Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Not by chance...

Below is a blog post by Laretia Williams an international volunteer who helped at NPH Dominican Republic. Check out what she had to say!

After working in volunteer and human resources management for a refugee resettlement nonprofit for six years, I decided that I wanted to serve abroad. My career has been shaped by interactions within very diverse settings, and one of my long-term goals is to become the HR director of an international nonprofit. In 2015, I knew that to advance towards that goal, I needed direct experience living abroad.

I thought I came across NPH by chance. NPH came up during my Google search of service opportunities in Latin America. But, now I know that the discovery was divine. When I entered the puerta of the NPH Dominican Republic home, the day after I learned my grandfather passed away back home in South Carolina, I felt a sense of calm. The tranquility I felt upon arrival assured me that I made the right decision of resigning from a job I loved with a steady income, putting my student loan repayments on hold, and moving just months after my niece’s birth.

I served as the visitor coordinator and the volunteer of the house of the oldest girls- San Esteban. I was able to hone my planning and logistics skills, improve my Spanish language, interact with people from all over the world, and establish life-long relationships with the children, fellow volunteers, and local Dominican staff. Also, during my year at NPH DR, I experienced firsthand the challenges and idiosyncrasies of navigating and adapting to another culture. For example, I reluctantly learned how to adjust my expectations of time. While in town or traveling the country, I also experienced the varying degrees of acceptance and assistance offered once someone figured out from my accent that I was not Dominican. My time at NPH DR revealed to me that a nurturing environment can motivate anyone to display their strengths and give them the courage to develop their skills.  

The NPH discovery was not by chance. My family has grown- my girls are forever my little sisters, the caregivers and staff are forever my aunties and uncles, and my fellow volunteers are forever my friends. I continue to apply the cultural competency lessons while working in human resources for a company that employs many former refugees. As I recruit, hire, and engage employees originally from all parts of the world, I tap into my time at NPH to continue to develop a welcoming and nurturing place of work.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Celebrating Our International Volunteers!

Below is a post by Vicky Medley, our International Volunteer Program Coordinator at NPH USA!

In 2017 we had another great group of US volunteers join the NPH family by serving for a year or more! Overall, we had 37 volunteers serving at least 6 months during 2017. That number includes volunteers who began in July 2016 (20), January 2017 (5) and July 2017 (12). It’s always hard to capture the number, it’s more like a snapshot at times! We had about 25 International Volunteers from the U.S. serving at any time during 2017.

Two of my favorite parts of my job are getting to visit our volunteers at NPH, and hosting our post service reflection weekends. In 2017, I was lucky to visit our volunteer communities in Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. We also hosted a volunteer reflection weekend in the Seattle area, where recent former volunteers gathered to process and reflect upon their time at NPH. 
 
 
While our program continues to be solid, international volunteerism has been criticized over the last few years, often with good reason. Google “voluntourism” and you will find a laundry list of critical articles and opinions. You may have seen the “How to Get More Likes on Social Media” video created by Radi-Aid, http://www.rustyradiator.com/social-media-guide/ and Barbie Savior, an Instagram parody account about volunteering in Africa. The majority of the criticism in most of the articles is based on foreigners disregarding local talent, local customs, and adopting a “savior” mentality towards those they serve. 

As an international Volunteer program, we are always looking to improve, and to check our work against ethical international development practices. We have more to learn, but I want to share some of our guidelines and thinking about the role of international volunteers at NPH, and why I believe NPH is a solid organization in terms of international service:

We require volunteers to serve for a year. That allows time for volunteers to form healthy relationships with the kids and the staff, and gives volunteers the opportunity really experience and understand the NPH mission. Most NPH volunteers stay involved far beyond their year. They return to NPH
for the celebration of sacraments, for graduations, and weddings; they keep in touch with the children they served. In addition, many of them remain involved with NPH USA on an Associate Board, as sponsors, with volunteer recruitment, or at special events.  

Volunteers do not replace local staff. Volunteers enhance the lives of the children at NPH by providing services and support that are hard to find in Latin America. Volunteers do not replace staff, but instead work alongside local staff.  

