are all the buzz! Starehe Girls’ School, located in Kenya, is one of many of our sites to start a beekeeping project as a source of honey and income.

Starehe Girls’ School is a boarding school for girls. The school gives many bright, talented students the opportunity to achieve their potential, and prepares them for post-secondary studies. The school also strives to support girls from poor backgrounds who otherwise might not have a chance at getting an education. Chalice sponsorship helps cover tuition for the girls, and our projects and programs help the school run nutrition programs, farming clubs, sports teams, and more.

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Celebrating strong mothers: Rosaline’s success

It’s almost Mother’s Day, a time to honour the countless mothers who lovingly  sacrifice and dedicate themselves to others. At our sites, we work with many mothers of sponsored children. We’re constantly moved by their overwhelming resilience in spite of obstacles, and endless love for their children.

Rosaline, a mother from our Tondo site in the Philippines, had always dreamed of being a professional seamstress. After she graduated from high school, she had begun a two year sewing course, and was on her way to entering her beloved profession. After six months of her course, she got married. Her household responsibilities became too burdensome, and ended her time in the course.

As time progressed, Rosaline continued to care for her household, and did not have time to work outside the home while raising her four children. The family relied solely on her husband’s minimum wage work as an electrician. Even though he worked diligently, the money was not enough to support their basic needs.

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Helping neighbours in need during pandemic restrictions

Since the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chalice staff and supporters in Canada have been concerned for the safety and well-being of children, families and staff members at our sites around the world. There are undoubtedly some very challenging situations in the communities we serve, but as often happens, this crisis has brought forward acts of solidarity and compassion.

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Sponsored families can rely on family funding amidst pandemic

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are being felt across the entire globe, and our sponsor sites are not exempt. Border closures, job shutdowns, and food shortages are disproportionally affecting the poorest in our global community, many of whom already face dire circumstances on the best of days. Sponsorship, thankfully, has been providing a lifeline for families in need struggling throughout this pandemic.

Even though many of our site offices are currently closed, families are still able to rely on the support of sponsorship funds. Thanks to our unique family funding model, sponsorship funds are sent directly to the bank accounts of sponsored families, so they are still able to access much-needed financial support.

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Strength, confidence and dreams for the future

Our STAR site in India works with many rural communities in the state of Tamil Nadu. A great deal of families in these communities are affected with stigmatized illnesses, which makes it difficult for them find work and housing. Our site also works with many children living with cognitive and physical disabilities. With the right support, these children are able to access essential resources that help them succeed in school, such as nutritious food, medical care, and tutoring! Venkateswari, a young lady currently in our sponsorship program, is a shining example of how the strength and potential of each child can be encouraged through love and support.

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COVID-19: updates and information

We at Chalice are closely monitoring updates on the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We are working diligently to ensure that our operations continue safely. We will continue to update all of our supporters with the most recent information we have regarding our response to COVID-19.

Current updates:

-Our head office in Bedford, Nova Scotia, is currently closed to all visitors as a safety precaution until further notice.

-We are still open during our regular hours, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. AST, Monday to Friday. In our efforts to practice social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus, some of our staff is working remotely. We can be contacted at 1.800.776.6855 or by emailing info@chalice.ca. Due to staff working remotely, forwarding may be delayed, but rest assured, we will work to promptly return your inquiry.

-All Parish appeals are suspended until further notice due to the Canadian government’s recommendation to limit social gatherings.

-All international staff travel is suspended until further notice.

-Our missions have been cancelled until further notice.  We cannot reasonably plan for our next mission until the pandemic has passed, hopefully a vaccine is available, international travel restrictions are lifted, and travel would not expose our Chalice family (in Canada and abroad) to an unreasonable level of risk.  For now, we are cancelling our previously scheduled mission trips to India and Ukraine.  Hopefully by the spring of 2021, we will be able to plan for our missions once again, at which time, our India and Ukraine trips will be a priority, with a goal of hosting one mission in the fall of 2021.

-We are working diligently to ensure that all of our programs continue to run effectively, and that all donations and funds continue to be sent to our sponsor sites in a timely manner.

Sponsored children updates

Africa: 

-All Kenyan schools and colleges are closed in compliance with a directive issued by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday March 16.  All public gatherings have also been suspended so Family Circle meetings in Kenya are on hold until further notice.

-Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania have closed their borders, imposed travel restrictions and blocked foreign entry so there can be no sponsor visits until further notice.

Ukraine:

– Ukraine has closed its borders to all international travel. All schools are closed and there are restrictions on movement within cities and villages. All points of sale are closed with the exception of grocery stores and pharmacies. Public transportation is reduced. All employees are to work from home.

– All parent group meetings and site gatherings are suspended. Our site offices are closed with key staff accessible and working remotely. These current government directed restrictions are in place until March 30. Our sites will continue to monitor the situation and fully comply with all directives put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Haiti:

-Haiti has closed its borders to all international travel from Europe, USA, and Canada.  The border with the Dominican Republic is closed. At this time, our site offices are still open but they have implemented enhanced hygiene practices and readjusted work spaces to provide greater personal space. All parent group meetings and large site gatherings are suspended until further notice.

Latin America:

-Many areas have declared a state of emergency and schools are closed until further notice. Many areas have curfews and mobility restrictions. Staff who can are working from home, and some of our site offices are still open with a restricted staff.

India: 

-All of our site buildings in India are currently closed due to a government order to cease in-person operations. Most of our sites are able to received funds as normal. All schools are closed until further notice, and Family Circle meetings are suspended.

Philippines: 

-Some of our site offices are open with limited staff. All families are given a pass to leave their homes once a day to retrieve groceries and supplies, but the country is otherwise practicing quarantining and social distancing.

 

What can I do to help?

If you wish to support families and children at our sites facing challenges related to COVID-19, you can donate to our emergency COVID-19 relief fund. 

There are also other ways to help. Thanks to our many previously existing projects and programs regarding clean water, health, hygiene and sanitation, many of our sponsor sites have good knowledge of proper hygiene practices. You can help support these initiatives by:

Prayer

Please join us in prayer for the health and safety of our sponsored children and their families, the communities where we work, our staff and supporters around the world, and all of those affected by the virus:

“Heavenly Father, during this time of anxiety and distress, we ask for your protection for our sponsored children and elderly, our supporters, staff, volunteers, and all who are burdened in any way by this pandemic. Bless all who are now sick and bring them quickly to restoration of good health. Shield and protect all healthcare workers. Guide governments in their decisions and help them to work together to contain the disease and stop the spread. Welcome into your Kingdom all who have died and bring comfort to their families.

Most Holy Trinity, we place all our hope in you. You are our strength and our shield; in You our hearts trust; so we are helped and our hearts exult; and with our song we give thanks to You. (Psalm 28:7)”

COVID-19 informational resources:

For the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19, please visit the following websites:

Government of Canada 

World Health Organization

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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