Catholic Child Sponsorship Programs Really Make a Difference
Growing up, Liseth spent every day after school at Chalice’s Fátima sponsor site in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Besides receiving help with homework, she also enjoyed a daily nutritious meal. Keeping her eyes trained on the cooks in the kitchen preparing those delicious meals, she developed a keen interest in their culinary skills and knew that someday she would like to become a chef. Liseth, now 20, has been sponsored since the age of 13. One of seven children, she was raised by her mother and father, who worked as a mason. The family shares a two-room brick home with no indoor plumbing. Fortunately, Liseth was able to participate in Chalice’s Catholic child sponsorship programs. Thanks to her sponsor, she completed primary school and was able to continue and complete secondary school.
Now Liseth is working very hard to make her dream of becoming a chef come true. A scholarship, awarded to Liseth because of her scholastic performance and dedication to her studies, pays for a portion of her schooling at the local institute in Cochabamba, but she must come up with the rest on her own. On top of that she also supports her parents, now elderly and unable to work.
So, she works. Liseth works at a restaurant in Cochabamba and cooks meals at the Sacred Heart Daycare Center, run by the Fátima sponsor site, feeding roughly 100 children every day. That means her waking hours are spent either working or studying. She has come full circle, making meals for kids just like she once was.
On Chalice’s recent mission trip to Bolivia, staff, sponsors, and volunteers had the opportunity to meet Liseth. Among them was Roddie, a Chalice volunteer, with an incredibly generous heart and a deep commitment to supporting people in need. A restaurant owner, he spotted the talents of a budding chef and showed Liseth how to prepare his renowned pizza. What a tremendous gift from one chef to another!
Liseth is a person of few words. The depth of her character shows as she quickly and efficiently moves around the kitchen dedicated to the task at hand. Her coworkers and staff at the Fátima sponsor site speak highly of her work ethics, discipline and determination in everything she does.
What Liseth did share is how close she has become to the staff at the Fátima sponsor site, to the point where she sees them as family and mentors. She also spoke of her desire to diversify her culinary studies to an even greater extent. Her dream is to travel to other countries where she can learn and specialize her skills as a chef, then return to Bolivia and open a restaurant.
When God brings people together great things happen. Someone decided to sponsor a child; and a girl who may have otherwise been unable to continue school beyond the primary level is on the way to fulfilling her potential.