Volunteers work in areas in which they have received training and education. We do not believe that just because you speak English you can teach English, nor should you be medicating children unless you are an MD, or providing therapies unless you are a certified therapist. For the most part, trained volunteer teachers
are in our classrooms (and not teaching core subjects; mostly ESL, working as classroom assistants and sometimes PE); licensed volunteer nurses are in our clinics; licensed volunteer Speech Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, and Art Therapists provide services. Many recent college graduates who have valuable previous experience working with kids serve in tutoring, in administrative roles, or offering programming like youth empowerment or youth ministry. We try to match a volunteer’s strengths and skills with NPH’s needs.

We do not require that volunteers pay to serve. NPH does not view volunteers as a source of revenue. Instead, NPH provides volunteers a stipend, room and board, and access to basic medical care. NPH USA covers the cost of medical insurance in case of hospitalization or evacuation. Volunteers do have some costs: they must cover their airfare, and any language classes
they may need.

We prepare our volunteers in the areas of intercultural communication and an immersion in partnership based service. Our volunteers all complete the Impact Abroad Toolkit, created by Serve Smart
It’s an online interactive course that dives deeply into exploring and coaching on partnership based (rather than charity based) service. Most of our volunteers also take the Intercultural Effectiveness Survey, “an instrument used by profit and non-profit organizations, including companies, government agencies and educational institutions. It was developed specifically to evaluate the competencies critical to interacting effectively with people who are from different cultures.”

NPH provides volunteers with guidelines about using photos, and sharing their experience online. NPH holds the dignity of the children central in their Child Media Policy. During orientation, volunteers are trained on the country specific policies about posting photos of children living at NPH. Volunteers are asked to share their blogs, and when necessary (rarely!) we do ask volunteers to edit content
to adjust or remove a photo or change some wording.  

We welcome any discussion about our International Volunteer Program, and invite you to celebrate the accomplishments of our talented International Volunteers. Their passion, dedication, and love for NPH is inspiring to us all!
 

Friday, April 13, 2018

Volunteering Comes Full Circle

The 2018 Midwest Pequeño Tour was amazing again this year! We welcomed 12 pequeños from NPH Guatemala, mostly university students or those completing their year of service at the home, and for three weeks they traveled throughout the greater Chicago area to perform traditional music and dance from their country at various churches, schools, and businesses, helping our Midwest Region to raise funds and awareness for NPH!

About two weeks in, we decided to schedule a morning at Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) in Libertyville, IL. We wanted to switch things up for the group from the daily venue visit. We thought we could all do something to help others together and give back because after all, many hands make light work! What better place to do so than at FMSC, which has set out to feed God’s starving children hungry in body and spirit. Little did they know, better yet, little did WE know, that we were bringing twelve individuals from Guatemala who’d been served by the kind graces of the hard-working hands behind FMSC.

It wasn’t until the group spotted the MannaPack meal that they realized they were helping those who’d provided some of their meals as children growing up at NPH Guatemala! 
 
“Seeing it firsthand at the place they made it for us was such an amazing experience,” David (left) said. “Just the way they prepare it is great to see. I can see the hard work they do and all the passion behind it.”

This moment of realization set in for the whole group and gave everyone a little extra fire in their heart that morning to create as many meals for starving children as they could in two hours. By the time the session ended, enough meals were made to feed 44 kids daily for an entire year! FMSC has a tradition of blessing the food before it is shipped off to countries around the world. The Pequeños took part in this as well before declaring it ready to ship.
“I was working really hard and tried to pack as many boxes as I could,” Jacinto (third from the left) said. “For me, it was a great experience because I could help an organization that helped me before and is still helping my little brothers and sisters at NPH."

Needless to say, our Guatemalan visitors had a wonderful experience volunteering with FMSC in Libertyville. Seeing the impact that they had on the employees of FMSC was also quite powerful. Seeing the joy in their faces and the tears in their eyes was just an added testament to the hard work that is put into this organization and the care they have for feeding the hungry. 

It was really a beautiful coincidence that we brought our Guatemalan visitors to volunteer at FMSC that morning. Thank you to FMSC for all that you do to help serve the children of NPH and to feed the hungry all over the world!
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

We feel we left NPH with so much more than we gave...

Below is a reflection from Joanie and Norah Sullivan from the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast region who recently visited NPH DR!
 
Our trip to NPH in the Dominican Republic was a life-changing and heartwarming experience for us. Before we got to NPH we were excited and a little nervous about being in a new culture and having to speak a new language. Immediately, we realized that the language barrier and the cultural differences would not be an issue. 

On our first day there, children would come up to us and start conversations, want a hug or ask to play. As the week continued, we came to know many individual children and often heard right from them how NPH had affected their lives. We developed friendships with them: after school we would play games with the younger children and have conversations with the older kids about school and sports. They were so much friendlier than we were used to. For example, when we were playing cards or talking, someone would come over just to say “hi” and give us hugs. Even though sometimes we couldn't understand what the children were saying, we still were able to communicate with each other. This experience was so different from our lives in Boston that we feel we left NPH with so much more than we gave. Our visit taught us many important things that we will never forget.

When we arrived back in Boston we were much more aware of wasting food, electricity, and water. We were also so touched by the friendliness of the children at NPH that we have tried to continue to go out of our way to act the same for people here. We also learned to appreciate our education. Many of the children outside NPH did not attend school at all, and many more received a very poor education. Arriving back in the U.S, we are determined to take advantage of all the opportunities provided to us.

Although we came to NPH in the Dominican Republic so we could give back to the children there, we are so grateful because the children gave us something much more important instead. We left with new friendships, an understanding of what is important in life, and many amazing memories. We were so sad to leave NPH at the end of the week, but we are already planning our next visit to come and to see all our new friends again.
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Combining Two Passions

Check out the blog post below that describes how former International Volunteer, Kim Young, continues to support NPH!
 

Kim with some of her 7th graders form NPH Mexico

When I was in college, I was fortunate enough to participate in a study abroad program in Cuernavaca, Mexico. It was there that I first learned about NPH and the incredible work they were doing to support children from disadvantaged backgrounds. I took a trip one day to visit the home and immediately fell in love with the organization. I couldn’t wait to get more involved so I decided to become a long-term volunteer. It was there that I cared for a group 7th graders who always managed to keep me on my toes. 
 
While in Mexico, I developed a passion for running. Back home I was an inline skater, but the cobblestone streets in Miacatlán weren’t exactly conducive to that type of activity. My 7th graders and I actually used to run around the soccer fields together, and I will always cherish those memories. After I returned to the US, I signed up to serve on a planning committee for the 2nd annual 5k run/walk at the local NPH office. What better way to combine my two passions, running and the children of NPH! 
 
This year, believe it or not, we’re planning our 12th annual 5k and the event is still going strong. I can’t believe it’s been over a decade but I’m so honored to continue furthering the mission of NPH through this race. I’m especially excited about this year’s event because the funds raised will buy medical supplies at the NPH home that means the most to me, Mexico! 
 
This year’s race will be held on Saturday, May 5th in Woodbury, MN. I hope you can join us to support this amazing cause! 
 
About the medical supplies: When a child joins our family, he or she gets a full health checkup in our internal clinic. Many of the children come to us with severe malnutrition and health problems due to the poverty they were living in before coming to NPH. The examination is carried out to provide the best medical treatment for the new children but also to protect the other children in our home from infectious diseases. The funds raised from this year’s 5k will go towards these tests. 
 
Would you like to support Kim and the rest of the 5k committee in their effort to fund medical supplies for NPH Mexico?   

Friday, February 16, 2018

Gathering with Friends, Celebrating what is Possible

Below is a post by Cathy Callans, NW Regional Board Member, about the pequeños in the Seattle Leadership Institute/iLEAP programs and the joy she finds in being a part of the NPH USA family! 
 
The NPH Seattle Leadership Institute program and the iLEAP program, both here in Seattle, have provided the Northwest Region with a gift that keeps on giving. Each year 6 pequeños, usually university students, spend a year here in Seattle, living with host families, working on English skills, self awareness/growth and leadership in the hopes of returning to their countries to become future leaders within the NPH organization. Another 10-12 pequeños/employees attend a month-long iLEAP leadership program here at different points throughout the year.

These programs provide our Northwest NPH community with a unique opportunity to have these students and employees share the impact of our programs as ambassadors for NPH.

One such opportunity came up in January when I invited 6 close friends to attend a dinner at my home. This dinner was prepared by the leadership students, with ethnic foods native to their countries. The students wore celebratory clothing from their home countries and welcomed each guest. Throughout the evening there were ample opportunities for them to share their stories and experiences with NPH with the guests, making it a memorable evening for all. I truly believe there is no better way to connect with this organization than by taking a trip to one of the NPH homes, or by interacting directly with the pequeños. It was an evening every single one of my friends will never forget. And as a result, NPH will hold a special place in their hearts forever.

They showed their gratitude by giving generous donations to support NPH and the Leadership program, so it was a successful event that was a win win win for everyone, my guests, the pequeños, and NPH.

I encourage everyone to work to find unique ways to connect family, friends and colleagues with NPH pequeños and employees directly whenever the opportunity presents itself!
 
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, January 19, 2018

2017 Highlights from NPH USA!

2017 was another wonderful year at NPH USA, where along with the generous support of our donors, sponsors, and volunteers, we were able to continue our work to break the cycle of poverty and truly transform the lives of children in need throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Below are some highlights from each regional branch of NPH USA! Thank you for being a part of this life-saving work!


Northwest Region
  • In the NW, we graduated the sixth (and welcomed the seventh) annual cohort of 6 young leaders from NPH to the Northwest for a year-long program of study and leadership development.
  • The NW Associate Board for young professionals sponsored a variety of fun and successful events in Seattle, including Carnaval for a Cause, Hunt for Hope, and a Trivia Night. AB members also sponsored fundraisers at their companies!
  • Support of our events grew dramatically, including our third annual NPH USA Northwest Golf Classic, which nearly doubled in size, and our record-breaking Gala, which raised more than $400,000! In particular, we increased our corporate sponsorship significantly from past years.
  • We welcomed 180 new child sponsors, and 21 Northwest donors contributed $5,000 each to provide a scholarship for a university student at NPH.
  • We celebrated 8 successful years of leadership from Katie Hultquist as Regional Director and transitioned in new staff roles, with Ross Egge as Regional Director and Glory Visario stepping into new responsibilities as Development Manager!
  • We raised more than $1.9 million in general funding to support our children and the work of NPH. Thank you to all!
Carnaval Fun


NW Golf Classic
 
Seattle Institute and I-Leap

 
Southwest Region
  • In 2017 we had the most successful turnout we’ve ever had with our golf tournament, Holes Fore Hope! It was great spending the day with our wonderful donors playing a fun and charitable round of golf.
  • In September we made it a goal of ours to start up an Associate Board in our region, and we got off to a great start! In the first three months we hosted a holiday party and an event at three Kendra Scott locations across Arizona, and were able to raise nearly $11,000! For 2018, we plan to raise more funds for NPH by hosting monthly events and expanding the size of our associate board.
  • In the Fall we were thrilled to have the Pequenos from El Salvador here with us. We spent time in Danville, California and Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona. We were able to see them perform at several events, and learned more about what life is like at Casa Sagrada Familia.
  • In 2017 our team was able to grow our footprint in the Southwest region. We hosted events in Tucson, Texas, and Colorado, that we never had done before. We also continued to grow our presence in Northern California and locally in Arizona. By reaching out to these new areas we have been able to connect with long-time donors, former international volunteers, and new supporters to NPH!
  • Each year we look forward to our Faces of Hope Dinner. We had an amazing turnout and our silent and live auctions were a huge success. Frank Donaghue and NPH Honduras National Director Stefan Feuerstein gave very inspiring speeches!

 
Frank Donaghue and supporters at Faces of Hope

The growing Associate Board

 
Midwest Region 
  • The pequeños from NPH Nicaragua provided great music and folkloric dancing during their tour of the Chicago area this past spring. The group was hosted by families from Sts. Faith, Hope, and Charity Parish in Winnetka and Our Lady of the Woods Parish in Orland Park. We raised a little over $70,000 in revenue and opened up new sponsorships with an annualized value of roughly $11,000! Many thanks to our host families and local organizers. We couldn’t do it without you!
  • The weather cooperated this year for our fifth annual golf outing featuring NFL Hall of Famers and other football greats from years past. Stately Biltmore Country Club in North Barrington was once again our beautiful and accommodating host for this event, and the event set a new record in terms of the amount that was raised!
  • The historic and eclectic Hotel Allegro in Chicago’s Loop was the location for our annual Gala and After Dark events. For the fourth consecutive year, the NPH USA Midwest Region Associate Board hosted the always fun Gala post-party, aptly named After Dark.
  • Thanks to the organizing and running efforts of Midwest Region Board member Chris Ambroso, Team NPH USA’s marathon runners raised $5,200 for the children of NPH!
  • This year, the Midwest Region directed seven trips to NPH homes in Guatemala (three times), Honduras (twice), Nicaragua, and El Salvador. Participating on those trips were 159 people who were able to experience for themselves what life is like at an NPH home!
 
 
NFL legends and members of the golf outing committee



MW Gala

Midwest Region sponsors Colleen and Jeff Knupp visiting NPH Nicaragua in June

 
Upper Midwest Region
  • Thanks to the generosity of benefactors, the Upper Midwest Region raised $2,165,000 in 2017!
  • Our region’s Young Professional board hosted four successful fundraisers, and through these events, they raised $14,864 for the children of NPH! Congratulations and well done to this dedicated group of individuals.
  • A shout out to a group of 15 youth for starting up a new youth ambassador group this past year in the Twin Cities and surrounding area who raised $2,016 collecting donations from friends, and hosting a scavenger hunt and a jingle bell run!
  • Celebrando a los Niños Gala was yet again a successful event with over 400 attendees and raising over $378,000 to advance the mission of NPH PLUS an additional $100,000 matching gift!


Celebrando a los Niños

 

Young Professionals

New Youth Ambassador Group

 
Mid-Atlantic/Northeast Region
  • The Greater Boston Irish community came together once again to celebrate the 8th annual Irish Hearts for Orphans Benefit Dance that raised more than $160,000 for NPH USA in April! Multiple Irish bands provided entertainment, a Caribbean Cruise was raffled off, and there were amazing silent auction and raffle items.
  • Eleven schools throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire opened their doors and hearts to the children of NPH Guatemala this fall during our 2017 Pequeño Tour. Also, four parish communities welcomed the NPH Guatemala pequenos into their Churches—including one brand new to NPH! Not only did parishioners host children, but the parishes combined for more than 100 new child sponsorships!
  • Our NPH USA Duxbury Council threw their first house party fundraising event, Oysters for Orphans, which was a resounding success! Originally set to cut off tickets at 75, the demand was so high for this event that our hosts graciously allowed us to increase that cut-off to 90! In total, this event raised more than $25,000! Our hosts for the event, Ben and Victoria Lloyd, also helped lead a youth trip to the NPH Mexico home in June of 2017. The Duxbury community has truly embraced NPH USA and the future looks bright for this partnership!
  • Our NPH USA Hingham Council threw their first annual Love without Limits Masquerade Ball at the South Shore Country Club in Hingham. Local band, The Catunes, rocked the house and got everyone out on the dance floor as they raised money and learned more about the mission of NPH USA. The event raised more than $50,000 and set a wonderful foundation for future events in Hingham!
  • Twelve groups took trips to various NPH homes in 2017, including school and church groups! In total, 147 people from our region went on group trips. Thank you to St. Paul’s School in Hingham, the SMASH LifeTeen program out of Hanover/Norwell, B.C. High, Holy Family Parish in Duxbury, Northeast Catholic College, and St. Anselm’s College for running trips, and for all other travelers who choose to spend their time with the children of NPH!

Youth from Duxbury had a great time at NPH Mexico



Irish Hearts for Orphans Honorees Dr. James O’Connell, Steven & Deirdre Ginns, and Fr. Joe Raeke pose for a photo with event co-chair, Winnie Henry



Love without Limits Masquerade Ball

Pequenos from NPH Guatemala played soccer games with the students at schools they visited on the tour.

 
Southeast Region
  • In early March 2017, a talented group of 12 Nicaraguan Pequeños in their late teens came to participate in activities in Miami. The Pequeños, who were hosted by families involved with NPH USA, toured museums, enjoyed a beach excursion, visited a family-oriented festival called Carnaval on the Mile and attended mass at Church of the Little Flower during their three-day visit!
  • On the last evening of the Pequeños time in Miami, the Southeast Region Board held a celebration with a reception for 50 donors and new friends of NPH USA, featuring a wonderful program of traditional music and dance performed by all the Pequeños.
  • In April, NPH USA and India Hicks Collection collaborated on a Great Shopping and Philanthropy event. Friends of NPH USA were invited to shop the Collection to benefit the children of NPH, where 40% of the total sales were donated to support NPH homes!
  • Spring Fling 2017 was held in May as a reception for NPH USA donors and supporters. It was a fun evening of food, drink and a raffle. Along with networking among the attendees, a short program of wonderful stories about NPH homes was shared with the 40 guests.
  • A premier dinner event was held in November at the home of a board member. It was a gathering of 22 invited guests, as well as a special visitor, Frank Donaghue, our very own President and Chief Executive Officer at NPH USA. The focus of the evening conversation was the NPH University Scholarship Program that provides financial help for over 400 motivated university students and how companies and individuals could support university education for these NPH scholars!
 




Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The hugs, the greetings and the genuine smiles filled my heart to the brim...

Below is a testimonial from former international volunteer Elizabeth Lanham who led a trip to NPH Guatemala this past summer! Enjoy!
 
The most important thing for me when I left Guatemala, after working for a year in the medical clinic, was to stay connected.  So when NPH USA approached me about leading a trip with a group of high-schoolers out of Boston this past July, I immediately said yes.  I knew I wanted to share the beauty and preciousness of the children at NPH with as many people as I could, but little did I know what a beautiful experience I was in for by bringing these two groups together!
 
The teenagers came equipped with activities and age-appropriate games to play with the children of NPH.  Several of them had studied Spanish and they were all eager to jump right in and get to know the kids.  We were handed a schedule our first day which had us sharing meals, playing games with the kids, and participating in their daily routine.  We were also given tasks such as weeding out the garden and working in the kitchen.  One day we even made a trip to an outlying school in a pueblo to bring food, school supplies and piñatas: extending the generosity of NPH beyond its own borders to neighboring communities.
 
What makes a difference for those who come to visit NPH is a willingness to engage in all that the children do and experience.  For instance, whether you like the food or not, you eat it.  Whether you want to go to church or not, you go and participate.  Whether you want to do your chores or not, you give your best effort.  And whether you are shy or not, you still smile, approach each other and accept each other for who you are with appreciation.
 
Having worked at the foundation, for me the entire trip was like coming home.  The hugs, the greetings and the genuine smiles filled my heart to the brim.  I love those kids and I love even more seeing others fall in love with them too.
 
 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Welcome NPH Seattle Institute Students!

Over the past month, we have been delighted to welcome the 7th annual cohort of the NPH Seattle Institute to the Northwest. The six talented young leaders chosen for the program this year are warm, thoughtful, and dedicated to giving back. They have been adjusting well to living with their homestay families, and have started intensive English classes at Seattle Central College. Northwest staff, regional Board members, Associate Board members, and international volunteers have all had the opportunity to meet the students at various events, including visiting the pumpkin patch, weekend BBQs, and a welcome gathering up on Whidbey Island. Please join us at the NPH USA Northwest Gala on November 4th to meet the students!  You can also follow their progress on the Seattle Institute blog or on the Seattle Institute Facebook page. Meanwhile, we wanted to share these bios of the new students with you. Bienvenidos!
 
 
 
Class of 2017 – 2018

 

 
 
Ever, Bolivia
Ever is our first Bolivian participant in the Seattle Institute. He already has numerous experience in cross-cultural interaction and transition since he just finished his second year studying Industrial Engineering in Monterrey, Mexico. While he was in Bolivia, he spent four years assisting youth from two different age groups in their leadership and youth development programs. When asked about why he wants to come to Seattle, he replied, “I wanted to come to Seattle to experience growth as an adult. I want to develop my professional and personal skills to keep serving my NPH family, which is what Fr. Wasson wanted all of us to do.”
 

 
 
Darlyn, Guatemala
Darlyn arrived in Seattle having just graduated with two degrees in Physical and Occupational Therapy. She is passionate about women’s leadership and access to healthcare. Darlyn also participated in an iLeap Global Leaders session two years ago. When asked about what leadership is, she responded, “I believe that leadership is inspiring others through my actions towards other people. To lead isn’t only directing, but it means we have to work together to make sure that our world is easier, rather than harder, and equal.” She hopes to continue her support of NPH as a Physical Therapist upon her return to Guatemala.
 

 
 
Farid, Honduras
Farid hopes “to learn more about servant leadership and continue to grow into my full potential as an NPH leader.” He is bilingual in Spanish and Hatian Creole and in his final years of obtaining his degree in Psychology from the national public Honduran university. Farid brings a diverse background to his experience in Seattle, including a one-year long internship in Haiti at the NPH home, working as a religion teacher in NPH Honduras, and participation in four youth leadership conferences. “I can’t wait to experience all that I will in Seattle! I’m excited to learn about leadership, myself, English, and be in my homestay,” he says. “This experience will help me work better and smarter for our NPH family.”
 

 
 
Maria, Honduras
Maria became involved in leadership when she joined the “Youth in Action” group in Honduras. She hopes that Seattle will push her out of her comfort zone and into new personal growth. Maria is studying education, with the goal of imagining what improved education systems would look like in Honduras. She is a globally minded leader devoted to youth development and women’s leadership. She says, “I believe that being a leader means being responsible for that actions that you are making. It means taking initiative to start and continue something that no one else can. It means being an example for others, working in a team and being willing to learn from your mistakes. A leader should be inclusive and creative, not just someone who orders others around.”
 

 
 
Darich, Nicaragua
Darich is entering his final year of university studying Business Administration and he will complete his degree upon returning to Nicaragua. As the coordinator of the youth leadership group of NPH Nicaragua, he brings his unique experience to the cohort. Darich knows that the program will be challenging, but he is excited for the challenges and opportunities. “I wanted to come to Seattle to participate in a program that will help me grow as a person, opening doors to opportunities both professionally and personally. This program will give me the skills to confront challenging situations, make important decisions, and make me more cross-culturally competent.”
 

 
Yomara, Nicaragua
Yomara just graduated with a degree in English Education. She has participated in four different international youth leadership conferences and has assisted in different leadership groups in the Nicaragua home. Yomara says that she is a leader that acts from faith and love. “My main goal for Seattle is to prepare me better as a leader so that I can serve my family and my country,” she says. I want to help improve education systems so that we empower our youth and young adults so that they have the opportunity to be responsible men and women who always fight to achieve their goals.” Yomara is excited to learn more about leadership and eventually return to the NPH Nicaragua home to teach English.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

It's so easy to sing the praises of NPH and all they do to improve the lives of the children in their care...

Below is a testimonial from Lorraine Riedl in our Mid-Atlantic/Northeast Region who recently visited NPH Guatemala!
 
Amazing! That's how my seven year old granddaughter, Magnolia, described her stay at Casa San Andres, the NPH home in Parramos, Guatemala.
 
July 24th through July 28th, my son, granddaughter, a friend and I travelled to Guatemala to visit the children that we sponsor. Although it wasn't my first trip to an NPH home, or my first trip to Casa San Andres, it was as exciting as if it were.
 
There's an immediate connection with the children and staff that makes you part of the family. My granddaughter and her godsister were inseparable, and she enjoyed playing and spending time with all the children. It was fun for the adults, too. I fell in love with a 6 year old lovely little girl, a kitten lover, who I am now sponsoring in addition to the goddaughter I went to visit.
 
Everyone at the NPH homes receives a first rate education. They are also given the opportunity to learn a trade, such as baking, cooking, woodworking, or welding, to name a few.  Sports are also a big part of their daily lives. They are nurtured physically, mentally and spiritually.
 
I return from each trip energized. It's so easy to sing the praises of NPH and all they do to improve the lives of the children in their care. Because of those who sponsor children, volunteer and dedicate their time, and share their love and knowledge with the children, those young people have the opportunity to achieve a bright future.
 
Please visit your godchild, or visit an NPH home and sponsor a child while there, and discover the miracles that NPH, with your help, can perform.